Birthday Boy

6

30.3.11

Just a quick post today because I have a gazillion things to do before the boyfriend gets off work because..

Today is his birthday!

Jordan is a simple man. He likes his sandwiches plain, his t-shirts white, and his food relatively “normal”.  So, for breakfast I wanted to make him his favorite– a “normal” ham and cheese breakfast sandwich. But it had to be special, so a from-scratch biscuit was in order!

I took a basic biscuit recipe from here, and added my own little touches.

Ingredients

1 cup all-purp flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 or 5 turns of a pepper grinder

1/4 cup cold butter, cubed

1 egg

2 teaspoons beer (I used one flavored with coriander and orange peels)

1/4 milk

zest of an orange

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

  1. In a food processor, combine flour, baking soda, sugar, salt, pepper and butter.
  2. Pulse until the flour looks like cornmeal and the butter chunks are the size of peas.
  3. Whisk the egg, milk, beer and zest together and pour into processor.
  4. Pulse until the dough comes together.
  5. Place dough over a well floured surface and knead until it makes a smooth ball.
  6. Roll out the dough to about a 1/2 inch thick. Use any “cutter” or a cup which is what I used to make 6 biscuits.
  7. Place on a well greased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the tops are brown.

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Now it’s cake time!

Jordan’s mother, Camille, gave me these darling mini cake pans and I have been saving them for a special occasion.

Simply Super Cute Vanilla Cake

Ingredients

1 cup all-purp flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter & 1/4 cup canola oil ( I didn’t have enough butter-time to improvise)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup raw agave syrup
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (if using pure vanilla extract, cut down to 1 1/2 tsp)

Special equipment: (2) 6 in. cake pans

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl.
  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the butter and sugar until light in color and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one by one.
  4. Add the vanilla.
  5. On low speed, add the dry ingredients in thirds until thoroughly blended.
  6. Butter and flour the baking vessel of your choice
  7. Poor batter into each pan and smooth the tops evenly.
  8. Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until light golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Take the cakes out of the pans and let cool.

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Vanilla bean past is what makes this recipe special. I found this jar at Ross for about 5 bucks–really cheap when you compare that to real vanilla beans!

My favorite part about the vanilla bean paste is the beautiful brown specs you expect when you imagine vanilla.

Can you see them? Beautiful!

Into two of the cutest little cake pans. Makes me grin. :D

The cakes came out a little tall! But nothing a serrated knife can’t fix.

Next up–Almond Vanilla Buttercream

I adapted this recipe from Ashley on TEP. She found a way to make beautifully fluffy buttercream without all the powdered sugar (which has oodles of corn starch)You can find her original recipe here.

Ingredients

1 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon arrowroot (try AR if you have never before, it’s amazing!)

4 tablespoon all-purp flower

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup raw agave syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)

1 tablespoon almond liqueur

Directions

  1. Add milk, arrowroot and flour into a small sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Mix well and continue to cook until pasty looking (it reminded me of paste from kindergarten).
  3. Allow the milk mixture to come to room temp once it has thickened. (I put mine into the fridge to speed it up!)
  4. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and agave together until it is fluffy and light in color
  5. Gradually mix the room temp milk mixture with the butter&sugar until it becomes extremely light and fluffy.
  6. Fold in vanilla and almond liqueur.

Add more sugar/agave if you prefer sweeter frosting. (I just like a hint)

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Half way:

I plopped on about 1/2 cup of the frosting onto the first layer and slowly spread around the entire layer. Then I threw on the second layer and slopped on another 1/2 cup of frosting.

Tadaaaaa!

It definitely looks like a growth is coming out of its left side, but I am pretty proud for my first attempt at a mini cake. I can’t wait to give it to Jordan with some candles lit on top!

Question: What is your favorite flavor cake for your birthday?

P.S. I thought this was supposed to be a quick post? Obviously not possible!

 

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