Gritty, sugary frostings are not my choice for decorating a cake, especially birthday cakes; instead, I like to make a simple ganache that is simply poured over the naked cake and follows it own path to covering it beautifully. To make a ganache, use 7 1/2 ounces good bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces, 1 cup heavy cream, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Place the chocolate and cream in a small saucepan and heat slowly until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Off the heat stir in the vanilla. Cool slightly. Pour over your favorite cake, sit back and relax. Oh, and my favorite cake making tool is a wide face spatula that makes it easy to transfer the cake to a serving plate.