This year was a big birthday number for me. The big two zero. A pair of decades. Something without a "teen" at the end.
I dreaded it all year.
In my mind, turning 20 sucked. It signaled the end of my childhood, because there is almost no way to justify still calling yourself a kid once your age no longer ends in "teen." (All the way through age 19 I refused to allow anyone to call me an adult.)
But on my birthday I got my closure. It was a bittersweet farewell, but my childhood and I gracefully parted ways. I said goodbye and dulled the melancholic end by throwing the best cake party ever.
My one stipulation for my birthday this year was that my friends allow me to bake my own cake. Now, knowing my somewhat tragic caketastrophic past, I was a little worried that I would make myself cry on my birthday from another cake upset. However, partly due to my apartment's culinary restraints (I own no 9-round pans, hand beaters, or candy thermometer...sigh) and partly due to my stress preventative measures (namely choosing and easy recipe), my cake turned out quite well!
I felt warmed from the inside as I sat around my coffee table with several of my good friends. There was laughing and smiling, awkward introductions and people trying to remember names, and many Happy Birthdays wished.
Sitting back for a moment, I reflected upon how great 20 really was. I have amazing friends that care about me, a roommate that is like a sister, an apartment I love, and even a really cool job. Thinking about all of this, I realized that all of these things are cool things about being an adult, not a kid. I'd never have a roommate in high school or be able to say that I rented my own apartment. I realized that I was excited for my adult life.
And then, of course, there was the cake. It was moist and flavorful, slightly dense but in the most delicate way possible, and satisfying in that homemade kind of way. While nervous about the frosting ("after all", I wondered, "how can sour cream make a good cake frosting?"), it turned out to be one of the most flavorful and creamy frostings I've ever encountered. Unlike a lot of frostings, the sweetness of this one was understated and allowed the chocolate (rather than the sugar) to take center stage, complimenting the subtle cake base with a degree of expertise.
All in all, out of the 20 I've had so far, this birthday definitely was the best, and the cake comes highly recommended, too.
For the recipe, please visit Smitten Kitchen. The source of my stress-free cake and countless hours of admiration. Thanks for the great birthday recipes, Deb!