Yesterday was a really nice day. It was my birthday, and I had the opportunity to celebrate with friends and family. I received wonderful notes, cards, text messages, phone calls, presents and visits. I also enjoyed lunch and dinner out, which is quite an accomplishment for someone with food sensitivities!
I have found a trick that works well when going out to eat: I carry a list of my food sensitivities on a card that is in my wallet. When I order something, I show the card to my server who can check with the chef to make sure there are no ingredients in the meal that I cannot eat. It makes me more relaxed when I go out and the restaurant staff have always been accommodating. As a result, I enjoyed a delicious turkey club sandwich for lunch and a filet mignon for dinner!
A wonderful gift from my husband was the birthday cake he baked me! It was the first cake he ever made from scratch, and the first “sensitive” cake ever baked for me. He started with recipes for “Best Birthday Cake” and “Instant Fudge Frosting” – sounds good so far, right? He then converted the recipe to remove the cane sugar; the revised versions are below:
Best Birthday Cake Ingredients: 4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (not self-rising); 2 teaspoons baking powder; 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda; 1 teaspoon salt; 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened; 1 1/3 cups honey; 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract; 4 large eggs, at room temperature; 2 cups milk; 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Cake Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and honey in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in milk and lemon juice until just combined. Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated. Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Frost with Instant Fudge Frosting (see below).
Instant Fudge Frosting Ingredients: 6 ounces grain sweetened chocolate chips, melted and cooled; 1 3/4 cups honey; 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature; 6 tablespoons milk; 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Frosting Directions: Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to incorporate, then process until the frosting is smooth.
The result? A sweet ending to a lovely day! As the saying goes, I had my cake and ate it too!
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