There is that quiet moment, when there is no more time for rushing about, the presents have all been opened and the rubble is cleared away. An abundant Christmas feast was happily consumed and all the family has now trundled off to their own homes. It is time to light a fire, turn down the lights, and sit quietly in the living room, content for the moment.
Glancing over at the twinkling lights of the tree, a deep sigh escapes. Christmas had arrived, and despite the world's attempt to steal the peace of the season away from me, it had been perfect after all. It was perfect in small moments.
If I had hurried too much they would have been lost, and I had been so determined not to let that happen. I desired more than anything to be able to retain that deep joy despite the hassle of airports and security lines, holiday traffic, the greed and the sometimes excess of the season.
I hope your Christmas was joyful, and that, in those quiet moments after the hubbub you were able to take in the meaning of it all. As Luke blessed our food, I heard it in his prayer as we returned thanks for all that we have been blessed with, and for the Greatest Gift we have been given.
Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions, using two greased and floured 9 inch round baking pans. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, confectioners sugar, cinnamon and extracts;stir in finely chopped chocolate. In another bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese, confectioners sugar, milk and extracts until smooth;cover and refrigerate filling and frosting until frosting reaches spreading consistency.
Place one cake layer on a serving plate;spread with 1 cup filling. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining filling over top to within one inch of edges. Frost sides and top edge of cake with 2 cups of frosting. Press almonds into sides of cake;pipe remaining frosting around edges,sprinkle chocolate chips over top. Refrigerate until serving.