Happy Blogiversary...

It seems hard to believe, but today "The State I Am In" turns a year old! It's my very first blogiversary! On one hand, it seems like the time has practically flown by, yet at the same time, it's amazing to think how much has happened in the last year. In the past 365 days, I have composed 174 posts, meaning I managed to keep up a pace of writing almost every other day. Not to toot my own horn, but given my track record with maintaining diaries in the past, I am pretty proud of my dedication.

Beginning and keeping up this blog has had a markedly positive impact on my life in the last year. Previously, I was somewhat of a homebody; I would consider going out to take advantage of events happening around the city before ultimately losing my motivation and staying home. Blogging has forced me to get out and have new experiences, and in the process, to expand my social circle by inviting new friends to tag along. So far, "The State I Am In" has followed the trajectory of my new friendship with Lauren, the deepening of my relationships with my coworkers Mireya, Natasha, and Irene, and even my tentative first steps into the world of dating. In fact, "friends" ranks second only to "food" as the most-used tag on "The State I Am In." However, since food is my most frequent topic of conversation, I think it only stands to reason that I would celebrate the occasion of my blogiversary with a cake.

For this special event, I was torn between a new recipe I had spotted in the July 2009 edition of Bon Appetit, and the world's greatest chocolate cake recipe, which I have mentioned several times here and yet never mananged to share. In the spirit of adventure that this blog has inspired, however, I decided to go with the new recipe, and continue holding out on you with regard to my perfect, no-fail, go-to cake. After all, I need to save something to write about in "The State I Am In's" second year of existence...

What I ultimately produced, after much fussing and dirtying of pans, was a chocolate cake with ganache and praline topping. I started out with basic 9" chocolate cake (which probably could have been improved by using Dutch-process cocoa powder instead of natural cocoa powder, but that's just a personal preference), and covered it with a layer of chocolate ganache which had to be chilled and set before adding a layer of hot praline, straight out of the pan and onto the cake. My track record with candymaking is spotty at best, and I was decidedly trepidatious about the praline, but everything turned out just fine. It may not have been the most attractive cake, but it was quite tasty. In fact, it rather reminded me of a more caramel-flavored riff on Grandma's Texas cake, but since I have never managed to successfully duplicate that recipe, I was relieved that the Bon Appetit recipe came out just as I had hoped, especially for such an important occasion as my first blogiversary. So, let's all raise a forkful of virtual cake to blogging, and everything it has in store for me in the next year of "The State I Am In..."

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