BANOFFEE BIRTHDAY CAKE

Banoffee Birthday Cake // Wit & VinegarHappy Birthday to you if it’s your birthday because it’s not mine or anyone that I know but I made this birthday cake and it’s too dangerous to have in the house with just me because I’ll eat it it all I just made it for my food blog, A Memoir.

Yes, I know this isn’t a classic birthday cake with the fudge frosting so maybe you’re an enraged Lisa Rinna that just doesn’t understand, but Tessa Huff wrote a book called Layered and you’re encouraged to mix and match. That means I took the yellow butter cake from the classic birthday cake and ran as far as I could with it.

I’m not used to running far distances though so I made it as far as Banoffee, aka filling combo from her tiramisu banoffee cake and the classic swiss meringue buttercream that I spiked with dulce de leche.

Banoffee Birthday Cake // WIt & VinegarOf course, you could go the classic route with fudge frosting, My girl Adrianna has you covered, but I like the idea of sort of switching it up. You could even go splitsies and use the fudge frosting because bananas and dulce de leche are also lovers with the chocolate.

That’s the thing that I love about Tessa’s book though, it’s all so approachable and the idea that you can mix and match is so great because there’s already 40 great cakes that could probably now be like 5,000 or a smaller number if I was better at math.

Banoffee Birthday Cake // Wit & VinegarI’ve been a long time fan of Tessa’s amazing instagram and blog so as soon as I saw she was making a book it was an instant yas please show me your ways. The book not only has a bunch of beautiful and creative cakes but also carries a whole bunch of techniques for decorating ranging from ambitious to super simple for lazy/incapable bitches like me.

If you know of anyone that likes baking buy them this book, then bookmark all the cakes you’d suggest for your birthday or just a regular thursday where we need the cakes to make it through to Friday.

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ROSÉ-SOAKED STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

shortcaketextThings I’m currently excited about:

Spring Sprunging Everywhere
Asparagus
RHOBH almost being over so I don’t have to listen to Lisa Rinna’s lips
RuPaul’s Drag Race (team Naomi/Thorgy/KimChi)
This shortcake sitaution

I might be most excited about this shortcake situation because that means there’s wine in my food which means I get to go hang out with my girl Whitney on her youtube channel and shoot the opening to our possible Japenese game show, wine in your food.

If you don’t already follow Whitney across the board you should def do that. Her snapchat (ubriaca) is so so funny, and her youtube videos are both educational and funny, a combo we can all use more of.

shortcake-1The last time we made a video together I made a quick simple ragu and then did my best impression of a deer in the headlights for 4 minutes. This time around we’re going the dessert route with strawberries because they’re everywhere right now, on sale, and maybe not the sweetest, which is perfect for a little rosé soak maceration.

The best partner for a macerated strawberry is either some ice cream, orrr a shortcake, maybe some yogurt if you want wine in your breakfast no judgement. Usually with shortcake it’s a biscuit situation that sort of sandwiches some strawberries and cream, or if you’re from the store bought childhood it means those little sponge cakes or slices of pound cake topped with strawberries and reddi whip, represent.

strawberry-dotsEven though the biscuit/scone story is v classic it usually yields something that makes me want way more strawberry and whipped cream action. All that biscuit usually makes everything a little dry for me, enter a like things wet joke here.

This cake that we’re going with now is kind of the perfect thing for shortcake. It’s a little dry, but not too much, and not very sweet so it has a chance to soak up all the fruit juices and become this perfect marriage.

I’ve also opted to go the triflin’ route because baby shortcake trifles are the cutest, and it lets me use up all my drinking glasses that fill up one cupboard because I’m a psycho. You could really use any vessel you want, but you get bonus points if the bottom resembles a stripper lucite platform heel.

Of course this could also be made into the original setup with a slice of cake and a mountain each of strawberries and whipped cream. You live your life, you do you.

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WHEAT-FREE DOGGY CAKE

nomiandcakeI’ve officially turned into one of those people that makes a birthday cake for their dog.

Part of it is because I’m a blogger that needs content but a bigger part of it is that I love my dogs on that level that’s a few notches down from putting their face on a t-shirt or letting them eat out of mouth.

That’s called boundaries and self respect.

doggycakegridToday’s cake happens to be for Nomi, aka accepts frozen mango as treats aka mrs. steal yo’ pillow aka has paws that look just like furry kitten heels Mariah Carey would wear. I love this dog so so much because she is v crazy v cute and v sweet, just like me.

Also maybe it seems like a lot to make your dog a cake, but when I compare it to the money we spend on special dog food for her allergies or that one time we took her to the vet at 1 in the morning because she wasn’t eating to find out she just had irregular gas patterns (bitch just literally had gas) making a cake and frosting it in way under an hour seems like a walk in the park. But like a walk in the park without her because sometimes she gets way too excited to see anything else that moves.

nomiandcake2Obviously this is just a once a year treat, twice if you’re like me with two dogs, six on a ranch if you’re my dream, so it’s not a big deal that it might have some extra calories. There’s no dairy in the actual cake itself, and the flour is brown rice flour so it’s wheat free which is almost always a good thing with a lot of dogs.

And if cake isn’t your dog’s thing then I’ve got you covered with frozen yogurt and dog treats.

But like, we know no dog says no to cake.

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HOW TO BE A BASIC: THE DEVILED EGG

deviledeggnosquareIf there’s anything that turns me into a human vacuum more than banana bread, it’s deviled eggs. Because I’m a human garbage can with zero self control.

That’s why deviled eggs rarely happen because I will tip that tray back and let the mayo yolk egg combo fly. Banana bread though, that’s a weekly occurrence, because it’s got fruit with the stick of butter so it’s basically a fruit salad.

eggshellsI was going to go all out with a crazy deviled egg for the easter celebrations but then I realized it’s the perfect thing for the how to be a basic series because everyone needs a basic deviled egg recipe to go off of, and if you’re really feeling like a freak then I’ve got you covered with some of my favorite variations from all over the internets.

Before we can talk about the deviled part though we need to talk about the egg shaped elephant in the room: the hard boiled egg aka just kidding stop boiling your eggs and steam them. Genius J. Kenji López-Alt over at Serious Eats wrote all about it and as soon as I saw it with pretty much all positive comments I said yas and went for it, using that pasta colander insert thing for my stockpot and they came out perfectly. There’s way less water used, and way less time needed to steam the eggs so that means the train to deviled egg junction/my mouth is leaving earlier than expected. It’s the only way I’m cooking my eggs in their shell forever and always.

deviled-egg-patternSince we’ve locked down the cooking method we can move onto the actual deviling, where we get a little crazy and push our egg yolks through a fine mesh sieve to ensure proper silkiness. When I first read it I was like, okay, that’s almost team too much, but it happened once and has happened ever since. In the grand scheme of things it really doesn’t take much effort and it’s a lot smoother/fluffier than if you just use a fork. Then to make them deviled we use good mayo, a little yellow mustard, a little acid in the form of pepperoncini or pickle juice and some salt and pepper. Boom, done, basic.

To finish them up you get a little extra cute and pipe the filling back into the white and top it with smoked paprika, for two reasons: to let everyone know this is some real classic deviled egg shit, and also because yes that paprika is smoked and it gives everyone some bacon vibes without actually using the bacon. Magic.

Now, if you wanna go above and beyond, check these bebes out:

Adrianna went and pickled/dyed twofer combo-ed her eggs in some crazy gorgeous natural things. I love the cabbage one that gives me 90s barbie lipstick and the old bae in the filling.

Brandon is creating a beautiful masterpiece: mustard deviled eggs with CRISPY CHICKEN SKIN, but please jesus don’t let Steve find out because that is his dream everything and I will not get to eat any if I make them.

Stephanie went for a Jalapeño Popper spin, which is so genius and perfect for me when I was in high school and loved jack in the box jalapeño poppers but also perfect for me right now because I will love jalapeño poppers in any form for eternity.

Megan went and made cobb salad deviled eggs which, hello, SALAD HEALTH FOOD TAKE ALL MY MONEY.

And Alana went the no mayo with tobasco and fennel route which is probably punishable in some states but this is a safe space. I love the kick of the tobasco, and that crispy fennel on top? Done, I’m finished.

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HOW TO BE A BASIC: THE FUDGE BROWNIE

How To Be A Basic: The Fudge Brownie // Wit & VinegarToday we’re taking a page/chapter from the bible that is ‘Don’t hate the player, and also don’t hate the game because it’s so easy, an Ina Garten playbook of Love’. I know the title’s a little long but we’re working on it, and we really want to make sure the world knows what’s inside.

The page/chapter we’re talking about today is ‘the brownie and how we can use it to steal your man because you can’t bake’. The great thing is that this chapter helps out the person on both sides of the fence. Do you want to keep your man? Is there a man you want to steal? The answer is learn how to bake a good brownie. Ina tells us time and time again that her secret to catching the man of her dreams is by sending him boxes of brownies. Catch, but don’t release.

How To Be A Basic: The Fudge Brownie // Wit & VinegarNow, Ina has a recipe for brownies. They’re outrageous brownies, literally that’s the title, and while they’ve got great reviews, they use over 2 pounds of chocolate and make 20 large brownies. Your man eats all that and he’s not pooping for at least a week.

When I went out on my brownie journey I knew in the end the brownie had to easily fit into an 8×8 that can be doubled to a 9×13 and that it needed to be not cakey, a little chewy, make me want a glass of milk, and have that signature glossy crust on top. You know you want your brownies to look like they’re wearing silk pajamas.

How To Be A Basic: The Fudge Brownie // Wit & VinegarIt took way too many batches of brownies to realize the one true secret is melting the butter down with the sugar a little before you add the rest of the ingredients. There’s no need to beat the eggs forever, no need to add lots of chocolate chips to the batter. These beauty queens have that silk pajama lewk, that chewy bite, and perfect richness that makes you want to just pour a glass of milk all over your body.

These are my favorite, super basic, ready to go fudge brownies.

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CHIPOTLE SWEET POTATO BURGER

Chipotle Sweet Potato Burger // Wit & VinegarHappy 2016 on January 20th!! We survived 2015 and now we have a whole new year to kick some ass and use the nail painting emoji.

We’re kicking things off with a weird quasi-resolution of me trying to eat less meat for absolutely no specific reason. I’m not a vegetarian, I looove meat, I will destroy a chicken thigh, but I figured I’d try and eat less meat as a challenge because apparently I don’t think life is hard enough as an adult. I also like that I can buy a bunch of vegetables in the beginning of the week and use them for whatever I want instead of buying chicken thighs because they’re on sale and then trying to figure out what that smell is two days later.

I also have another resolution of making sure the kitchen is 100 every day when I’m done working in it, before Steve gets home from work, for my own sanity and so far I have to report that I’m probably earning a solid A- with zero witchcraft.

Now before we finally talk about these burgers, two things:

  1. I know there’s a difference between sweet potato and yams, yams are orange sweet potatoes are golden and I am going to use them interchangeably because nobody really eats the golden sweet potato.
  2. this video, forever and always

I’m nowhere near being a picky eater, trust and believe, but the only acceptable sweet potato vessels in my world are sweet potato fries with ranch and tempura yam and now this burger.

I love it because it’s super easy, super cheap (less than $10 for a lot of burgers), and is packed with all kinds of good shit. There’s a nice play between the spicy/smoky chipotle and the sweet potato that’s super cute and it only gets better because we top that with sour crema and the world applaudes our attempt at meatless eating.

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