Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

Aunt Di’s Bittersweet Chocolate Layer Caje


Saturday was our friend Cathy’s birthday, and she requested that I bake a cake. I am to the chapter in All Cakes Considered that deals with fancier cakes, thus I need more special occasions than “It’s Friday!” to bake one of these mamas. Cathy’s birthday was the perfect opportunity to try out the first cake in the chapter, Aunt Di’s Bittersweet Chocolate Layer Cake.

The cake itself is interesting in that it is a whipped cream cake – it uses heavy whipping cream in place of butter and milk. My verdict: it tastes good but is not as moist as I would like. Probably a fault of the chef and not the recipe.

Now, the frosting. When I followed the recipe exactly, this frosting was extremely runny. I added about half a box more of powdered sugar before it was thick enough to spread. Out of curiosity, I Googled the recipe & no one else seemed to have this problem – in fact, there were stellar reviews for the frosting. I don’t know if it was something I did or if letting it sit originally would have allowed it to thicken. A little frustrating. That said, my final product did taste great.

I will slowly continue to work through this book, & hopefully my layer-cake-assembly will improve as I go. This was probably my most successfully constructed layer cake, but it still needs improvement.


Turning 40

I had a milestone birthday this week. Maybe it’s because I could pass for 25 (or younger) most days, but turning 40 wasn’t traumatic for me. What I find weird about turning 40 is that when I was 15 and my mom turned 40, I thought she was old. Ok, maybe not old. But older than I feel. And I truly don’t think I feel as old to my kids as my parents felt to me. Maybe it’s because I live such a different life than my parents lived – I’m a pretty free spirit and don’t feel the same societal constraints that my mom felt. It’s ok for me to act young and silly, and I don’t think it was ok for my mom and dad to act that way in Mississippi in the 70s and 80s. They were supposed to act, well, old. Or at least that’s how they acted around us kids. I wonder if they acted that way around each other. My other theory is that the internet keeps us more in touch with pop culture than our parents were.

I wish I could say I had a great birthday week. I certainly can’t complain. I was utterly spoiled by my friends and family and celebrated for over a week. Jimmy thinks maybe that was it – drawing it out over a week was maybe too much. I had a girls’ night out at Chuy’s last Friday, got Apple-spoiled over the weekend (a new phone and a Macbook Air), had my actual birthday on Wednesday, and had another party with some couple-friends last night. Actually, the party last night completely redeemed my week – it was so much fun! But overall, I just felt down in the dumps most of the week. And little stupid things kept happening (like having to go into work on my day off and getting there to find out I couldn’t do what I had come in to do after all).

Today has been nice and relaxing. I finally finished a sock I had been working on, and I’ve cast on the second sock. I finally found time to photograph the yummy yarn I got for my birthday, and I read 8 chapters of a new book. Not a bad kick-off to my first full week of 40. 🙂

Here’s the yarn I got. Eye candy!

My friend Katie gave me 2 skeins of Madeline Tosh and 1 skein of Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock. Thanks again, Katie!

Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock in Secret Recipe

tosh sock in malachite

Madeline Tosh tosh sock in Malachite

tosh vintage in hollyhock

Madeline Tosh tosh vintage in holly hock

And my family gave me 2 more skeins of Madeline Tosh and a skein of Dream in Color Starry.

dream in color starry in purple rain

Dream in Color Starry in Purple Rain

tosh dk in magnolia leaf

Madeline Tosh tosh dk in Magnolia Leaf

tosh sock in terrarium

Madeline Tosh tosh sock in Terrarium

I bought even more yarn today with a Knit Picks gift certificate from my friends Darcy & Geoff – Sugarbunny (a merino/angora blend) and Capretta (a merino, cashmere, nylon blend). *And* my friend Jennifer gifted me a pattern on Ravelry, the Library of Congress hat. Now just to decide which  yarn to use!

No pictures of baking this week, though lord knows I ate enough. I made Paula Deen’s Double Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake for my actual birthday. For my party last night I didn’t bake anything sweet, but I did bake cheese straws and sausage balls, two of my all-time favorite finger foods. No pictures, sorry!

On another baking note, I was gifted two bundt pans – one from my friend Saima and one from my friends Denise & Mike. Denise & Mike also shared a family recipe for a Harvey Wallbanger cake that I can’t wait to try! And my friend Lisa got me a gift card to Sur la Table, which I’m dying to use!

To end this post, I’ll share Jimmy’s and my artwork from last night’s party. We had my party at Painting with a Twist, and it couldn’t have been more fun. Our instructor, Xandra, was fabulous! We lucked out and got an instructor just as nerdy as we are, and I’d like to think Xandra had as much fun teaching us as we had painting. I highly recommend this place if you’re looking for a fun party spot!