The Last Airbender

M. Night Shyamalan lost my respect several films ago. The Sixth Sense was awesome but it seemed every film after that was a little bit more horrendous than the one before it.

But maybe that’s changing.  I know it doesn’t really show all that much, and the first half of the trailer looks like it’s going to be some National Lampoons  ninja spoof, but it looks pretty interesting.

The Peanut Butter-Chocolate Cake

The full title of this post should be…

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter-Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ganache

Michael (@mdanbom) joined me in making this delicious cake for the last Cake and a Movie night (#CaaM) which happened last night.

We had a wonderful crowd come over…

@laurenreid, @aurablush, @taylorjm10, @ok2baprincess, @brooding_soul, @savannahbrooke and @coreyschmidt.

It was suggested that we watch Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and it was a great film. But I’m a sucker for Michael Cera and Kat Dennings; oh and any movie with a band full of really hot gay guys, especially when the gay characters aren’t so annoying.

Now I guess it’s time to post my Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter-Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ganache.

This is an original of Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes modified by the and further adopted by me.

With no further adieu… the

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter-Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ganache

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake Base
Makes about 7 cups

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa w/ 60% cacao
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes.

Place cakes in freezer for thirty minutes. This will allow these incredibly soft, moist cakes to firm up before frosting. Now is a good time to make the frosting.

Peanut Butter-Cream Cheese FrostingMakes About 5 cups

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time to prevent lumping. Mix thoroughly after each addition and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended. Use the spatula to fold frosting to ensure it is smooth and creamy.

Frosting a dark cake with a light frosting can be difficult. Here are some tips to make this as easy as possible.

Measure out just enough frosting to put a thin layer of frosting on the cake using an offset spatular. Microwave frosting for 20-30 seconds to make frosting soft and spreadable. Let this cool on the cold cake, firming up the frosting and preventing any rips in the cake.

Place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread about 1/2 cup of the frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer.

For a smoother frosting, use 1/2-2/3 of the remaining frosting to finish up the top and sides, reserving 1/3-1/2 for later. Place layered cake into the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. Warm frosting in microwave for 20-30 seconds before smoothing the rest of the frosting on the chilled cake.

Place cake back into the refrigerator while you prepare the ganache.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter GanacheMakes about 1 1/2 cups

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

In the top of a double boiler, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the whipping cream, beating until smooth.

Let the ganache sit for a few minutes. It should be warm but not hot when applied to the cake.

Slowly pour the ganache over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips.

Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely.

Use warm, sharp, thin knife to slice the cake, cleaning between each slice with warm water and dry towel. This will make each slice as beautiful as the first.

Let me know how it works for you and if you have any suggestions for modifications or cake suggestion for the next Cake and a Movie night. So far it sounds like a carrot cake is winning out. If you’ve got a great recipe, send it over!

Being in Houston

One of my favorite things about being in Houston is getting to hang out with friends.  One better is getting to hang out with someone you met in Missouri who is from Houston.

Last night Chase and I met up for some beers and talk about seeing Milk.  We saw the movie today and it was phenominal.  You must see it.

We also went to the roof of his building and took some pics last night… (my writing style is awful right now, I’m rushing to help with dinner)

Here’s the pic!

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Wanted… But Only Kinda

Jolie at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Sw...Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday, Micheal, Ryan and I went together to see the new Angelina Jolie blockbuster, Wanted.  It was billed as a smart, edge of your seat, action packed, assassin thriller type film.

I really wanted to see it.  Headlining the film was of course, Angelina Jolie along with Morgan Freeman and that guy everyone else knows but me, James McAvoy

The basic premise is these people have control over how their body releases adrenaline  allowing them incredible strength, vision, hearing… well everything.  Oh yeah, and they can make bullets curve into a complete circle by flipping their wrists as they shoot.

If you think that’s far fetched, how about how their get their missions…  Supposedly, The Fraternity is over a thousand years old and have been following the same codes since its inception.  One of these is how it gets its information on who to kill.  This information comes from imperfections on cloth created by a not-so-ancient-and-by-no-means-1000-years-old loom.

Yeah, the code it spits out?  It’s binary.  You know, 11101011010100001 etc.

Apparently they used an 1800 year old code, ok that works.  But how they decoded it makes no sense.  Let’s spell out one of the names it supposedly codes out.


And that’s just the name, not the Age, Weight, Sex, Height and Location that it apparently also puts out.  Bah, I just didn’t like that, could’nt it have been anything else?  Seriously…

Anyway, the action is great, the acting is good.  If it didn’t have the lead characters, if this had been full of first time actors, it would have never made a record opening weekend.  It would either have been a cult classic or a total flop (hard to tell the difference between those two).

The actors did make it watchable and at times pretty entertaining.  What I think made me so bitter was the production of the film.  A poorly thought out soundtrack matched with horrendous mixing of the tracks, overly creative camera angles meant for an art film not an action flick and the bending of physics without even an iota of magical excuse is what made this movie a C at best for me.

I really wanted to see this film, but I’m glad I saw it matinee.  Next disappointing action movie I will see is Hancock.  At least I know ahead of time that the story gets pretty weak, and at least it has Will Smith to make it work.

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Forgetting Sarah Marshall

I was reading Perez Hilton when I saw a really simple ad that said, “I Hate Sarah Marshall”.  It links to a blog of this guy who is getting over the breakup of his ex-fiancee Sarah Marshall.  If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m not a total Idiot, I might have spent more than five minutes believing this was a real blog.

Clever enough still, and because it has one of my favorite actresses in it, that I plan on seeing this flick when it comes out.  Catch the trailer below.  Some parts are pretty racy.  Just through I should warn you, this might not be safe for work (NSFW).

[flv:Forgetting-Sarah-Marshall.flv 442 239]

Who knew Jason Segel could do physical comedy?

The Haunting

There is this really bizarre, creepy old white building off HWY 63 South to Jefferson City. It’s just outside of the city limits, has all of these no trespassing signs around it, what looks like farming land around it, a grain tower and a water tower. It also has these weird concrete cubes around the place…


I really want to go inside and check it out. You aren’t supposed to go beyond the sign “without permission”. I wonder how one goes about getting permission… Maybe I just trespass, how much trouble could I possibly get in? Haha, probably a lot.

I like to think that it is some sort of old asylum, some version of the the one in the movie, Session 9. Creepy movie… Too bad some dumbass, capitalist developers tore down Danver’s State Hospital. This place was so beautiful, so massive and had such an incredible story. So much of the American Psychiatric Associations practices and beliefs were born from this facility. To tear it down is a disgrace to our country.