Belly, berries, & birthday cake

 belly-and-birthday-cake

belly-and-birthday-cake

That's me and my birthday cake. Sure, I made it for myself, but it's just not a birthday without cake. No need for presents, balloons and streamers, even candles (although I won't object to those!) but please, cake is a birthday necessity!

I stood in the market contemplating my big question of the day. Should I top my chocolate cake with creamy, chocolatey frosting or fresh whipped cream and berries. Decisions, decisions. Pondering my place in the world and the meaning of life would have to wait. There was cake to be made.

Lovely semi-sweet in one hand and fresh red, ripe, fragrant strawberries in the other,  the berries won. Their sweetness was too hard to resist. Perhaps if the chocolate wasn't wrapped so tightly in saran wrap it would have stood a chance.

 oh-berries

oh-berries

I decided to use Ina Garten's beatty's chocoloate cake recipe from the barefoot contessa at home. I was in search of a cake I could be excited about. A cake that was moist and rich in chocolate flavor but not too decadent. My go-to for chocolate cake in the future. I was not disappointed!

 moist-cake

moist-cake

Her recipe calls for chocolate frosting, but instead I whipped up some fresh cream with a little sugar and vanilla and layered in some fresh sliced strawberries. I love this combination. Eating for two has it's benefits as I feel a little less guilty going back for seconds, plus it's my birthday!

 glowing-berries

glowing-berries