Becoming a Big Year Old

One of my 7th grade advisees used the term “big year old” earlier in our year together. He was referring to the 8th graders who were eating lunch in the courtyard outside my room. He didn’t want to go out there and be with the big year olds. Horror.

I had to laugh. Maybe he didn’t make up the expression, but I had never heard it before. So, after a little googling and finding Urban Dictionary, here’s the meaning:

A person of a young age, but sounds a lot older, there can also be a young year old. A person who’s voice sounds a lot younger then (than?) it actually is. by Wefi December 28. 2018

There are some YouTube videos, too. Of course there are. Isn’t there a YouTube for everything on earth?

The 2018-19 school year is now over so he has become…

A BIG YEAR OLD.

And, as for me, after many years of being a 7th grade advisor, I am moving up and becoming a big year old as well. Making the move to 8th grade advisor. It is kind of scary. I will still teach 6th and 7th grades as well as 8th grade, but I will spend more time with 8th graders. I have already attended an 8th grade team meeting. The team leaders are my first born son’s age, but I try really hard not to think about that. I do not want to be the “team mom”, but that probably is unavoidable. And I realize right at this very minute that I should have asked my 2018-19 8th graders for some advice. Dang. How did I not do that? What a rookie move. Wonder what they would have said? Oh well. Too late now. I won’t have any of this year’s advisees, aka the GOATS. I wanted to keep the whole herd because they were pretty amazing.

(Couldn’t find a bitmoji with a goat…and I am truthfully terrified of alligators)

Wonder what advice the GOATS would give me? Too late for that, too. Vacation has begun.

I have just finished my 39th year so I guess I will be able to figure it out. I will probably lose sleep over it but not until August.

The aforementioned Son #1 finishes his school year tomorrow. Yep, he has followed in his mom’s and dad’s footsteps. He asked me to make a cake for one of his colleagues. Well, of course. I even made two. (The first one stuck to the pan– tasty, but flawed aesthetically. The Ex-Ex ate some for breakfast this morning.) The second one came out of the pan just fine. Live and learn about preparing the pan properly.

Chocolate Bundt Cake (cake #1)

adapted from King Arthur’s Flour

I love King Arthur’s. It is an employee-owned company and their baking website is amazing. I learn a lot each time I use one of their recipes.

CAKE

  • 1 cup brewed coffee*
  • 16 tablespoons (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, Dutch-process cocoa preferred
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt (regular or Greek), full-fat preferred
  • *See “tips,” below, for coffee alternatives.

ICING

  • 2/3 cup chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, or chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. To make the cake: Place the coffee, butter, and cocoa in a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl. Heat, stirring, until the butter melts. Remove from the heat, and whisk until smooth. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes.
  3. While the chocolate is cooling, put the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour into a mixing bowl, whisking to combine.
  4. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and mix until thoroughly combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and mix again to incorporate any residue.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, eggs, and sour cream or yogurt. Mix into the chocolate batter, stirring until thoroughly combined.
  6. Thoroughly grease a 10- to 12-cup Bundt pan, preferably non-stick. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes, until a long toothpick or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Note: a pan with a dark interior will bake the cake more quickly; start checking at about 40 minutes.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven, wait 5 minutes, and turn the pan over onto a cooling rack. After 5 more minutes, lift the pan off the cake. Let the cake cool completely before icing.
  8. To make the icing: Combine the chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over medium heat. Heat until the cream starts to bubble around the edges.
  9. Remove from the heat, and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Spoon the icing over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.
  10. Store any leftover cake at room temperature, well wrapped, for several days. Freeze for longer storage.

TIPS FROM OUR BAKERS

  • If your cake develops a “foot” (a domed ring of cake) on the bottom, feel free to slice it off before transferring to a serving plate, for greater stability. But don’t throw the cake trimmings away — baker’s treat!
  • We highly recommend using brewed coffee in this recipe; while coffee won’t add its own mocha flavor, it enhances the cake’s chocolate flavor. However, you may substitute water, juice, or even stout beer for the coffee, if desired.
  • Our Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour makes it easy to make many of your favorite traditional recipes (like this one) gluten-free. Simply substitute Measure for Measure flour 1:1 for the flour called for in your recipe; no additional ingredients or other changes needed.
  • If you’re like us (and many other bakers), and you’ve sometimes had trouble with your bundt cake getting stuck in the pan, please check out our blog Flourish. for some helpful tips.If your cake develops a “foot” (a domed ring of cake) on the bottom, feel free to slice it off before transferring to a serving plate, for greater stability. But don’t throw the cake trimmings away — baker’s treat!
  • We highly recommend using brewed coffee in this recipe; while coffee won’t add its own mocha flavor, it enhances the cake’s chocolate flavor. However, you may substitute water, juice, or even stout beer for the coffee, if desired.
  • Our Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour makes it easy to make many of your favorite traditional recipes (like this one) gluten-free. Simply substitute Measure for Measure flour 1:1 for the flour called for in your recipe; no additional ingredients or other changes needed.

Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake (cake #2)

adapted from Genius Kitchen

1-1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened

2-1/2 c. granulated sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

5 large eggs, room temperature

1 c. buttermilk, room temperature

2 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 c. unsweetened Dutch process cocoa

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking powder

Prepare a bundt or tube pan (10-12 cup) by carefully coating with shortening and dusting with flour or sifted cocoa powder. (I used cocoa powder.) I did not preheat the oven. I have found pound cakes are best when placed in a cold oven, but who knows?

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Combine coffee and buttermilk and set aside.

Combine flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Whisk them together until well-blended. Add this to the creamed mixture, alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour, beating just until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 325˚F for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until cake tests done. Remove from oven. Cool in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes then carefully remove from pan and allow to cool completely.

Frost, drizzle with ganache (recipe follows), dust with confectioner’s sugar, garnish with berries or just leave it alone!

Chocolate Ganache

1/4 c. heavy cream

3/4 c. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine the cream and chips in a small saucepan and melt over medium heat, stirring to combine. I use a whisk once the cream is hot to blend in the melted chocolate. Be careful not to burn. You can also do this in the microwave.

Drizzle the ganache over the cooled cake.

Bon appétit! Bonnes vacances to all of my teacher friends and students out there. Time for a well-deserved break. Find ways to make this world a better place this summer, one small step at a time.

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