Because it's my birthday!
So do you guys like the new look!? I am so pumped to finally have this framework and can't wait to play around with it some more.
It's already been a really spectacular day. I just came back from brunch with my classmates and am looking forward to a yummy dinner with Andrew tonight (pics to come in a weekend post!). But first I have to tell you about what happened to me at the very beginning of the day. I woke up this morning and grabbed my phone like I usually do, to check emails and texts. When I opened my email, I saw that I had a receipt email for the Genesis + FoodiePro framework. I was like, what!?!?! I had been eyeing this program for a few weeks now, and was waiting to save up a little before getting it. When I saw the receipt, at first I thought I had woken up in my sleep and bought it in the middle of the night. Then I saw the email from Revathi below. As it turns out, some of my beautiful friends all chipped in and got me the program as a birthday gift - what a perfect surprise! As I read the email, I felt so much love and tears welled up and I am currently just the happiest 24 year old in all of Indianapolis. Thank you for the truly special gift to all of you guys: Revathi, Aava, Ambika, Sonia, Amal, Ben, Zach, Dan, Romina, Kody, Ryan, and Swapnil. This post is dedicated to you guys, and expect many more noms in the future!
I made it to 24. 23 was great, with plenty of highlights. Like going to NYC for the first time and doing all the touristy things like Brooklyn Bridge, brunching, and eating NY style pizza. And checking out Churchill Downs in Louisville, dressed up in floral dresses and big hats. Eating a huge turkey leg at the State Fair was definitely up there, as well as biking around Indianapolis on the Handle Bar on a random Thursday night, drinking beer with all my friends. There were so many good moments that sometimes I'm not even sure how 24 can top it.
While lots of people make New Year's resolutions (which I failed to do this year), I guess I'll make mine now! Birthday resolutions, I guess? I've actually been thinking about resolutions a lot lately, especially since this semester so far has not been easy by any means. It has made me go back and reflect on what kind of person I want to be, both to other people and importantly, to myself. At 24, I want to be more mindful. I hope to make every action a little more purposeful, a little more careful. I resolve to be more respectful, more kind to others. I want to be kind to myself too. I need to learn better coping mechanisms when I'm stressed, and not let The Man get me down. I guess overall I'm just trying to say, I want to grow up a little bit more at 24?
I want to keep on blogging too. I aim to learn more about food styling and photography, and get even more creative. Maybe even save up and buy a big girl camera? I'll make more attempts at baking bread, and improve my cake baking skills. I hope to cultivate this passion and make it a real part of my life. It's been a great two months of blogging so far, and I hope that it turns into many more months to come.
This was my first time making a naked layer cake, so it's not 100% perfect but I'm so glad I tried it out! I'll definitely be making more in the future. Naked cakes are pretty. I felt like dressing it up a little, so I added blackberries and a little crushed walnut border at the top. The end result was a sensational combination.
Here's to being 24!
Blackberry cinnamon cake
For the cake:
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
3 cups cake flour, sifted
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups sugar
Cream cheese frosting, recipe below
Seedless blackberry jam
Whole blackberries and walnuts, for topping!
For the cinnamon cream cheese frosting
8 oz. unsalted butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the cake
Heat oven to 350.
Grease 2 6 inch cake pans, and set aside.
Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside.
Whisk together milk and vanilla in a bowl; set aside.
In the bowl, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
On low speed, alternately add dry ingredients in 3 batches and wet ingredients in 2 batches. Increase speed to high and beat until batter is smooth, about 5 seconds.
Divide batter among prepared pans, and smooth top with a rubber spatula; drop pans lightly on a counter to expel any large air bubbles. You will have additional batter - just go ahead and scoop that into a cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners for the rest of the batter!
Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
Let cakes cool for 20 minutes in pans; invert onto wire racks, and let cool.
For the cream cheese frosting
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter.
On low speed, add the powdered sugar until smooth.
Add in the vanilla and cinnamon and beat until well incorporated.
To assemble the cake:
Once cooled, carefully slice the two cakes horizontally, creating four layers total.
Place once layer on the plate or cake stand, then add a thin layer of the cream cheese frosting on top. Add blackberry jam over the frosting in a thin layer. Add the next layer of the cake, and repeat.
Once you get to the fourth layer, add just the cream cheese frosting. Top with blackberries and walnuts, if desired.