Winner winner, funfetti dinner!

ahhh yeahhhh, twenty two!

Guess what.

I turned twenty two yesterday! Such a nice symmetrical number.

However… I obviously can’t take the credit for all this awesomeness, as without a mother I clearly wouldn’t be here at all. Here’s what she has to say about all these bun in the oven shenanigans:

Twenty-two years ago, mere hours after I’d been swing dancing at a wedding, Hayley decided to make a speedy entrance into the world!! Originally, this wedding was supposed to take place on a boat sailing around SF Bay—good thing they chose a docked, historical ,version instead, since her Daddy was the best man! Call the Coast Guard!! She allowed us to get home from this big event, tired and happy, but then, since all of the dancing had stopped for her mom, she decided that it was time to do the baby cha-cha! Daddy-to-be couldn’t believe that it was time to watch the clock—he just tried to talk me into going back to sleep. Persistent baby….apparently, Hayley was *not* pleased that she missed the party AND ┬áthe cake, and decided that she’d had enough gestation….et voila! Punctual baby, punctual person! Early am, September 23rd! Daddy even remembered to throw the tuxes in with the suitcase, so he could return them!! Who gave the man with the really pregnant wife the tuxes to return!?

mmmm

There you have it. My entire personality in a nutshell can be determined from birth: I’m punctual, polite (I waited), and I love cake. Don’t try to stand between me and my cake.

And birthdays mean cake! Annnddd fun candles. So since I’m secretly a five year old inside, I requested funfetti from scratch, with MEGA sprinks. And my lovely mama made it for me! How fab is that. How very civilized having someone else make cake for you.

DO YOU SEE THE DINO?!

A tres fabulous birthday weekend all around… AND I have leftover cake. Winner winner, funfetti dinner! Ha.

Recipe from Sweetapolita! The only changes we made were whipped cream frosting instead of buttercream (I like whipped cream better), and a teeny cake in 6″ cake pans (also whole wheat pastry flour, natch). AND mega sprinks. Some were dino shaped. Feel free to be jealous, veryyy veryyy jealous, that I have such an awesome mutti who buys dino sprinks. Hehee.

Umpteen zillion ripe pears, and what to do about it.

Before I start, I just want to share this:

sad.

There is a disturbing lack of food in here… particularly veggies. Except the emptiness kind of makes me giggle… and makes me proud! No wasted food over the vacation to be found here. This, however, has been semi-rectified, and the Nerdaerie fridge looks a tad happier now. By the way, Nerdaerie is Kira’s and my nickname for our apartment… get it? We’re nerdy. We live on the second floor, like an nest or aerie of smarty eagles. Because eagles are smart. And we’re smart. And nerdy. And awesome :)

Whilst I was home, I of course had to do something besides bake pumpkin biscuits. Besides, what else was I going to do with umpteen fifty-zillion over-ripeish pears, and a new convection oven?! How can you resist? Answer: you can’t. I had to break the oven in somehow, right? Right. And the holidays = baking. Well, really anytime = baking, but that’s just a small technicality I’m willing to overlook.

mmmm, umpteen ripe pears!

So. I ended up using the remaining bits of flour (just enough, but I was SO NOT going to brave the madness that is Whole Foods at any time during the holidays. No cart roller derby for me, thanks… I really don’t prefer having to throw an elbow just to get to the broccoli) to make a cake! With pears. And chocolate. And things we already had lying around the house. Because THEN, Mutti, Vati and I could sit around and eat cake and watch the Civil War (Are YOU Duck enough?!). Because, as Vati so rightly said, all bets are off on game-day. One slice of cake per quarter? Done. And oops. We ate half the cake in one sitting. Whoopsie! Good thing it has fruit and is therefore good for me.

This cake is delicious. It’s not too sweet, with just the right balance of chocolate, fruit, and lightly sweet batter. Oh yeah. It goes perfectly with that leftover Fra Angelico spiked whipped cream you have sitting in the fridge. Because everyone knows that pear and hazelnut are a match made in heaven. Add in chocolate, and you can forget about eating anything else the rest of the day. Unless of course you’re Vati, in which case apparently beer is a nice accompaniment. But you’ll have to ask him about that one…Maybe I should have made him some beer spiked cream! Ew. No. We’re not even going to try to go there!

ANYwayyy, back to the cake!

Pear Cake with Dark and Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Adapted from The Pastry Affair, here!

  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tbsp (half a stick) of unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 c turbinado sugar
  • 4 or 5 smallish pears, diced, skin on
  • 3/4 chocolate pieces (I used about 1/2 semisweet choc chippies and 1/2 70% dark chocolate bar, chopped)

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9″ or 10″ springform pan (mine was 10″).

Combine flour and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside.

Begin by browning your butter. Over low heat, melt the butter until it begins to foam up. Scrape the little bits off the bottom of the pan as you go. Watch it closely, since it burns quickly. When it’s finished, pour into a separate bowl to keep it from cooking.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs using an electric mixer. Beat until light, foamy and thick, about 8 minutes. Add sugar, and keep beating for a few minutes. Turn the mixer to low, and add about a third of the dry ingredients. Then add half the butter, then another third flour, then the rest of the butter. Add the last third of flour, and then the applesauce. Continue beating until incorporated, but avoid overworking the eggs, and stop when things are just mixed.

Pour batter into the pan, and top with diced pears and chocolate. The batter will creep up as it bakes. Bake for 40-50 minutes (mine was perfectly done at 40, but it was also thinner in a larger pan), or until a tester comes out clean.

Scarf, whilst watching the ducks do a dance on the beavers. buahahhha. Live green, yell o! (and yes, I do go to Willamette, but Oregon will always be my adopted school)

oops. Half of it mysteriously disappeared somewhere...