I can’t believe it’s been an entire year since I did a birthday post for my premium twins, Rebecca & Beth Hackfath! Time flies waaaaaaaayyy too fast…
But here we are! My girls are 18!!!!!!!! NO ONE I care about turns 18 without me making a fuss! So I made a few treats to show off to them since I wasn’t able to be there in person for the occasion.
I asked Becca what she considers something special and yummy. She told me about this pasta bake her mom fixes — it’s creamy and chickeny and done with tagliatelle! I was unable to source that pasta so I used fettuccini for this recipe, which is very similar to tagliatelle.
THE CHICKEN BRICK
Har!!! I followed the principles of that pasta bake but kinda went backwards. I fixed the pasta in a homemade cream sauce (built up form chicken stock and roux, and a base of sauteed onions and pancetta). Tossed everything together then stuffed it in a personal sized mold. Once it cooled, I inverted it and un-molded it to make the lovely brick shape you see here. Topped it with freshly grated mozzarella cheese and homemade Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, placed under the broiler for a couple minutes and here it is!
Now for Birthday Cake!
Becca and Beth have a sweet tooth! :p So I wanted to do something sweet but not gaggingly sweet. I wanted to combine a few flavours I know work together.
Upside Down Champagne Apple & Cherry Chocolate Cake w/ Champagne Strawberry & Mint Salad
For starters, my apple slices, maraschino cherries and (diced) strawberries all marinaded in champagne! >:))) Birthday + Special People = Champagne!!!
I made these personal sized. Start with the basic fundamentals for any upside down cake — butter & brown sugar on the bottom (you may use Vegan butter to cut calories!). Then, I layered a central slice of apple, surrounded by maraschino cherries. In goes the chocolate cake batter! I mixed diced apples into that and use some apple juice to amp the apple taste. Bake, let cool, use a knife to follow along the edge of the cake so it slips out easily, use a plate over the top of the ramekin to help flip, invert, there’s the cake!
After the inversion, I made two glazes for drizzling — both out of powdered sugar and whole milk. For once, I didn’t use soy or coconut or almond because those flavours would have conflicted with my recipe but you may use them if you please. I made one plain white and one pink! You can see the results.
My approach to the side of the plate with the strawberry & mint salad was to go at it in a bit of an abstract art style. I think it looks quite lovely! :p What do YOU think?!
And here is an Apple Tart w/ Honey on Puff Pastry
So simple to fix and so yummy! Just cut some rectangles out of thawed puff pastry sheet. Roll it out some or use your fingers to work it out to your desired length. Brush with some butter of your choice, arrange apple slices as pictured, drizzle with some more melted butter of your choice or a good oil, like a fruity olive oil would be perfect! Bake till golden and puffy. Drizzle with honey and dust with powdered sugar! Garnish with a mint leaf and enjoy! I made a bunch of these. :p Oh, and you can drizzle the honey BEFORE baking if you want to get that baked honey thing going. So good either way.
Beth and Becca! I know this isn’t much but I’m far away and food is one way I show people I love them. And I love you both very much! I feel we’ve really connected over the past few years and I feel lucky to count you among my very best friends, online or otherwise. Whoever said people can’t forge meaningful relationships over the internet is full of shit. :p
I’m SO thrilled to see you both turn 18! It’s a major milestone. I remember when I turned 18… kind of. ;p ~I wish I could do it all over again. You’ll probably feel like that one day so please cherish every second of your special day, relish every moment and take every pleasure in basking in all the love that surrounds you. I hope you’ve had the best celebration possible today! As I said on Facebook, I’m blowing out some birthday candles of my own here, in your honour! My wish: That you both are eternally happy!