Although I definitely have a complicated relationship with my own birthday, I am totally down with O.P.B. [YEAH YOU KNOW ME] For those of you who don’t appreciate the Naughty by Nature reference, I think we can all agree that the beauty of celebrating Other People’s Birthdays is that we are all able to partake in the merriment without the burden of the spotlight. (Unless you’re into that sort of thing, weirdos)
For my fellow introverts, I’m sure you appreciate the following:
- The sadistic enjoyment of watching the Birthday Boy/Girl’s comfort level plummet as he/she is obnoxiously sung to and clapped at before receiving a mediocre, but hopefully comped dessert. Usually in the form of: a) “Molten” Lava Cake (Chili’s), b) créme brulée (Upscale Chili’s), or c) ice cream scoop with candle (Japanese restaurant).
- Reveling in the continuity of your own youth while family members or co-workers around the water cooler repeatedly ask the Birthday Boy/Girl “So, HOW old are you NOW??”
- Cashing in on the comp’d lunch and cake at work while the Birthday Boy/Girl wishes they were a million other places.
- The Pay-it-Forward feeling when signing that “Hope all your wishes come true! XOXO” card.
Ultimately, we get to sing off-key, stay “x” years young, eat cake, and revel in the celebrations at the expense of the celebratee. Bystanders’ win. Of course we don’t get presents or anything, which kind of rock, but cake! We get cake!
And on that note, a chocolate cake and a cheesecake:
Fudgy Chocolate Cake:
(Adapted from Emandal Farm Celebration cookbook)
1.5 C sugar
1.25 C Flour
.75 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1.5 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp salt
1 C buttermilk
2.5 tsp vanilla
6 tsp butter
1 C hot coffee
.75 C half and half
dash of salt
2/3 C sugar
.25 C butter
1 1/3 unsweetened coconut
.5 C walnuts or pecans (chopped)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 3 8″ round cake pans.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Whisk buttermilk, eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl. Melt butter in the hot coffee in another small bowl.
Beat half of the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients. Beat in half of the coffee mixture. Scrape the batter down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the remaining buttermilk and coffee mixtures.
Evenly pour batter into the prepared pans and bake for 25-30 mins, or until the cakes spring back when lightly pressed. Allow to cool in the pans for 10 mins. Cool completely (or freeze) before frosting.
To make filling, combine all ingredients (except vanilla, coconut and walnuts) in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until thick and bubbly – about 12 mins. Cool lightly and add the rest of the ingredients. Let cool completely before spreading on cake.
Courtesy of the Miette Cookbook. Buy it- you’ll thank me later. (Thanks Sam!!)