My little girl turned six last week! I can’t believe it. Of course, she told us that she had grown during the night, and felt taller and more grown-up on the big day; I couldn’t help thinking of the little round-cheeked newborn with ears smaller than my thumbnail.

I can’t eat sugar, but that didn’t stop me from getting a contact high from baking the cakes–so many relatives and friends toasted her b-day that I had to make two cakes. The grown-up one was even low-fat. The kid one, though–a fudge-frosting fantasy that would have been my childhood dream.
It’s two layers, with a buttercream frosting around the sides (that was the grown-up frosting. Hey, I said the cake was low-fat–I didn’t mention the icing…) The top layers of frosting represent two rounds of ganache. My  budding gourmet requested the same combo as her dad, chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache. I had poured a light glaze of it over the cake when she asked to try it, and didn’t like how bittersweet it was.
"It tastes better with the cake," she said tactfully. 
So I scraped off the soft frosting and mixed in sifted powdered sugar until it turned satiny. Even I sampled some on my finger, consequences be damned. It was the best frosting I’ve ever made.

Chocolate Frosting

12 oz half-and-half
12 oz dark chocolate chips (we used Ghirardelli)
confectioner’s sugar

In medium saucepan, heat half-and-half until just below a boil, stirring frequently.

Place chocolate chips in a bowl and pour hot cream over the top, stirring until melted.
When cooled, add sifted confectioner’s sugar until mixture gets firm. If you add too much, thin with cream or milk.
Frosts one 9" two-layer cake (there would have been plenty for the sides).

The birthday girl in her new striped dress, with friends.

In knitting news, I really wanted to get her sweater done, but as of now, I’ve got the bottom half of the trunk done, one sleeve complete, and am working on the second sleeve. Like I said, it’s my first time working with the EZ percentage system, and it’s turning out great. I revealed the secret on her birthday, and had her try on the sleeve, and I was boggled at how it fit just right.
Here’s the bottom half.Img_0322

And the second sleeve…
At least now I can knit it when she’s around. I’m going to get that sweater done!

In other knitting, it’s the first day of the Strikke-along! I’m working on some mittens:Img_0315
These are actually a pattern you’ll see in the first issue of Koi Knitting, based on an original design I knitted last winter. I made improvements for the zine, and worked up this much of a mitten to test them out. I suppose I should really be casting on today, but I only have a small headstart–still a mitten and a half to go!

For you out there who’ve pre-ordered Koi, I apologize that it’s  not in your hot-knitting hands yet!  We’re so close…..

As an excuse though, I can say that both Erika’s and my families have been hit by the Creeping Crud that’s going around. Little C had to stay home from school the day before her b-day and Li’l A was out the week before. Grammy and Buppa got it, and now Mike and I are staggering around with dizzy heads and sore throats. Our virus is like a sneaky sniper, felling us one by one.
When I talked to Erika, it sounded like they had a nasty version that was gumming up their works,  a more aggressive type. But, in any case, even with the back-to-school germ frenzy, we’re plugging away at the zine. So please bear with us and soon you’ll get a packet in the mail….

October 01, 2007 by Knitcircus

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