Endings

You know, for a psychologist, I am pretty terrible at goodbyes.  I’m always careful with the kids and families with whom I work- I  plan the terminations (isn’t that a terrible word for goodbye?  So final!) as best I can, make sure to have a goodbye ritual, etc.  I’m pretty good with staff, too, making sure that people feel a sense of closure at the end of each school year, course of treatment and final session.  But in my personal life?  Not so much.

I tend to hide from goodbyes. I hate them.  I dislike being sad, I don’t like not knowing the ending of the story, I don’t like people going on and on about how much they’ll miss me.  Makes me feel sad, guilty, icky…  All of that.  I’d much rather just slip off into the sunset with a few kind words.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m currently trying to move into a full-time position.  This means I’ll most likely be leaving my two schools where I am currently part-time.  I adore the teams at both schools and I am so terribly sad to be leaving them.  This week, at both schools, we had an end of the year lunch.  I provided dessert.  It’s the least I can do.  I am, after all, leaving them.

So, I made Ina Garten’s Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake.And Hershey’s Black Magic chocolate cakeBoth came out really well and were well worth the multitude of calories.  I’ll post the recipes down below in case the links above end up broken over time.

My team at one school didn’t let me get away without lots of kind words and a gift.  A beautiful bracelet and some home-grown flowers.  I’m a really lucky girl, I must say.  I’m going to miss them all quite a bit. So, here’s to change and endings.  I’m hoping that things will all work out the way they should- I’m trying to put my faith in the universe and am hoping that taking a risk pays off.  Ask me again in about a week and a few days….  If it all comes through, there will be some big changes around here.

Ina Garten’s Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups cold heavy cream

12 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua (I didn’t have any so for one cake I used Godiva Chocolate Liqueur and simply left it out of the other)

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 (8-ounce) packages chocolate chip cookies, such as Tate’s Bake Shop

Shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish

Directions:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, mascarpone, sugar, coffee liqueur, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. Mix on low speed to combine and then slowly raise the speed, until it forms firm peaks.

To assemble the cake, arrange chocolate chip cookies flat in an 8-inch springform pan, covering the bottom as much as possible. (I break some cookies to fill in the spaces.) Spread a fifth of the mocha whipped cream evenly over the cookies. Place another layer of cookies on top, lying flat and touching, followed by another fifth of the cream. Continue layering cookies and cream until there are 5 layers of each, ending with a layer of cream. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

Run a small sharp knife around the outside of the cake and remove the sides of the pan. Sprinkle the top with the chocolate, cut in wedges, and serve cold.

Hershey’s Black Magic Cake:

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk or sour milk

1 cup strong black coffee OR 2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee plus 1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.  Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (Batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost as desired. Yields 10 to 12 servings.

For frosting, I heated 6 oz of heavy cream in a saucepan to just under boiling.  I then added 9 oz of milk chocolate chips.  I whisked  until it was all melted and shiny and smooth.  Then I let it cool down until it was thick and spreadable.  You may need to put it in the fridge, it will depend on the climate in your home.

Remember to always keep the little monsters in your kitchen busy.  Mine enjoys “cooking” with me.  She even tastes the whisk when she’s done.  I wonder if it’s flavorful air?

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