Nate's Birthday 2013

Beardo is how I affectionately refer to my husband, Nate. I think you can figure out why. 

As I mentioned in my last post, we had a little get-together, where I cooked up dinner for 6 of Nate’s closest friends. 

Having vegetarians to dinner always makes it hard for me to plan a menu. It’s easy to leave out any animal protein, but then there’s only so much you can do with legumes as your protein…and I never have the courage to serve soy products, for fear the non-vegetarians in the group would hate me forever.

Butterscotch Cake ~

I decided to try not to think about how balanced the meal was and went with a slow-roasted tomato pasta dish, beets with mint, homemade marinated mushrooms, some asparagus with chopped tomatoes and a vinaigrette, and some good crusty bread. I’ll try to share some of the recipes with you soon.

I also had some cheese and crackers, and nuts for an appetizer, plus there was cheese in the pasta, so I figured that was plenty of protein for the vegetarians. I served some turkey sausage on the side so the meat eaters wouldn’t feel too deprived.

But the real star of the show was this 9-layer butterscotch cake.

Butterscotch Cake ~

If you noticed my cake only has 7 layers, well you’re very perceptive. That’s because I generously scooped the batter into the prepared pans, thinking it was only supposed to be six layers. When I got to layer 4, I realized my error but by that point I had already baked 3 layers. There was still time to correct it to 7 layers but I couldn’t get 9 out of the remaining batter, and figured it would still look impressive and no one would know the difference. Thankfully I was right.  

All of the comments of this cake on the site I got it from raved about it’s amazingness. It was definitely good but was SO rich. I cut Nate a huge piece not knowing, and he proceeded to eat the whole thing, though I’m not sure how. I think, being the sweet husband that he is, he didn’t want to offend me by not finishing what I served him. I cut myself a small piece and made myself nauseous finishing it.

The cake was definitely impressive-looking, tasted good, and I was proud of myself for making a homemade butterscotch… but aside from that I think it wasn’t worth the effort to attempt it more than once in a lifetime.

Butterscotch Cake ~

*Helpful notes if you try this yourself:

When you go to reheat the butterscotch for the top and sides of the cake, make sure you use a heavy-bottomed saucepan over EXTREMELY low heat.

I think my pan wasn’t “heavy” enough and the butterscotch completely separated. I was ready to cry since it took me about 45 minutes of stirring over a hot pot to make that damn butterscotch, but I was thankfully able to salvage it. The butter basically separated out so I poured it off and had a butterscotch that was more spread-able than pourable, but still tasted exactly the same. So it worked out…phew! If it hadn’t worked, I probably would have thrown my brand new pot out the window, along with the cake and anything else nearby. Hopefully my cat would know well enough to run into the bedroom to hide. 

Also, since there was so little batter that you had to spread it as evenly as possible in the pan, the layers were all slightly uneven/lumpy. When I stacked them I noticed they were sagging on the sides since the middles were so much higher. So i took each cake layer and very carefully shaved off the top of the middle section to make them as flat and even as possible. It wasn’t too hard to do with a good, sharp serrated knife.

I didn’t change a thing, so you can find the recipe here at Leite’s Culinaria

So after making those ravioli the other day, I was left with more than half of the package of wonton wrappers left. Who could use so many wrappers at once?? After forming about 20 wontons for dinner, I totally lost the energy to make any more. Maybe they have an assembly line of chefs in chinese kitchens. Or maybe I suck at wonton-making…

Well, I decided to give it another go. I figured maybe if I put dessert in the wonton then I would have a longer wonton-making attention span.

I swear I have ADD, but my mom doesn’t believe me. I even want to take a break from writing this blog after two paragraphs. I think that means I have a problem…or I’m lazy. One or the other. I think I’d like to take a nap. Or watch some tv. I’d probably lose interest in that too.

Anyway, where was I. Right, Banana Butterscotch Ginger Wontons with Spiced Chocolate Sauce. Yummy, right? Plus, they’re baked, not fried so that kinda counteracts all that sugar they got goin on.

I don’t know how Asian these wontons are (although they do have ginger), but I’ll keep thinking of other combos to use with the other hundred wrappers that I still have left…I think it’s a never-ending package. I chose this combo because I had some butterscotch chips in my pantry as well as about a tablespoon of crystallized ginger left. The sauce was inspired by those Winter-Spiced Molten Chocolate Cakes I made for New Years.

Unfortunately, I’m not gonna post this recipe just yet. After biting into one of these babies, both Nate and I agreed that while the flavor combo was delicious, the filling was a little on the dry side (Note: after reading this, Nate said this made him sound like a jerk. The fact is I said it was dry and asked if Nate agreed and he said yes). I’m not sure how to moisten it up. I was trying to keep these on the healthy side (plus dairy free), but I think they prob just need some butter. Also, the banana I used was practically green (what can I say, I lack attention span AND I’m impatient ), so I caramelized it for a bit before putting it in the filling, but I think it could have been moister if it was riper. Is moister a word?

So anyway, I think I’m going to try this flavor combo again, maybe by revamping this dessert, or maybe by creating something new…who knows. But I hope the pics at least made your mouth water :)