As a kid, I used to love birthdays. From making a list of friends to invite, to choosing a venue that is both trendy and also unique enough that no other birthday that year is celebrated there (I am a January baby so being a trendsetter was easier). One of my favourite birthdays were celebrated in stud farm that was situated right next to my (then) house (today that farm has been replaced by an office building that houses 3 of the Fortune 500 companies, clearly things have changed in Gurgaon). The farm had this sprawling garden where my parents had organised “kiddie” games such as tug of war and darts. The funny thing was, we just ended up playing cricket while the parents and extended relatives played tug of war. You know it’s a good birthday when it happened a decade ago, you remember like 3 things, and you can’t help but smile when you think of them.
As I got older, I realised the stress involved with this birthday parties.The expectations also began to rise. To have fun, to enjoy, and most of all to make the day as special for yourself even if it really isn’t anything great but people around you are happy. At that point, you really question who are enjoying birthdays for? Birthdays pivot from being a day that is celebrated in your honour, to a day that you get to entertain your friends and the moment it became that, I genuinely stopped caring about my birthday. That being said, I have had great birthdays as I got older as well actually. My 22nd birthday was particularly great. On the eve of my birthday, my friends and I drove from college to Columbus where we watched The Lumineers concert (one of my favourite restaurants), then we went to a homegrown pizza shop where we all add beer and pizza. It was so cute— as the pizza arrived, it turned midnight and my table began singing happy birthday which made the whole restaurant sing it too. We then lumbered over to an arcade bar where all the arcade games were free to play and the drinks were names after Pokemon. We drank some more and played life-size Jenga (essentially a 8 foot high Jenga that someone didn’t hurt as it fell on me). I loved this birthday because it was so… natural. I had no control over anything and everyone was happy with whatever we were doing. I loved it so much and by far one of my favourite memories.
As a family we are really bad with birthdays. We are the worst about surprises and knowing what to get for one another. The funny thing is, we are great gift givers when it comes to giving gifts to others. I love giving gifts but when it comes to mom and dad, I am usually left stumped (In fact, this year none of us have given either one of us a gift). This year, I thought of using my dad’s birthday as a reason to make a tiered birthday cake. As usual, I couldn’t settle for a simple birthday cake and I had to do something extra. So, here it is: a brown butter genoise cake with a rum soak, and a coffee buttercream frosting— a tiramisu birthday cake if you may!
Glimpses from the week
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Eggs Kejriwal— the only kind of politics I like. The final day of the breakfast spam ends with a dish that can be made pretty much any time and takes no more than the time it takes for you to make eggs. Use any bread, cheese, chilli, and top it up with a delicious fried egg. But, if you really really want to fall in love with this, I suggest investing in some good quality sourdough and a mild cheddar! Get this and 5 more recipes from the link in bio 💫 Image 2: All the stuff you need! Eggs, a handful of coriander, 1 medium red onion chopped finely, 1 chopped green chilli (with the seeds),about 75 grams of grated cheddar, and your favorite bread (mine is @suchalisartisanbakehouse’s multigrain sourdough). Preheat your broiler at 220 Celsius and Image 3: Toast your bread in a buttered skillet on medium low heat. Image 4: You’re looking for an even browning making it easy for the filling to melt without breaking the bread Image 5: To the untoasted side add a teaspoon of mustard Image 6: Mix cheese, coriander, cheese, chilli well in a bowl and then divide generously between your slices Image 7: Place the toasts under the broiler until the cheese melts and turn brown, 7-10 minutes Image 8: In the same pan as the bread was toasted on, crack an egg and cook sunny side up. Add salt and pepper. If you want to cook the yolk a little, add drops of water and cover to cook by steam.
2/3 cup cake flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
6 whole eggs
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
60 ml dark rum
2 tablespoon sugar
400 grams icing sugar
200 grams unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of lukewarm water
2 tablespoons of instant coffee powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175 Celsius) with rack set in the lower third. Spray a 9-by-3-inch round baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; line pan with a parchment paper round and spray again. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until nut-brown in color, about 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour butter into a large bowl, leaving any burned sediment behind; stir in vanilla and keep warm (110 to 120 degrees).
Lightly whisk together eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer; set mixer over (but not touching) simmering water and heat, whisking constantly, until lukewarm to the touch. Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on high speed until light, airy, and quadruple in volume, at least 5 minutes. Whisk 1 cup egg mixture into warm melted butter mixture; set aside.
Sift together flour and cornstarch. Gently and quickly fold half the flour mixture into remaining egg mixture until all the flour is absorbed. Repeat process with remaining flour mixture. Fold in butter mixture to combine and transfer to prepared baking pan.
Transfer pan to oven and bake until golden brown and starts to shrink slightly from the sides of the pan, 20 to 30 minutes. If possible, avoid opening the oven door until cake has baked at least 30 minutes, as cake is fragile and may fall. Remove cake from oven and unmold immediately onto a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before frosting with buttercream.
For the soak
In a saucepan on medium heat add 4 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Mix until sugar dissolves. Let cool and then add the rum. Lather the soak on one side of the cakes 30 minutes after the cake is out of the oven.
For the icing
Mix all the ingredients and mix well
Place some frosting at the bottom of your cake dish to prevent the cakes from slipping
Add layer and slather 1/4th of your frosting. Add layer 2 and then cover the entire cake with frosting.
I went a little extra and froze the cake for 30 minutes, then added mint leaves, sieved some dutch process coco powder and then removed the mint leaves, leaving a mint leaf silhouette.