Happy happy birthday Nathan.
Begrudgingly I agreed to make the german chocolate cake he requested. For some reason I thought it would be complicated. Somewhere in my brain I thought I didn’t like german chocolate cake.
I think what I didn’t like was an overly sweet coconut layer. Or maybe somehow I thought german chocolate cake was something else. Who knows. I’m an odd duck sometimes.
But you know what I do like? (warning this is going to get sappy) My husband.
We have been together for over 10 years and married for 8 of those. It has been tough. It has been really hard at times. There have been days I would have put him on the street for free. But I am so incredibly thankful for him.
So here are 31 things I love about him (he turned 31 by the way):
1. His smile
2. I really like his smile when he is looking at me
3. He has this awesome ability to just swoop in a do the dishes. Unrequested.
4. When he comes home with beer in hand. Particularly when it is from Oakshire and has a koozie
5. When Little wakes up at night he handles it 95% of the time
6. Mad wok cooking abilities
7. The way my head fits on his shoulder when he hugs me
8. He’s a rockstar dad
9. I know he does things just because it makes me happy (vacuuming of late)
10. His sweet texts mid day
11. So supportive of my adventures and undertakings
12. Never complains about what’s for dinner
13. Appreciates all that I do for him and tells me as often as he remembers
14. Yard work.
15. Adores our kitties
16. Isn’t afraid to admit when he is wrong (most days)
17. He truly enjoys hanging out with Little
18. The man has a complete and utter lack of fear of failure.
19. He designed this gorgeous website
20. And maintains it for me
21. He will happily go out of his way to do things for his friends
22. It doesn’t bother him that I am a Duck football nut. He is right there with me.
23. Challah bread. He rocks it.
24. He will happily read to Little (swoon)
25. Genuinely wants to see me be happy and successful
26. He’s so darn flexible (unlike me)
27. Forever learning. If he isn’t learning he gets restless.
28. Total nerd. Shamelessly so.
29. Can put down cake or donuts or really anything sweet like it is going out of style
30. Juicing. He has introduced me to the wonderful world of juicing.
31. He loves me. Incredibly much.
One year ago today: Chili Relleno Casserole
German Chocolate Cake (easily serves 12-16)
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
3 round chocolate cakes (I used this recipe bake for 30-40 min for 9 in round cakes)
For the Filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1 1/3 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted
For the Rum Syrup:
2/3 cup water
½ cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons dark rum
For the Chocolate Icing:
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
Make the Filling: Stir together the heavy cream, sugar and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Put the butter, salt, pecans and coconut in a large bowl and set aside. Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir) until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon (an instant-read thermometer will read 170 degrees F.). Pour the hot custard immediately into the pecan-coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted. Cool completely to room temperature.
Make the Rum Syrup: In a small saucepan, heat the water and sugar, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has melted. Remove from heat and stir in the dark rum. Set aside until ready to use.
Make the Chocolate Icing: Place the chopped chocolate, corn syrup and butter in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand one minute, then stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
Once the filling and icing are both cooled to room temperature, refrigerate for 1 hour.
Assemble the Cake: Set the first cake layer on a cake plate. Brush the top of the cake layer with the rum syrup. Spread 3/4 cup of the coconut filling over the cake layer, making sure to reach to the edges. Set another cake layer on top. Repeat, brushing the top of each cake layer with the rum syrup, then spreading 3/4 cup of the coconut filling over each layer, including the top. Ice the sides with the chocolate icing, then pipe a decorative border of chocolate icing around the top, encircling the coconut topping.