Today is my husband's birthday. What better day for my first foray into cake-baking from scratch? His mother gave me a cute little recipe book of some of his favorites from home as a Christmas present (I had requested it--he is not always easy to cook for, and also we have moved a long way away from his parents this year), and among the recipes was a cake she has often baked for his birthday. Chocolate, of course. So I paired it with a chocolate buttercream frosting recipe from the Williams-Sonoma website and spread a tart cherry jam between the layers. I got to sample all three items separately during the assembly process (chef's prerogative) and each tastes pretty good, so hopefully they go well together. The decoration is simple, but I have no experience with pastry bags and don't feel up to piping anything, so I just bought a little tube of green gel frosting to do the lettering. Not too shabby for a first attempt, I think!