Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mr. Love Bird's 30th Birthday!

The Birthday Boy
Mr. Love Bird turned 30 on May 7! We celebrated with homemade deep dish pizza and rosé - per his royal highness' request! In fact it was Uka who had to be in the kitchen that day. He's really mastered the deep dish pizza beautifully. Like last year, he used America's Test Kitchen's recipe (you have to be a subscriber to retrieve it), but this year he doubled the amount he made: 8 pizzas! I helped out by making the sauce and browning the sausage the night before as well as making his surprise birthday cake.

Our Lil Family (peer pressure made me put that lone balloon on the wall!)
The pizzas were so good, but the cake is what had me excited! I had posted before about making a salted caramel cake for Mr. Love Bird, having been inspired by Full House. When it came down to it I was in no way in the mood to make a cake from scratch and came across something that at least sounded even better in my recipe files: "Better Than Sex Cake!" The ingredients looked simple enough: devil's food cake, sweetened condensed milk, caramel, whipped topping and crushed candy bars. Great!

This is how it turned out (and it was SO good and simple; I'll definitely be making it in the future):

Since it was refrigerated it held up well!
I think I should've chopped the Butterfinger topping in larger pieces!
Here's the recipe (if you do an internet search you'll find so many different versions!):

Better than Sex Cake

1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
1/2 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
6 ounces caramel ice cream topping
3 Heath Bars or Butterfinger bars
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Bake cake according to package directions for a 9x13 inch pan; cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Make slits across the top of the cake, making sure not to go through to the bottom (I used the end of a wooden spoon and made holes).

In a saucepan over low heat, combine sweetened condensed milk and caramel topping, stirring until smooth and blended. Save some of your Carmel topping for garnishing later. Slowly pour the warm topping mixture over the top of the warm cake, letting it sink into the holes; then sprinkle the crushed candy bars liberally across the entire cake while still warm. (I try to get some pieces in the holes).

Let cake cool completely, then top with whipped topping. Decorate the top of the cake with some more candy bar chunks and swirls of caramel topping. Refrigerate and serve right from the pan!

I'm bummed we don't have any pictures of the amazing pizza but it looked and tasted as good as it did last year! Afterwards everyone was comatose although we did get a couple rounds of Wii party in (Nia didn't like the shouting that ensued so I took her to her room for some quiet(er) time).

Uka's BFF, Chima, brought an amazing red velvet cake and that was dessert part 2 (and breakfast!).

Uka and Chima: Friends for Life!
The delish cake (and box so we can remember forever where it's from!)
Here's a few other party pics:

Nia in her usual location
Having fun with mama and dada
She is SO serious
Me and my BFF Van
Gathering around to sing Happy Birthday!
I made a little tribute table of mementos for Uka (we were 18 and 19 in that picture in the foreground!)
Uka's poster from Venezuela
Overall we had a lot of fun, and I hope this breaks the norm of it raining (or threatening rain) every time we have a party as it was actually sunny this time!

P.S. Uka and Chima are heading to Vegas for their official 30th b-day celebration in a couple months; it was totally my idea. Smart, right?!