Today my husband and I are celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary. We’ve been together now for 27 years! That one is still hard to wrap my head around. I was 15 when we met and we started dating when I was 16 and he was 20. We’re now 47 and 43 respectively with 2 amazing sons. It’s been quite the journey so far.
We got married on May 14, 1994, 4 1/2 months after I gave birth to our oldest son, Darren. 2 days later we left to go on our honeymoon, an amazing 5 day cruise through Southern California and Mexico (thanks Mom!). We left our little bundle of joy with my in-laws for the 5 days. It was a wonderful vacation, but my only thought the whole time was when can I get home to my little boy. I was so excited to see him at the airport, I walked right past my mom and grandparents, grabbed Darren and didn’t let him go for the next 2 months. Although I loved my honeymoon, I swore I would never go away again without him. And we never did again until both the boys were older, and my husband and I went away for 2 nights to Las Vegas as a treat to ourselves for paying off our house. But I still called every day to make sure they were both okay.
We were married in a beautiful church. We went to classes at night for 2 months to be allowed to be married in church, while I was pregnant, which was a thorn in the side of the pastor. He did everything he could to try and convince me to get married before the baby was born, even going so far as to actualy discuss me in one of his sermons at a funeral for one of my bridesmaids cousin. Once he realized that was a loosing battle, he gave in to allowing us to have a private baptism for our son the day before the wedding, something he was adamantly against doing until he realized I wasn’t going to get married before hand and he didn’t want to have an unmarried couple having a baptism in front of the whole congregation, because that would have embarrassed him. Not us, nor the elders of the church, just him. So yes, our oldest son was baptized on Friday the 13th!
My husband only agreed to go through with a church wedding because of how amazing the church was. We both agree now that if we could do it over, we’re not sure all the hassle from the pastor was worth it. Especially talking about how the church frowns upon all things premarital while I was sitting there 8 1/2 months pregnant. The elders at the church had absolutely no problems with my being pregnant, going so far as to ask when the wedding was and when was the baby due, and do we know what it’s going to be. They were all amazing people, but the pastor was a bit hard to take.
We had a rather large wedding (around 115 people) and when we look back, we keep thinking what was wrong with us? The reception was quite the party. Way too much alcohol (we had an open bar – I’m positive we spent more on alcohol than we did on food) and because we’re German, there was not only dinner and dessert, there was also an 11:30 buffet with more food and more dessert (yeah, we spent a ton on food as well), just in case eating at 7:00 wasn’t enough food for you. We had so many left overs my parents invited everyone to their place the next day for brunch and the gift opening. It was crazy, just about everyone, except for a few who were I’m sure suffering from an extreme hangover, showed up to my parents house the next day. I’ve never seen my parents house so full of people.
But here we are 22 years later, and our day is spent quietly now, going to the movies, having lunch together, going for dinner with our boys and finishing the day off by curling up on the couch and watching another movie. And eating some cake. Here’s to another 50 years !
Sour Cream Chocolate Cake
(Makes 2 -6″ cakes)
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. Baking soda
1/2 tsp. Baking powder
3/4 tsp. Salt
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. Vanilla bean paste
2 1/4 cups sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare. 2 – 6″ pans, grease and line the bottoms with parchment paper. (The pans I use are 6″ X 3″ high)
- Combine Chopped chocolate and boiling water, whisk until chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool while you get everything else prepared.
- In a separate bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat he eggs on high speed for 2 minutes.
- Slow the mixer speed down to 2 and slowly drizzle in the oil.
- Stop the mixer and add in the sour cream and vanilla bean paste. Turn the mixer to medium (5) for 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides.
- Turn the mixer on to low (2) and slowly add in the sugar. Once the sugar is all combined, turn up the speed to high (8) for 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Turn the mixer to low speed (2) and slowly pour in the chocolate/water mixture. Then turn the speed up to medium (5) for 2 minutes.
- Remove bowl from stand mixer, scrape down bowl and dump in the dry ingredients, using the whisk attachment to mix in the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, make sure all the ingredients are fully combined, scraping the bottom of the bowl.
- *this part is completely optional, strain the batter through a sieve, pressing on the lumps to get as smooth a batter as possible. Sometimes I do this and sometimes I don’t. It’s completely optional*
- Divide batter between your prepared pans and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.
- Allow cakes to cool in pans for 15 to 20 minutes, remove from pans and allow to cool another 15 to 20 minutes on a cooling rack. Wrap in a double (if freezing triple) layer of plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (If freezing, you can freeze for up to 2 months).
(Makes approx. 3 cups filling, enough for the cake and extra to give away or eat on crackers)
16 ounces dried Mission figs (stems removed)
2 Tbsp. Cognac (optional)
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
Pinch of salt
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. Vanilla bean paste
- Remove stems from figs and chop.
- Place all ingredients except the vanilla bean paste in a pot and cook over medium heat, bring to a boil and the reduce the heat and cook until the figs start to plump up and get really soft and the liquid reduces to about half (approx. 30 to 35 minutes ).
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla bean paste.
- Allow mixture to cool slightly (15 minutes).
- Place mixture in food processor and blend until smooth.
- Place in container and allow to cool, then store in the fridge for up to a week.
(Makes enough to fill 2 – 6″ cakes or fill and frost one cake)
1 – 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
Pinch of salt
16 ounces mascarpone cheese
3 to 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla bean paste
- Make sure butter, cream cheese and mascarpone are at room temperature.
- Cream together butter and cream cheese.
- Add in powdered sugar, salt and vanilla bean paste. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Add in mascarpone and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
- *taste to see if it needs more sugar, some like it sweeter than I do.
Assembly (do they day of):
- Split cake layers (3 layers per 6″ cake).
- Place buttercream into a piping bag with a plain large round tip.
- Place cake board on your turn table, placing the bottom layer of cake down on top, use a small dab of buttercream to secure the cake in place.
- Spread 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the fig filling onto the cake layer.
- Pipe a rim around the edge of the cake layer with the buttercream (dots) and the fill in the centre.
- Place another layer of cake on top, gently pressing down.
- Repeat by spreading more fig filling on the cake layer and piping buttercream.
- Place top layer of cake in place, no need to trim the top unless you get a very large dome on top. Pipe buttercream on top, whether you want swirls or dots, your choice.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
- Because this is a “naked” cake, it will start to dry out more quickly, so it should be eaten within 2 to 3 days. Try and keep it covered.