Every year my birthday sneaks up on me…I’m sure it’s because I am in denial until the very day and then it’s unavoidable.  Which just so happens to be today.  When did I get this old?  I have kids and they’re how old?  Wow.

But I do have lots to celebrate and thank my lucky stars for, great hubby, amazing kids, awesome family, and friends. The important things in life.

Breaking from the carrot cake tradition, I decided I wanted to bake my own birthday cake.  I found an old friend in New York Times Cooking, a recipe I haven’t made in quite awhile. Decadent Chocolate Cake from my generation’s Joy of Cooking, The Silver Palate.  I remember buying the Silver Palate cookbook back in the day. Attracted by the friendly prose, whimsical drawings, and cooking tips I would pour over the recipes and read every side note.  It served as a primer on ingredients, entertaining and of course great food.  Chicken Marbella, Decadent Chocolate Cake, Pumpkin Pie, Blackberry Mousse, Pasta with Tomatoes, Garlic, Basil and Brie, favorites that have become classics.

The beauty of having a birthday the day before Valentine’s Day…I already have the dessert made.  The recipe for the cake can be found in NYT Cooking.  I replaced some the semisweet chocolate chips in the icing with dark bittersweet chocolate to bump up the chocolate flavor.  The cake itself is sweet and mild (after all the recipe is 30+ years old) so go ahead and add chopped pieces of chocolate or chips to the cake batter before baking to further amp up the chocolate flavor.   Birthday cake calls for a tall glass of icy cold milk but Valentine’s Day calls for champagne, bubbly and romantic.


Thanks for reading, comments welcomed!