So I wound up taking off from work on Friday because my husband had one of his worst panic attacks in a long time, and we wound up in the ER. He has been having some horrible sinusitis paired with ear infections that have left him with constant high pitched ringing in his ears. Of course that leads to sleepless nights + vice-like pressure in his head + non-stop ringing in his ears = panic attacks. They said it’s because he has a severely deviated septum which causes all host of issues: ear infections, dizziness, ringing, pressure. While he has had anxiety issues in the past, he’s been able to push past them. This time, though, he just couldn’t get through it. One of those things alone would be enough to deal with, let along both of these things paired with little sleep. The ER doctor was so supportive with everything he had been going through, wondering how he made it as long as he had.
Ironically, after spending 5 hours in the ER I came home jazzed up to make a cake. Not just any cake, but the Milk Bar Chocolate Chip Layer Cake. There is something so very therapeutic about baking when things are very stressful. I decided to make all of the components of the cake so that on Saturday I would just have to assemble it and throw it into the freezer.
A few notes about the baking.
In the book, Christina Tosi mentions making a half-sheet pan of the chocolate chip cake. My advice to you, if you only live with one other person, is DON’T. Not because it is not good… on the contrary, it’s entirely addictive. Despite my batter being thoroughly homogenous and incorporated at all steps, it still spilled over a little in baking. Every time I walked past the cooling cake, I would eat more of the pieces that hung over the pan. Some for me, some ferried over to my husband. I carefully bagged up the bits that weren’t used in the cake and we definitely snacked on them throughout the weekend. I’ll admit to feeling a bit gluttonous in doing so.
As for the passion fruit layered throughout, I definitely have a bunch of ideas for using it after using it in this cake. I was thinking about using the curd in a meringue-like tart. It would be so refreshing and delicious, especially during hot summer months.
And that coffee frosting! I was a little concerned about it being too strong, but it worked out quite well as a component of the overall cake. It reminded me quite a bit of the espresso frosting on this cake that Hard Rock Cafe used to serve. I will say that the directions said to keep the mixture on low to force the coffee milk into the butter and sugar, but I had to crank my Kitchen aid to a 6 to get the incorporation to a light, thoroughly incorporated, and fluffy consistency.
So we had cake this weekend. An amazing cake (the balance in flavors is perfect)! And walks. And lots of hugs. And lots of hot compresses. And even some medicinal support from the doctor. Hubs is doing a bit better today after an overall rough weekend, which is promising. And a little chocolate chip layer cake goes a long way to making everyone feel a little better.