Birthday Desserts

My birthday was Wednesday, I turned 24. So I had the day off and decided to make two desserts. Blood Orange Bars and a Lavender Cake with Goat Cheese Icing. I shot most of the photos on film, with only a few back ups of the Cake on digital. I love shooting film, it's the type of camera I was taught on. I love the waiting, not knowing exactly how the photos will turn out. But this can also be a bad thing; especially when using an old camera. That I may have dropped a couple times.

One memorable drop while on vacation in Texas that sent me to tears. I dropped it, looked at it quickly, thinking it was fine. But then later that day at lunch, someone noticed that the knob that you rewind the film with was gone. Having to create a little makeshift turner with what we could find at the hardware store, the camera has gone down hill from there.

Never being able to properly rewind it since then, film kept getting jammed. Some rolls I couldn't even get out of the camera, some would only rewind partially.

So after shooting all the photos of the bars and cake, I went to rewind the film. It seemed like it went, but I opened the back of the camera and their was still just a bit of film left out. So when I went to get it developed, I thought those first few photos would be blacked out and the rest would be fine. Somehow the entire roll went blank. So that is my end of the journey with my once trusty AE-1. I maybe one day I'll get another old one, but for now I'll just stick with my digital. I don't want another blank roll, after many.

So their are some photos of the blood orange juice but none of the bars themselves. They are forever lost in the mysterious photo heaven. The end result of the bars are very tasty. A play on lemon bars, but without that zest kick. The blood oranges lend a sweeter taste, with a nice thick shortbread crust. This was my first time having blood oranges, I thought probably since their intense color they would have a punchy flavor. It is much more subtle.

Now on to the cake, all those photos below of it are digital. It was amazing. Of course my weakness for goat cheese probably gives a bias on my opinion but it really was that good. I thought of paring the lavender cake with the goat cheese icing based off a Harley Farms cheese I had. It was the lavender honey chevre they make, I found it at Rainbow Grocery in SF. The only place I have ever seen selling their cheeses, besides the farm itself. After trying that cheese and loving it, I knew thats what I wanted for my birthday. The lavender is not overpowering, which can make it taste soapy. The tang of the goat cheese offsets the floral cake. It was great, a perfect, very different birthday cake.

Lavender cake with goat cheese icing

3/4 cup (170g) soft butter
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups (187g) sifted flour
1 tbsp dried culinary lavender, chopped
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk

Oven 350. 
6 inch round pan, 3 inch deep (or 8 inch)
buttered & floured.

Cream butter & sugar until light & 
fluffy. Add eggs one at a time then 
fold in remaining ingredients. Pour 
 into pan. Bake for 1 hour, until set. 
Let cool completely. 


1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (140g) chevre, room temp
1/2 cup (115g) cream cheese, room temp
1 cup (125g) powdered sugar

Beat all together until no lumps.
Pile atop cake.


Blood Orange Bars

3/4 cups (170g) soft butter
1/3 cup (66g) sugar
1 1/2 cups (187g) flour
pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar
3 eggs
2/3 cup (157ml) blood orange juice
2 tbsp blood orange zest
2/3 cup (83g) flour

powdered sugar

Oven 350
Line a 11 x 7 pan with parchment.

Cream butter & sugar then stir in 
remaining crust ingredients. Press
into the bottom of the pan. Bake for
20-25 minutes until lightly golden.
Remove from oven & let cool completely.

Whisk the sugar & eggs together until
blended. Then whisk in all remaining
filling ingredients. Pour over crust 
& bake for 30-35 minutes until not wobbly
in the center. Let cool completely & dust
with powdered sugar. Chop up into bars.

Name *