And another one got stuck in my head...

Ok - I had to start with the bizzarre today.  The "frog-monkey" (honestly, I don't know what this is supposed to be) is still hanging from the lamp post.  I have no clue why I haven't taken it down yet.  I guess it is so absurd that it would just be wrong to move it from its place of honor.  I think its been there for about a year now...

Here is my funky little tree.  This tree amuses me. 

Sorry -- I had to get the preliminaries out of the way.  It all started with this post for Smith Island Cake.  Now mind you, I had never heard of a Smith Island Cake.  Had no clue what it was or that it was the semi-official state cake of Maryland.  But once I saw it, I knew I had to conquer it.  No, I have no idea why.  It was just so and there was nothing to do besides doing it.

The author of the blog I pulled this from adapted her recipe from the Washington Post.  For once, I actually followed the recipe exactly...  (Well, except for adding the Heath - I couldn't "go all strict" now, could I?) 

I rummaged through my pantry and miraculously, had all of the ingredients except for a second can of evaporated milk and Heath Bits (not part of recipe, but I knew the cake needed something extra).  MMMM.  Heath Bits are so much simpler than trying to smash up a gad-zillion candy bars.

Saturday morning came around - I had to be out of the house by noon, but I figured I could slam this one out in no time...  (For once I was right).  Red whippped the batter up in record time -- from scratch, baby.  No cake mix for this girl. 

Three 8" cake pans lined with parchment paper.  That was an inspired idea, I tell you...  Because the cakes were only about 1/4" thick and very fragile.  They flipped right out.  The cake pans were a much-desired Christmas present -- they are made by USA Pan (Located just outside of Pittsburgh).  These pans are my absolute favorite.  I like that it is an American company and their products are really superior.  They have this cool corrugated pattern on the bottom that lets air circulate & cooks stuff through better.  My infatuation with these products started with a pie pan... 

This recipe took nine layers; I was able to bake three at a time.  They were very quick -- only about 12 minutes in the oven + they cooled really fast, which enabled my speed-cake making process.  Here are the first three layers (cake, chocolate, Heath bits). 

Here we are mid-"ganaching".  Can you say "Chocolate..."???  I was told it looked like a bit, fat stack of pancakes.  I wasn't going for looks.  It was all about the tummy (yummy) factor!

Yes, Virginia, there really are nine layers in this cake.  Even more amazing - "fait accompli" in less than two hours...  Okay, so the center wasn't picture perfect.  I cut into it before it was totally set, since we were in a rush to get out the door.  Oh, and don't be jealous of my finest styrofoam plates...  It takes a special kind of class to pull that off :-)

The cake turned out very rich - I could only eat half of a sliver.  Next time I try this, I am going to try trading out the evaporated milk for 1% to see if that takes down the sweet factor.  Both #1 & #2 gave it a thumbs up... 

Currently, I have my eye on a "hummingbird cake" (a banana cake with pineapple and other stuff).  I am not sure when I will get my "round to it on that one" -- will keep you posted!

Have an excellent, almost spring day. 

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