Monday, March 21, 2011

Le Birthday Sunday

Today is our youngest daughter-in-law's birthday and we're having a leetle dinner soiree in her honor.  I'm taking a little break from the Manor kitchen to recharge and make sure that I haven't forgotten anything.  Besides forgetting to make the salad dressing yesterday, that is.
For her cake, I'm using what's become my go-to scrumchie chocolate cake and the most amazing frosting I've   ever tasted.  I first tasted this cake and frosting in cupcake form at a book signing for Alicia Paulson's book Embroidery Companion.  My daughter, the Countess du Greece introduced me to her blog, Posie Gets Cozy several years ago.  It was so much fun to meet her, and she brought cupcakes to boot!  The cake recipe is from Hershey's, and it's great, but the frosting is one her mother makes.  Don't be put off by the teeeeny bit of work it will take to make it, people will be swooning and dropping just plain dead from chocolatey/sugary ecstasy right in front of you.  And that's so worth it. I give you le recipe:  Alicia's (and mine) Go-to Birthday Cake.

Now, the Duke's wife the Countess de Couv, is actually older than 11.  We're not weird at the Manor.  Well, not that weird. It's hard to remember everything on your shopping list when it's at home.  Ya know?  So we multiply these candles by something and add something (or not) and square root the base and you've got it.

Here's the flour and milk goop from the frosting (which, as it turns out, is called Butter Roux Frosting) when it's ready to sit on the counter for an hour or three before it gets whipped to within an inch of its life along with the powdered sugar.  
See how pudding-esque it is?
After it has cooled, add the powdered sugar and beat the daylights out of it until you have boofy clouds of yummy......
Be sure to use your pirate utensils.  It helps awfully.

I was reminded tonight of something I'd forgotten.  While this frosting is plenty for 18 cupcakes, for some reason it's a little skimpy on a 2-layer cake.  When I make it again I'll do it as Alicia does, leaving the sides nekkid.  The dark chocolate-y cake looks really striking with white clouds of fluffy frosting on top.  Sort of like you do when you have a good tan and blond hair.   I told myself  I'd do that last time I made it.  Nekkid sides, I mean.  It's so complicated being me, I can't remember everything all the time.

Before we dove into the Countess' cake (and low-fat ice cream - what's that about?), we dined on The Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pot Roast.  Honestly, what does one do without the internets for recipes?  Use one of the 75-ish cookbooks one has?  Pfft..
This is the first time I've made this and I'm sold people.  I grew up on my mother's pot roast and had not moved too far afield - chuck roast, onions, potatoes and carrots topped with a packet of onion soup mix and covered with a can of cream of mushroom soup.  Wrap that in enough foil to build a plane and stick it in the oven for many hours on a low temp.  That was good, and always rang nostalgic every time I fixed it,  but it was perfectly boring. Not to mention off the charts sodium-wise.  Ree's recipe was fun to make, different for me and absolutely delicious.
This made super gravy, too.  Gravy used to be an enigma to me, but since my other daughter-in-law over at Moss and Clover told me the secret formula (if you use 2 T fat, then use 2 T flour and nearly 2 c liquid), I'm doing much better, I must say. Rosemary rolls, smashed potatoes (gravy platform) and tossed salad rounded out our birthday dinner.  Yum.

After dinner we engaged in Manor games, where we sorely missed the Countess du Greece's hubs, Duke Zeus who was benched due to a bad cold.

Princess Pooalot demonstrated atrocious manners and sat on the table with bare feet, which she is absolutely allowed to do.  So if she visits you and and does the same, you are to say nothing.  Except how adorable the Princess Pooalot is. And I mean it.

Happy birthday to the Countess de Couv!

1 comment:

  1. Okay, getting all weepy over here!! I miss you guys so much!! Thanks for sending a bit of home out my way! As always--awesome!! :o)