Smart, Pretty, or Sane, Pick Two

...but really, isn't sanity overrated?

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It was a lovely birthday.
Thank you to everyone who has wished me well (whether or not you made sure I heard your well-wishes) - I'm older now, I don't feel much different, and it's pretty great being where I'm at.

I finally sampled Radius on Friday night, Saturday night found me hanging upside down at the DNA, and Sunday afternoon there were friends and a potluck and a nice enough day that we left the house open and let the wind run through. I made my birthday cake, and people sang to me. I got wine and cards and the prettiest necklace ever from my sweet eqe that reminds me of a set of intertwined silks - very appropriate, I say.

For those interested in why I made my birthday cake, or what was in it, read on:
This cake is the blending of 2 ideas from food bloggers on the web whose recipes I adore. First is Heidi of 101 Cookbooks and the second is Clothilde of Chocolate & Zucchini.

I started with the Blueberry-Molasses Cake from 101 Cookbooks, and then ended up with the classic French Yogurt Cake recipe, and smashed them together to get this: Ari's Blueberry Molasses Yogurt Cake (superimposed onto Clothilde's recipe)
2 eggs

250ml (1 cup) whole milk plain unsweetened yogurt - I used 1 cup Wallaby 2% lowfat plain yogurt

200g (1 cup) sugar - I used: 4oz honey, 1/3 c blackstrap molasses, 3 Tbsp brown sugar

80ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil - I used extra light olive oil
, but canola would work as well
2 cups all-purpose flour - I used 1 c all-purpose, 1 c soft ww pastry

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

a good pinch of salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla paste/extract - I used Pensey's double-vanilla

1 tablespoon light rum - I used 2 T Mount Gay Rum (light rum, NOT white/clear rum)
8 oz frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F), line the bottom of a round 25-cm (10-inch) cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides. In a large mixing-bowl, gently combine the yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, oil, and rum. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture, and blend together -- don't overwork the dough. Fold in 8 oz of frozen blueberries, STILL FROZEN. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes (it took me 45-50), until the top is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Let stand for ten minutes (in the pan), and transfer onto a rack to cool, peeling off the parchment from the bottom.

Whipped Cream "Frosting"
1 pint whipping cream (I used Strauss organic cream)
1/4 C powdered sugar
a cold metal bowl (stick it in the freezer for 20 minutes first)

sift the sugar into the cream in the cold bowl, then either whisk (if you're a masochist), or use a hand blender or stick blender to achieve whipped cream. The powdered sugar should be just enough to add a hint of sweetness, but it will not overwhelm nor clash with the molasses/honey combination in the cake.

Put a crumb coat on the cake, then a final coat of whipped cream. Serve ASAP, or refrigerate for a few hours if required (I did).

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Sounds delicious! But where is the pic of the jewelry? :)

Neat! I'm glad it was a happy day. :)

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