The Birthday Law

It was recently asked “how early is too early to start drinking on your birthday?”. I proclaimed that there was no such thing, because BIRTHDAY LAW. Which got me thinking about the kinds of entitlements that come with celebrating your special day…

The Birthday Law

1. One’s birthday is not over until one has consumed Official Birthday Cake. It doesn’t need to be big, it can be as small as a cupcake. Official Birthday cake can be many flavours, excluding carrot cake, because it’s not real cake (unless it’s Momofuku Milk Bar Carrot cake, in which case, continue.). You receive bonus Birthday Cake points for it being ice cream cake, in the shape of a train or inclusive of sprinkles.

2. The Birthday Song must be sung at some point. No exceptions. Acceptable substitutions to The Birthday Song include: Happy Birthday to you by Stevie Wonder or Celebrate by KC and the Sunshine Band.

3. It is never too early to start drinking. That’s what champagne breakfasts, mimosas, or shower beers are for. If you can’t do it today, when can you?!

4. Thou shall not work on your birthday. TAKE THE DAMN DAY OFF.

5. Suitable Birthday Attire includes: Tiaras, ridiculously fun dresses, suits, capes, your favourite outfit that never gets a wear in day to day life. This includes anything with sparkles. Fun lipstick. Not your birthday suit. That joke has been done, move on.

6. Birthday Activities include: WHATEVER YOU WANT. Go-karting, gaming, movies, road trips, karaoke.
Birthday Activities exclude: bill paying, trips to the dentist, school runs or trips to the supermarket. Unless you’re buying supplies for something fun. That’s ok.

7. Nothing that you hate to do, but do ‘because it’s good for you’ is permissible on your birthday. No running, salads, flossing, vitamins, green smoothies or dessert skipping.

8. It’s completely ok to stretch out your birthday over multiple days, especially if your birthday is during the week. Birthday Week is the best way to make sure that you gather all the birthday joy you deserve, without running yourself ragged on your day of days. Birthday Week can be extended further if you are interstate or overseas – the further from home you are, the further it stretches.

9. Thou must consume at least one item that contains sprinkles.

treatyoself

You know I love birthday cake like a fat kid loves… Erm… Birthday cake. I’ve been dying to make this particular cake for some time, because it’s fun and whimsical and everything a birthday cake should be, damnit. So, I made it for myself for my birthday last week. And just so you know… It was everything I dreamed it would be.

Orange Fruit Tingles Cake

From Raspberri Cupcakes

For the cake:
1 1/2 large oranges, zested and juiced
3 eggs
165g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup caster sugar
300g self-raising flour

For the icing:
350g salted butter, at room temperature
600g icing sugar
4 rolls (about 140g) Fruit tingles, plus 1 extra roll for decoration

Heat your oven to 190*c.

With an electric beater, cream together the butter, sugar and zest of 1 orange until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, thoroughly mixing before adding the next. Add the juice (should be about 1/2 cup) and flour, gently folding into the mix, being careful not to over beat.

Pour the mixture into a lined and greased cake tin. You can divide the cake into it’s 3 layers and bake for 10 – 15 minutes, or bake the cake whole for 45 – 55 minutes (which is what I did, because I’m lazy). Leave to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

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To make the icing, cream the butter until fluffy and smooth. Add the icing sugar slowly, until it has a smooth but not runny consistency. You might need a little more or less icing sugar, or perhaps a splash of milk to get it right. Blitz the fruit tingles in a food processor or with a rolling pin, then mix into the icing until evenly combined.

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Split the cake if you baked it whole (Jamie’s tips on doing that here are fantastic, then spread some icing between each layer, then cover the whole cake in a crumb layer. Place the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes, then cover the cake in the remaining icing and decorate with extra fruit tingles.

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What do you think should be added to Birthday Law?

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I want to butter you up…

Welcome you your newest obsession. And by yours, I mean mine.

I have very few recipes that I cook more than once, least of all regularly – but this is going on regular rotation; I’ve made it twice this week, and it’s only Friday! As is the case with most of Tosi’s treats I attempt…. I’m kind of losing my shit here. I can’t tell you how much I love this. This recipe is another stroke of Christina Tosi genius (see: Compost Cookies, Sprinkle Birthday Cake). Everything she touches turns to incredibleness and this is no exception.

I’m warning you now, it’s pretty sweet. I’ve given you the recipe as it is, but the second time I made it, I cut it down to 300g of icing sugar because I wanted the tartness of the lime to show through. I can’t believe I’m saying this… But it’s too much sugar. The 300 grams I used was pretty spot on, but if you’re worried, you could use less.

One more note – this is called ooey gooey for a reason. It’s definitely messy, but that’s half the fun!

Strawberry and Lime Ooey Gooey Butter Bars

Adapted from Bakers Royale

1 box of butter cake mix
110g butter, melted
1 egg
Zest on 1 lime
250g/1 punnet strawberries, halved if large
225g cream cheese, softened
Juice of 2 limes
2 eggs
450g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 170*c.

Mix together the cake mix, melted butter, lime zest and 1 egg until thoroughly combined. Press into a brownie tin, lined with baking paper. Pour the strawberries over the cake mix in an even layer.

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Mix together the remaining eggs, cream cheese, sugar, lime juice and vanilla until smooth. Pour the mixture over the top of the strawberries and cake mix, and tap gently on the bench to level.

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Bake for 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the center still shakes what it’s mama gave it.

Leave to cool in the pan (seriously – don’t take it out, it will fall apart). If you want a clean cut, it helps to freeze for 30 minutes.

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Sunday, Bloody Panna Cotta.

Uh, so I got distracted from Texas Week by puppy sitting. My apologies. Those are stories (and photos) for a later post.

Right. Blood oranges.

I had heard of them, obviously, usually featuring in fancy recipes from lands far away, but had never actually seen in Coles (Duh. That’s because they don’t stock things that are cool). I just assumed they didn’t exist here, and went about my life, substituting normal oranges should I ever want to use said fancy recipes.

Until, one rather cold, early morning at the Subi Farmers Markets… BAM. There they were. Just sitting there, like it ain’t no thang. As I tend to do when I see things I like, I panic bought 5 of them, just in case they were never going to be there again. What was I going to do with them? Um, I have no bloody idea. But they were there, I saw them, I wanted them, I bought them. I’ve purchased many a stupid item in the same mindset (don’t ask what I’m doing with the aqua chalkboard paint, rugby ball, yoga dvds, Polaroid camera…).

The next day, having planned dinner for Keaton, I woke with a start and sat bolt right up in bed. I KNEW. I had a picture in my head of what I wanted, I’d seen it recently. Could I find the recipe anywhere? Not a chance. Luckily, what I wanted was not complicated, and Google didn’t let me down. Blood orange panna cotta; sweet, but with a tartness that prevents it being too sweet. Light, airy, with a syrup that packs a striking pink punch. The perfect palate cleanser after rich, heavy ribs.

Turns out, Texas is one of 3 states in the US that produces blood oranges. Who knew? It’s all coming together in a pretty little, rather tasty bow.

Blood Orange Panna Cotta

From Bon Appetite 

2 1/3 cups fresh blood orange juice (from about 12 blood oranges)
1 3/4 teaspoons powdered gelatin
3/4 cup sugar
7 teaspoons finely grated blood orange peel
2/3 cup plain Greek yoghurt
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed

1) Pour 1 cup juice into a saucepan (off heat). Sprinkle in the gelatin, and let stand for 15 minutes (do not stir).

2) Over low heat, stir until the gelatin dissolves. This may take a couple of minutes. Add 1/2 cup sugar and 5 teaspoons of peel.

Continue stirring until the sugar dissolves. Strain into a bowl, pressing on the solids to squeeze out all the goodness (then throw away the solids). Cool for 10 minutes, then whisk in yoghurt, cream and lemon juice until the mixture is smooth.

3) Divide between up to 6 glasses, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

4) In a saucepan over low heat, stir remaining orange juice, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons orange peel and cardamom until the sugar dissolves. Then increase the heat, and boil for 15 minutes until thick and reduced to around 6 tablespoons. Strain away the solids, and chill in a small bowl.

5) Spoon the syrup over panna cotta, and serve.

Uh, be warned. The juice stains. My nails and poor white t-shirt are not talking from experience. At all.

I only bought 4 oranges, so there wasn’t as much syrup as the recipe says. I also divided between two, and it made for a generous serving. I’m greedy.