My birthday was this week! I'm 22 now. My husband gathered some of my in-laws together for lunch at a restaurant a few days early, and I spent my actual birthday with my mother and younger sister, who live out-of-state and who I hadn't seen since last September. =)
As a gift, I received cash from several people to do with as I wished. Since I've been thinking about sewing a lace shirt for myself for a while, I bought stretch lace.
I'm a little nervous about starting this top, since I'm not sure about what style I want yet... I know I want a high waist-line with slight gathers in the front, and flowy sleeves, but I'm not sure about the neckline and I'm not sure if I should use a pattern geared toward knit or toward wovens, since stretch lace isn't as stretchy as I expected. Also, I haven't really sewn with lace before. I'm excited about it though! I would never have bought the lace without the birthday cash, because it is so expensive, so this is a wonderful opportunity for me. I think it will be really pretty. =)
My mother bought me a delicious chocolate cake, but since I don't have nearly enough chances to practice my cake-decorating skills, I also made one. It sounded amazing, coconut-raspberry cake with raspberry dark chocolate ganache, coconut buttercream, white modeling chocolate, and brush embroidery, but the reality isn't so impressive:
This was my first time using modeling chocolate, and I was hugely impressed with not only how easy it was to use, but how thin I could roll it. Also, of course, how much better than fondant it tastes. =) I just melted 8 ounces of good quality white chocolate (not chocolate chips) in a double boiler, waited for it to cool a bit, then stirred in 3.5 tablespoons of corn syrup. It was JUST barely enough to cover this 8-inch square cake, rolled paper thin, so next time I'll make more.
The ganache was also delicious... 3/4 cup of heavy cream, mixed with 1/4 cup strained raspberry puree, heated to almost-boiling. I added 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate (Next time I think I will up this to 10, for a slightly thicker ganache) and let it sit for about 5 minutes before stirring it all together. I let the ganache cool for a really long time, and piped a dam around the edge of the first cake before pouring it in. It isn't strongly raspberry flavored, but there is a nice hint of raspberry to it. There was plenty of it to fill the cake, pipe a border, and add to the brushwork, with more left over.
The buttercream was easy... just my regular recipe, with half the butter subbed for virgin coconut oil and coconut extract and coconut milk used in place of vanilla and regular milk. I thinly frosted the entire cake with it before adding the modeling chocolate... most of the depth in the picture above is frosting, the modeling chocolate was truly paper-thin.
The sad part was the cake though... I wanted a lightly flavored, fluffy, moist cake with raspberries scattered throughout. I found a recipe for coconut cake on the Internet that looked promising, and just gently folded in the raspberries when I folded in the egg whites, but I was very disappointed with the results. I ended up with a very dense, slightly dry cake. The flavor is good, and the raspberries worked well, but I won't be using that recipe for cake again.
The brush embroidery didn't turn out quite like I expected... maybe I should have used royal icing instead of leftover buttercream that I accidentally tinted too dark. =) It was so terribly pink that I had to deepen the colors with extra ganache brushed on. =) Since this was my first time doing brush embroidery though, I think it turned out okay.
Anyway, now you have seen the best parts of my birthday, except for photos of my relatives, since I didn't ask if I could share those. =)
Thanks for stopping by!