I’m in a proclamation kind of mood today so I’m just going to come right out and say it – people who dread their birthdays every year are doing it wrong. Outside of some catastrophic event happening on that day and scarring you for life, there’s pretty much no good reason to hate on the only holiday every year where you can get presents without having to buy them for anyone else. (Can you tell I love presents?) And to those who say getting older sucks, aging really isn’t that bad. It’s actually pretty fun and cool and exciting and hot. You get better every year, assuming you didn’t peak in high school, and trust, you didn’t. I mean, yes, being the change I want to see in the world has turned out to be twenty thousand times harder than it seemed like it would when I first read it as a motivational poster quote on the wall of my sixth grade homeroom class. And, yes, taxes are hella lame, as is the fact that losing a pound or ten is increasingly difficult. But still! Birthdays themselves are a license to have fun and do whatever the hell you want to for a day (or in my case, a week), and that is unquestionably tight.
My friends feel me on this too, and I know it for a fact because I went to two birthday parties this weekend. One was White Tie Luau-themed and the other a roller skate/karaoke mashup, and let’s just say I’m still hungover. Oh right, hangovers, another fun part about getting older. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I also made a cake this weekend, but not for either of the birthday babes. What? They had their own cakes. I made this one the name of testing for Cos’s birthday coming up in a few weeks, even though, umm, I’m pretty sure I’ve made the cake he requested literally more times than any cake, cookie, pastry, or other dessert I’ve ever made in my entire life. Alright fine, you got me, I just really wanted to try this whipped cream. I’m the worst. But I made cake! I’m the best of the worst and I'm fine with that.
I had been tipped off by a brief mention on Lottie + Doof that this icing was genius and amazing, and yes a million times yes, it was! The technique of grinding the freeze-dried fruit into a powder that soaks up all the extra moisture from the cream to create a fruity, fluffy yet structured, spreadable whipped frosting is the very definition of genius. And with only 3 (!) ingredients! It makes the perfect cake frosting if you’re the type of person who’s always looking for a less sweet alternative to traditional American buttercream, like me. It’s what I wish I had made for my own birthday in February, though what we ended up doing was *alright* I guess. It’ll be on tap for next year 100% though, and in the meantime I’m sure I’ll have some other ahem, testing to do as well.
Fluffy Strawberry Frosting, adapted from Serious Eats
1/2 cup (15g) freeze-dried strawberries
1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
2 cups (455 g) heavy whipping cream
In the bowl of your food processor, grind the freeze-dried strawberries and sugar until powdery and fine, 1-3 minutes (original said 1 minute but mine took almost 3). Add the cream and stir with a fork to be sure no dry pockets of sugar or fruit are stuck in the corners (I skipped this by accident, whoops! everything was fine), then pulse until it thickens up to the consistency of greek yogurt, only a little puffier. This will take less than 2 minutes, but times will vary based on the horsepower of your food processor. Mine came together shockingly fast, in less than a minute. Whatever you do, don't take your eyes off the cream as it's whipping or you'll end up with strawberry butter. (On second thought, do that and come hang with me, yeah?) Once your frosting is at the right consistency you can enjoy immediately or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 1 week.