I celebrated my birthday this year with a chocktail party, and evening full of cocktails, champagne and champagne-inspired fizzibles, and also chocolate.
The “lay down some brown” spread included a dark, deep-kneebend of a chocolate torte by Jill, two Tartine torte-lets brought by Adrienne, MarieBelle Aztec hot chocolate sent by Megan all the way from NYC, Kozy Shack Real Chocolate pudding, and mini chocolate-on-chocolate cupcakes from Citizen Cupcake.
There was a jetted-directly-from-Italy hazelnut-chocolate dipping sauce from Peter and Laura. There were insanely decadent hazelnut/caramel/milk-chocolate/dark-cocoa Love Nuts from Maggie and Bryan. There were Scharffen Berger covered dried champagne grapes from Marco. Oh! And chocolate-covered cherries and blueberries from Adrienne. And chocolate-dipped strawberries and TINFOIL CHOCOLATE KISS HAT with “HERSHEY BIRTHDAY” paper pull (see photos below) from Doug and Winnie. And chocolate-almond lip balm, a gift from me to me!
Of course there were brownies, from both Recchiuti (gloriously toothsome) and, once again, Jill (Jillâs was a chocolate-dusted miracle menorah oil of a brownie, slivers of which managed to last and please well into Marcoâs birthday “barbecute” the next day, and even to Jeffâs chicken-coop and birthday celebration the following week). There was also a bottle of Demeter Brownie Cologne on hand, a long-distant Christmas gift from same NY Megan, so people could spray their bodies to make their very skin whiff of brownie, seriously.
And! I made a cake! A cake from my childhood known as the Picnic Cake, a 9âx12â sheet cake chocolated specifically with low-brow Bakerâs chocolate and frosted with an amazing caramel frosting. I used my BRAND NEW KITCHENAIDE MIXER (a collective and entirely humbling birthday gift from all my friends), and it was glorious. So, so, so much easier than the hand-held mixer route, my god. I was a touch nervous because I forewent the traditional single rectangle for two nine-inch rounds, a shift I worried I might screw up through over-baking or over-stretching the amount of batter. But I set the timer early by fifteen whole minutes and the toothpick came out clean and yay! There wasnât enough frosting to go around, but I winged it sandwich-style, and it still tasted exactly as I rememberedâ¦better maybe because I think I prefer the slightly cake-heavier ratio of frosting-to-cake! I topped things off with a chocolate Sharffen Berger monkey, which I affixed with an obscene dollop of remainder frosting, which looked very cute but made slicing somewhat difficult. And then I made a yellow cake with chocolate frosting for Marcoâs birthday the very next day! Cake, cake a wonderful fruit!
There was also a singing gorilla with balloons and tutu, who made me sit on his lap and eat a banana.
Thank you, Dave and Vendela! Who else could engineer a gorilla-gram remotely from Turkey? Of course it helps to have a Jill-proxy on hand.
Anyway, I am now 35 (thirty-jive? thirty-dive?) years old. My house is still unreasonably full of chocolate. Life is good!
PS: Despite Jill’s generous attribution of “drunk dialing“ as an Evany-ism, I can not take credit for it. (Who coined that? I don’t know. Just another one of those things magically absorbed from the pop-culture ether, a la “cewebrity”?) But yes. Turning “frownie into brownie“ was all me. I am also responsible for “drunk-turning frownie into brownie.”