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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Smoothest Birthday Ever

Lisa's birthday was a day long meander through Brooklyn's best! Masterminded by the other habitant of the 381, Miss Kelly. We all surprised her at the Botanical Garden and spent a leisurely morning walking barefoot on the grass, smelling the flowers, embarrassing the other patrons and fully enjoying the beautiful spring day.

Then we moved on the Macy's, where we scandalized the genial photographers at the portrait studio. Our dysfunctional family portraits came out, well, nice? We get them tomorrow, so expect to be scandalized as well!

We rounded out a full day with a late lunch at Brooklyn Heights outpost Frannies. Washing down excellent appetizers of Bruscetta with Ramps and Marscapone and an excellent salad of pea shoots and ricotta salada with 2 bottles of a refreshing Lambrusco ($42 and worth the splurge!). The sparkling, dry red had a lush deep garnet color and a lovely lavender froth from the fine bubbles. Served chilled, this is going to be the summer jam! Frannies has flavorful thin crusted pizzas in a variety of tempting flavors. We sampled the Provalone with Red Onions and the Margherita. Both were delicious and a value at $14-$16 a piece. If you are out in that part of Brooklyn, I highly recommend paying a visit to the friendly staff at Frannies.

And the denouement to the day was, or course, the grand fete at 381 complete with Red Velvet Cake. I ended up using the recipe from the Buttercup Bakeshop but I did experiment with frosting. I made several chocolate versions before landing on a classic chocolate butter cream with the twist of almond.

Chocolate Almond Buttercream Frosting

1lb confectioner's sugar
2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
5-6 tablespoons milk

Sift powdered sugar, mix in cocoa and salt and sift again.

In a large bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add in about 1/3 of the sugar/cocoa mixture and beat until well combined. Add 1-2 tablespoons of milk near the end to wet. Repeat two more times with the rest of the sugar. At the end add milk in little spoonfuls to get the desired consistency.

Frost your cake!

1 comment:

Lula Ursini said...

Best day ever! Thanks so much for wonderful cake!