So I never really got a chance to celebrate my birthday this year.
I guess that's not entirely true. This was pretty much the extent of my birthday celebration:
During one of my poor "woe is me" bitching sessions to L&O about how I am officially done with celebrating my birthday because we will now be celebrating Thatbaby's birthday instead, she mentioned that my amazing group of friends would never let me celebrate alone.
Which gave me a great idea. The girls had been planning for the past month to come over after the baby was born and make up for the fact that I missed my spa day. They promised to bring food and good company. And I decided we would also use the opportunity to celebrate my birthday. Yeah, I kind of threw my own party. And L&O was right, my friends didn't hesitate to happily agree.
Mrs. Pirate asked what my favorite foods were, and was quick to organize a meal that included all of them. The girls brought drinks, gnocchi, salads, and even cake. (This was all that was left after our evening).
And M brought Thatbaby's newest best friend. K was born just 4 days before Thatbaby (but look how much tinier she looks!)
It was one of my favorite birthday celebrations - just having some of my closest friends over to eat, drink, and chat. It was also nice to not have to do much other than be present.
I'm especially happy that I got some cake - because really it's not a birthday without. Horsewhisper asked me what my favorite kind of cake was. And I answered her truthfully - anything with frosting. This cake is lacking in the frosting department, which makes it a complete failure as a birthday cake. But perfect for a weekend tea, or a non-birthday gathering of friends. This is Thatboy's favorite cake from A Homemade Life. Which he admits was unexpected. Even without the oranges and creme fraiche, he liked the sweetness and denseness. Almost pound-cake like.
Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Cake with Glazed Oranges and Creme Fraiche (From A Homemade Life)
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
2 cups cake flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 inch springform pan with baking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper and spray it too. Whisk the egg yolks with 1/4 cup of buttermilk.
- Put 1 cup sugar in a stand mixer.
- Use a sharp knife to split the vanilla bean in half from tip to tip. Run the back of the knife down each half of the pod, scraping out the seeds and dump them into the bowl with sugar, rubbing the seeds into the sugar.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the vanilla sugar. Beat on low speed for a few seconds.
- Cut the butter into pieces and add it to the dry ingredients, along with the remaining buttermilk. Beat on low speed until the ingredients are moist. Increase the speed to mediuma dn beat until well combined, about 1 minute.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then add the egg mixture in three doses, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat for 30 seconds on medium speed.
- Scrape the batter into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes, then remove the sides and invert the cake onto a plate. Remove the bottom parchment and turn upright onto the rack to cool completely.
- Supreme 3 of the oranges.
- Juice the fourth orange. Add juice from the supremed oranges so that you have 1/2 a cup of orange juice. Pour the juice into a 2-quart saucepan.
- Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture reduces to a deep orange gold syrup, about 10 minutes.
- Add the supremes, stirring them gently in the syrup and cook until warmed through.
- Serve oranges with wedges of the cake and spoonfuls of creme fraiche.