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Follow the Red Brick Road…

This is not my usual post.

No yummy treats for you.  Sorry.

Instead, I want to share with you a delightful trip I took to one of the most amazeballs cities ever.

Recently, I visited Boston on business.  Because that’s the kind of person I am now.  Someone who goes to Boston on business!  I’m a total adult now, it’s no big deal.

I work for a research institute at a university and our primary activity is an annual conference.  One of our future conferences will be in Boston, so my boss sent me there to look at hotels.  In between my meetings, I was able to see quite a bit of the city and absolutely fell in love with it!  It’s basically a wonderful land made of brick and I want to share it with you.

I stayed at the Omni Parker House, located in the heart of downtown Boston.  It falls directly on the Freedom Trail, across the street from the King’s Chapel.  It’s one of those super historical hotels that make you feel like you’ve walked into the lobby of the Tower of Terror (minus dust, cobwebs and plummeting elevators).  It’s actually the longest continuously operating hotel in the U.S.

Lobby of the Omni Parker House

Super important people have stayed there.  Like Charles Dickens and Emeril Lagasse.

Guess what else?  They invented the Boston Cream Pie.  Actually invented it.

And because I was such an important guest, they had one waiting for me in my room when I checked in.

I’m important enough for Boston Cream Pie. True Story.

Walking around Boston is a like stepping back in time.  Only next to every aging brick building is either a glass sky-rise or a Dunkin Donuts.

Dunkin Donuts is a big deal there or something.  They are everywhere!

I did the requisite walk along the Freedom Trail (which is a literal red brick trail that winds through Boston hitting all the historic landmarks).  My favorites were Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere’s House, and the creepily old cemetery at King’s Chapel.

This is Faneuil Hall – complete with statue of Samuel Adams (who I dutifully thanked for all the beer).

Paul Revere’s House – I didn’t go inside but enjoyed looking at it from the cobblestone street.

It’s creepy and old. Like, seriously old.

Every day I was there I managed a stroll through the Boston Common, which was beautiful because leaves were just starting to turn!  On the day I visited the Park Plaza Hotel, I walked through the Public Garden and yet another creepily old cemetery (because seriously, creepily old cemeteries were everywhere).

Boston Common – Makes me miss fall!

Boston Public Garden – usually there are Swan Boats here, but I assume they fly away for the winter 🙂

Near the Public Garden was a landmark I knew I had to visit while I was in Boston.  On Beacon Hill, across from the park, is Cheers.  The outside is the same as the show, but the inside is completely different.  I didn’t care – I had myself a couple beers (Sam Adams Oktoberfest) and a cheeseburger and enjoyed listening to bartender rant at customers in his Bostonian accent.

Fact: There are two Cheers locations. One is on Beacon Hill and has the original entrance featured on the show. The second is at Faneuil Hall.

One of my final outings was to visit Harvard University.  I took the subway, which is an amazingly efficient way to get around and made me deeply ashamed of our public transportation here in California.  Seriously, why don’t we have Subways?

I didn’t take any pictures because I was trying to walk around as though I was a genius who obviously attends Harvard and has super-smart ideas about art and politics.  So when I decided to sit down at a café across the street at a table next to some guys talking about economic theory, I tried to hide the fact was actually reading Fifty Shades of Grey on my Kindle.

I did buy myself a Harvard t-shirt!

Devil’s Angel Food Cake

Today, I’m feeling positively sinful!

I have just purchased the most perfect pair of taupe knee-high boots and am currently contemplating acquiring a brown pair of boots as well as a new purse.  Yesterday I enjoyed a delightful dinner of pizza, breadsticks and chocolate ice cream after completely ignoring a sink full of dishes.  I believe that covers pride, greed, gluttony, and sloth.

I think times like these are necessary for a woman to keep her sanity…even a self-proclaimed housewife like myself.  I can’t be June Cleaver every day after all; though tomorrow I shall put on my pearls and apron and try very hard to be.

I have a busy Saturday planned baking cupcakes for a friend’s 30th birthday party, so my apron will certainly see plenty of action.  Decorations have already been prepared (greatly helped by the Cake Cricut my friend got me for my birthday last year), baking begins this evening, and the bulk of the work will be done tomorrow morning (hopefully before it gets too hot with this heat wave we have all been having).  You will have to wait for that post, as I am sure these cupcakes will make the cut to be included on the blog.

But, back to being sinful.  If one is going to be sinful, this is certainly an excellent choice of dessert to do so.

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I made it for my father-in-law’s birthday.  Some years ago he had requested an angel food cake with chocolate frosting.  I had made a simple angel food cake and covered it in chocolate ganache.  He requested the same this year, but I decided to take it quite a bit further.

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You can use just about any chocolate angel food cake recipe to make this cake.  I chose one from Food.com.  The frosting is simply chocolate ganache which has been beaten into submission.  Constructing the cake is very easy…but the final product is devilishly delicious!

Devil’s Angel Food Cake
Adapted from Food.com

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup sifted caked flour
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 ½ cups sugar (divided)
  • 12 large egg whites, at room temperature (about 2 cups)
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 12 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Fresh Raspberries (optional)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Sift together the cocoa, ¾ cup sugar, and flour.  Set aside.
  3. Beat egg whites at a low speed in a large mixing bowl (be sure it is clean and dry) until foamy, about 5 minutes.  Add vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt.  Gradually increase speed to medium while beating in remaining ¾ cup sugar.  When sugar is incorporated, continue beating until stiff peaks form.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients over the whites in thirds, gently folding in with a spatula after each addition.
  5. Pour the batter into two 8 or 9 inch baking pans.  Cut through to remove air pockets.
  6. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until top springs back to the touch.
  7. Let cake cool about 10 minutes.  Run a knife around the side of the pan and invert onto a cooling rack.  Cool cake completely before frosting.
  8. Heat heavy cream on medium high just until it starts to boil.  Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over the bittersweet chocolate.  Let it rest for about thirty seconds to one minute, and then stir until completely mixed and glossy.  Allow the ganache to cool.
  9. Reserve about ¼ to ½ cup of the ganache.  Whip the remaining on medium high speed until it is thick and at spreading consistency.
  10. Take half of the whipped ganache and spread it over one cake layer.  Place the second layer on top and then top the whole thing with the remaining whipped ganache.
  11. Drizzle the reserved ganache over the entire cake and garnish with fresh raspberries.

Sneak Peek…

I’m a terrible and negligent blogger…but you already knew that about me didn’t you?

I like to think I’m so busy being an awesome wife that I just don’t have enough time to actually write about being an awesome wife.  And if my husband wishes to continue enjoying my awesome wifeliness, he will agree with me.

As children, we are conditioned to believe that summers are a relaxing time in the year when we have no responsibilities or worries.  If we wanted to sleep until noon, we did.  If we wanted to stay up until the wee hours of the night reading through a frivolous book or playing nonsense games, then we did.  And by golly if we wanted to eat otter pops until our tongues turned blue that is precisely what we did.

But then this whole growing up thing happened.  Now I have to work all summer and I have obligations!  No spending my days lounged by the pool sipping lemonade; instead, I have to go to work every weekday, pay bills, keep my house cleaned, and attend parties and gatherings ALL the time!

Ok, so the parties and gatherings are in the positive part of being an adult (just above being able to eat ice cream every day if I so choose).  But it does make me a very busy person!

I have a few things in the works that I hope to share soon!  I am branching away from just being a baker and exploring my deep seeded desire to be the next Martha Stewart (without the jail time).  So, in addition to a few baked treats, I will soon be sharing with you:

  • Custom gift baskets
  • A Las Vegas wedding
  • The perfect anniversary
  • Pallet patio furniture

Also, I have finally broken down and now have a Twitter account.  My handle is @SweetCuppicakes if wish to follow me!

So, that’s all for now.  I know…a VERY boring post but what can you do?