Saturday, February 17, 2024

Birthday and Valentines Fun

 In my world, a holiday or life event is a reason to bake. Since I'm doing less of that all the time in an effort to eliminate excess calories, having two dates back to back to bake for has been fun, exhausting, and calorie-laden, but full of joy.

For my birthday I not only baked, but I also braised lamb shanks for dinner. The good news is that it can be done ahead, so I did. The lamb was uber-local...thanks AM and G!...and delicious. You can find the recipe HERE.

For the birthday cake I made one of my favorite chocolate cakes, the Queen Mother Cake. Because there are only two of us, I made it in two pans...a 6-inch springform and a heart shaped 9-inch. As it turned out, I was so full from the lamb shanks dinner, which also included steamed rice and fresh asparagus, that we had the birthday cake on Valentine's Day after Sweetie's fire board meeting.

It was one of the best cakes ever. It was super moist inside, covered in decadent ganache, and a smaller portion than usual but just the right amount. If you look closely at the photo, you will see that, contrary to popular opinion, I'm not perfect and I can and do make a ganache that isn't perfectly smooth...although it was delicious.

The second cake was served the next day to friends at an afternoon tea party.

For my Valentine, I made, at his request, a Lemon-Lime Tart, but we saved it for Thursday evening when our daughter and fiancé' arrived.  We are all happy with pies and tarts. This one is a lemon-lime one and I'll post, with the recipe, soon. Next sister down also gifted me with an amazing cookbook with recipes for making geometric inspired pies and tarts. Will post about that, too, soon.

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