from: The Birthday Cake Book
For the Cake
2-3 T soft unsalted butter and 2-3 T all-purpose flour for the pan
2 1/4 C sifted cake flour
1 T plus 1/8 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
16 T (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to the consistency of mayonnaise
1 1/2 C plus 1/2 C granulated sugar
5 extra-large eggs, warmed in their shells
3 fl. oz plus 1 C sipping-quality bourbon
2 C (7 oz) toasted pecan halves
mint sprigs and leaves for decoration
For the Sauce
1/4 C fresh orange juice
1 T fresh lemon juice
4 C peeled and coarsely chopped fresh peaches (6-8) or thawed drained premium-quality frozen peach slices
This cake is best if made 1-2 days before you plan to serve. To make the cake, set your oven to 350. Brush both bottom and sides of a bundt or tube pan with butter and coat with flour. Knock off the excess. Sift the four, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on med speed until creamy. Continue beating while sprinkling in 1 1/2 C sugar a tablespoon at a time then beat until very light. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until blended after reach, then beat until very light and creamy. Add the flour in three parts (sprinkling i over the bowl), alternating with 3 oz bourbon in two parts – beat on the lowest speed possible and just until each addition disappears. Sprinkle over the pecans and fold the batter with a large flexible rubber spatula to finish blending thoroughly. Smooth into the pan, slightly pushing the batter up against the sides and the tube.
Bake in the middle of the oven until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake, 55 to 60 min. Heat 1/2 C of the bourbon and 1/4 cup of the sugar together stirring until the sugar dissolves. Pierce the top of the cake with a fork then pour the syrup evenly over the cake. Cool 15 minutes in the pan on a rack then turn out onto the rack, rumpled side up, to cool completely. When cool, heat the rest of the bourbon and sugar as before. Set the cake smooth side up, pierce as before and pour over the syrup. Wrap air-tight and set in a cool place to mellow for up to 2 days before serving.
To make the sauce, in a food processor or mixing bowl, blend the orange and lemon juices and then add the preserves and briefly blend. Turn into a bowl, add the peaches and stir gently until each slice has been moistened. Chill, tightly covered, at least 1 hour. This is at its best for about 4 hours.
To assemble the cake, just before serving, unwrap the cake and set it, smooth side up, on a platter. Plant a banner of greeting and arrange the (peach colored) candles, tucking a mint leaf or two beside each candle. Garland the bottom with branches of mint. Serve each piece of cake on a plate, encircled with peach sauce.
1.5 ounces goat cheese
1.5 ounces whole-milk ricotta
(or 3 ounces of either goat cheese or ricotta)
2 cloves garlic, peeled with root end trimmed off
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
10-12 ounces of spinach, washed and spun dry
salt and pepper to taste
Add the cheeses, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor and mix until combined. Add the spinach and run the food processor until the mixture has formed a thick paste. If the spinach won't fit all at once, add it in batches. Taste for seasonings, adding salt, pepper, and lemon juice as needed.