Me & Music – Part Time Lovers
I have to admit, I fantasize from time to time about what it would be like if music were my only job title. Sometimes I wake up not knowing which job had to put on first…nanny hat, wife hat, music hat, help my husband with his career hat, etc. I know it’s unrealistic to think that I’ll only ever wear one hat, but I can’t help but daydream about what it would be like if music were more than a part time lover. Am I alone here? Is anyone else concerned about how to build a successful, seemingly time-sensitive career, at a part time pace? I even played the lottery this week (I never play the lottery), out of desperation to have enough money to make music my full time job. I didn’t win. So, I’ve decided to set a goal to keep the affair going: For the next month, I challenge myself to spent at least 30 minutes per day with my guitar wearing my Singer/Songwriter hat. Who’s with me? Let’s challenge each other and see how fruitful we can be!
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache Cake
There are 4 steps to this cake. Just take it one step at a time and it won’t be too overwhelming.
Step 1- Chocolate Cake
2 cup sugar
1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs (at room temperature if possible)
1 cup milk (at room temperature if possible)
½ cup vegetable oil (canola oil works well too)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup really hot coffee
– Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
– Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
– Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
Step 2- Peanut Butter Ganache Filling
1 cup heavy cream
1 ½ cups chocolate chip morsels
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup powdered sugar
½ cup smooth peanut butter
– In a small saucepan, combine the cream, powdered sugar, chocolate chip morsels and butter over low heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and add the peanut butter at the same time. Stir until smooth.
– Ganache will be too hot to pour or spread. Set in the refrigerator for several minutes. Then place the ganache on the counter and stir once or twice over the next ten minutes. When cool, whip with an electric mixer until thick, but fluffy.
Step 3- Chocolate Ganache Frosting
12 ounces good quality semi sweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces. (If using chocolate chips, I recommend Ghiradelli or Guillard or Trader Joe’s)
1 cup heavy cream
– Place chocolate piece in a large bowl. Heat heavy cream on medium heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and stir until completely mixed and glossy. Allow ganache to cool completely and set up. When you are able to spoon the ganache and it can hold it’s texture, it is ready for frosting.
Step 4- Assemble Cake
– Place 1 of the round cakes on a flat plate or serving platter. Generously spread the peanut butter ganache on the cake to create about a ¼ to ½ inch thick layer. Place the 2nd round cake on top of the ganache layer. Generously frost the whole cake with the chocolate ganache. Garnish with crush honey roasted peanuts. Cut a slice and enjoy!