Chocolate cake for the birthday girl

This weekend was the birthday celebration for one of my best friend’s Angela. 22, oh goodness! I offered to host the pre-bar dinner celebration at my house.

There was a lot to do, but the most fun was cake baking!

I picked an old-fashioned chocolate cake from Nigella Lawson’s cookbook Feast. I’m a bit worrisome about cakes, there always seems to be hundreds of steps (and the lingering question of will it be too dry?!) But this recipe was simple and I quickly realized that fussing wasn’t necessary.

Thursday, I started with this –  all of the ingredients into the Cuisinart then into the oven…

Come Friday, I got to this point, 3 layers with delicious raspberry jam in between…

And a few hours before guests were to arrive, after a lot of decorating practice, I finished with this…

I’m not going to be modest about it, I was pretty damn proud of that cake. It was the first cake that I didn’t botch the frosting on, it wasn’t too sweet and didn’t get too dry (although a bit more sour cream/yogurt may have helped). I was pretty darn happy with it!

Other highlights of the night – lasagna for dinner with another beautiful salad by Claire. And as there would be on any birthday, a bounty of wine, beer, champagne, only one broken glass (I’ll admit, it was me), and so much lovin’ for the birthday girl!

It was a great night! Happy birthday to my wonderful Angela!

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