Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday, my-cat-woke-me-up-at-5AM-and-then-puked-on-my-bed-at-my-feet…
Happy Birthday to me!
My birthday was actually 10 days ago, and since I share (overshare?) everything here, I obviously wanted to post about it. Unfortunately, I am not a huge fan of birthdays and it started with my cat puking on my bed. Exciting, I know.
It’s not the aging part that bothers me about birthdays. Aging is inevitable, so there’s no point in complaining about it. I’m thirty one now. I don’t care about giving away my age. It is what it is.
Still, I don’t love birthdays. I think I have issues with my birthday because it falls right after New Years. I think this leads to much too much contemplation of years gone by and pressure for resolutions. My head fills with thoughts like “This is going to be my year!” every time, which inevitably leads to pressure, panic, and some disappointment when I falter.
Faltering is normal. I get that. If you actually take the time to set goals or try to achieve something more than is the ordinary, then missteps happen. I will get to where I am going sometime soon, but there will definitely be a few blunders and falls along the way.
Sometimes, I wish that things were easy. I wish that my life were simple and straightforward, but I don’t think that’s my path. Even when I tried to follow the logical, expected route, it challenged me constantly. My straight and narrow path involved getting a PhD, and that obviously really wasn’t easy at all.
All this to say that I haven’t yet set specific goals for my 31st year. The big goal is to stop flailing my arms and procrastinating, and to actually open my nameless bakery. The magnitude of this goal scares me to the point of inactivity and stagnation. I need to start making lists. I need to start actually crossing items off that list. I need to start doing something and everything. And, most importantly (please don’t laugh), I need to start saying positive affirmations while staring at myself in the mirror, like “I, Janice Lawandi, have the strength and ability to open a successful bakery this year and I will”.
Oh and I should probably add a goal for naming my bakery too because it’s gotten ridiculous.
To celebrate my birthday, I made this chocolate amaretti cake recipe (adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon). It’s made from ground amaretti cookies and almonds (instead of flour). This recipe yields a cake with chewy edges, a crackly top, and a moist crumb. It’s super chocolaty and the flavor of amaretto from the cookies shines through. I really loved this recipe, and I hope you will try it soon to celebrate a birthday, or just because.
Chocolate amaretti cake
- 75 grams <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0001FQVMK/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_til?tag=kitch02-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=B0001FQVMK&adid=0FYP2Z575CG72GPV61Y2" rel="nofollow">amaretti cookies</a> ~14
- 75 grams flaked almonds
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 115 grams unsalted butter 1/2 cup, room temperature
- 100 grams granulated sugar 1/2 cup
- 4 large eggs
- 227 grams dark chocolate 8 oz, I used <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0028S6URO/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_til?tag=kitch02-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=B0028S6URO&adid=1575B3TWMFXMPH2WFCNE" rel="nofollow">Cacao Barry</a>
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9-inch springform lightly. If you are using individual ramekins, no need to grease them since you will be serving the cakes directly in them.
Grind the amaretti cookies and the flaked almonds in the food processor with the cinnamon til they are finely ground. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar.
Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed and beating til the mixture is light and fluffy (several minutes).
Add the melted chocolate, then the vanilla and the ground cookie mixture, beating til the batter is smooth and all the ingredients are evenly mixed in.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan(s) and bake for about 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. The top(s) will have crackled nicely.
Let the cake(s) cool completely on a wire rack. Note they will sink in the center as they cool.
Enjoy as is or with a dollop of whipped cream.