John's Birthday!

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I can't believe it's already October! Where did time go?? So, because time has been flying past me, I didn't have time to make a elaborate cake for John's birthday. So, I ended up using a recipe that I go to a lot when there is not a lot of time! It was just John and I for his birthday dinner and then home for a little cake celebration. I thought the cake turned out really yummy. I also didn't want it to be too rich so I just poured the chocolate ganache over the top of the cake. The cake recipe is from Alice Medrich's book, "Chocolate Holidays"

I love Alice Medrich not only because I use to go to her chocolate store, Cocolat on Fillmore when I was growing up but because her recipes are easy to follow and ALWAYS taste great!

4-1/2 oz. (1 cup) all-purpose flour
1 oz. (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutchprocessed)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. table salt
4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and warm
1-1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup warm Ganache

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 350 F. Grease the bottom of an 9x2-inch round cake pan or line it with parchment.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift only if the cocoa remains lumpy after whisking. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the eggs and vanilla; stir until well blended. Add the flour mixture all at once and stir just until all the flour is moistened. Pour the hot water over the batter; stir just until it’s incorporated and the batter is smooth. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes for a 9-inch pan; 35 to 40 min. for an 8-inch pan. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 min. Run a thin knife around the edge and invert the cake (peel off the parchment if necessary). Invert it again onto the rack and let cool completely.

Once cool, set the rack over a baking sheet or foil. Pour the warm ganache over the cake and use an icing spatula to spread it over the top of the cake and down the sides. Let set for about an hour before serving.

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