Monday, March 08, 2004

Hi all, Genevieve here writing a guest column on the food we had on my birthday this past Saturday.

I love Indian food and especially buffets, where you can taste a bunch of different flavors without ordering a huge amount of food. We went to Jaipur Junction for my birthday lunch. Since the Clay Oven closed, they are my favorite Cleveland Indian restaurant, followed closely by Saffron Patch (the same owners I think). We don't go there too often because it is about 25 minutes away, in southern Cuyahoga County. The food is amazing though - just the right amount of spices and ghee and the bread is always just chewy and toasty enough and the gulab jamun is sweet and wonderful but not cloying like a lot of Indian desserts can be.

Dinner was Pain Perdu and Sweet Potato Hash (modified by using vegetarian sausage). A couple of weeks ago we had made two breakfast/brunch items from the March 2004 Cooking Light. It turned out to be delicious, so I decided I wanted this for dinner on my birthday. We used frozen berries for the French toast since it's still winter here in the frozen north, but it still tasted great.

The highlight, however, was the cake Patrick made me. It was the Chocolate Layer Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting from the February 2004 Gourmet. Here's their picture, our cake looked almost as good even tho we wimped out on cutting the layers into 4 thin pieces. There are photos on Kerry's camera that will be posted to my blog as soon as they're imported.

This cake definitely lived up to its expectations, and proof i guess is that it is gone now :). I think a lot of what made it was the chocolate. The Mediterranean grocery at the market sells these blocks of chocolate, and I never really knew what they meant on the cooking shows when they said "high cocoa content" until I tasted these. The milk chocolate especially has that rich flavor where it almost tastes like there is liquor in it. The only problem in the cake is that I would probably exchange some of the butter in the frosting (it called for 3 sticks!) for cream cheese (which was the base for the frosting I made for Patrick's birthday) if we make it again. We cut down on the butter so the chocolate would still be the main flavor, and still the next day the frosting had the consistency of chilled butter and was difficult to spread even after running the electric mixer through it.

I would like to thank Patrick for making my birthday a wonderful culinary experience!