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Posts by AnnieCahill

Have mercy.  There are TONS of possible options.  Ganache (white, dark, milk chocolate), buttercream, fruit curds, jams, nut cremes (use nut pastes and fold it into your buttercream), straight Nutella, herb and flower-infused buttercreams and ganaches, etc.
Also consider the weather.  It's summer (at least where I live) and it's humid and hot as hell.  That will most definitely affect your meringue.
I've never made SMBC but I've tried it.  Texturally it is almost the same as the IMBC.  I think IMBC produces a bit of a stiffer meringue from the start because of the very hot temperature of the sugar syrup.  I think with SMBC you're shooting for 140 degrees, right?  With IMBC you're taking it beyond the soft-ball stage to 245.  It may drop a few degrees from the stove to the mixing bowl but it still goes way beyond the safe cooking temperature for eggs.  That's not the...
Hershey's will be similar to a boxed cake mix in texture.  Epicurious and the other one will be more fudgey.
It depends on what texture you're going for.  If you want something light and fluffy go with the Hershey's.  If you want something heavier go with Scott Clark Woolley's recipe or the Epicurious Double Chocolate recipe.
Actually Hershey's is great cocoa to use.  I prefer it over Ghirardelli and it consistently rates really high in America's Test Kitchen.  Yes if you do a search for scp1127 and Hershey you'll find her mods for the cake.  The Epicurious cake is a FANTASTIC recipe.  I used it for one of my wedding tiers and it was totally demolished.
I put crushed cookies into buttercream all the time and it always turns out great. I leave the pieces larger and they still have some texture but they are very soft after being in the buttercream.
No cake for him?  On his first birthday?  Ouch!  What a way to send a kid into childhood LOL. You gotta let him have the smash cake experience!  :)
Depends on how old your son is.  If he's younger, chocolate, vanilla, or funfetti might be a better way to go for a child.
What are you trying to do?  Can we help?
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