It was my hubby’s birthday on Monday, which overlapped with the Lunar New Year celebration. It was also our anniversary during the weekend, and so we decided to have a large festive dinner and some cake to end our meal. I prepped some of the ingredients on the weekend so I wouldn’t have a whole lot to do Monday afternoon.
I baked the chocolate cake base, for his birthday cake, on Friday; piped and baked the ladyfingers on Saturday; assembled and filled the cake with orange Bavarian cream on Sunday; and dressed the cake with stabilized whipped cream on Monday. All the while I also marinated the beef short ribs on Sunday with the Ginger-Soy Sauce Chicken marinade. This just left me to make the Japchae on Monday, from start to finish.
Originally, I was hoping I would be able to bake the cake base and the ladyfingers on the same day, but the stars weren’t in proper alignment or something… Actually, the cake turned out great, but I messed up on the ladyfingers. Good thing I had another day to work my magic! I was carelessly unprepared for piping stripes on Friday evening; I forgot to mark my parchment with diagonal lines until after I had started mixing the egg whites; and I also went hunting for my extra set of piping tips while the batter was sitting, slowly deflating. Oops. See? All of that could have been totally avoided.
Saturday came and I was determined to get it right. I marked my parchment, got my piping tips and pastry bags ready, and began mixing my ingredients. I separated the fluffy egg-white mixture into two bowls, added food coloring into each bowl (one with orange, the other with brown), and folded in the measured egg yolks into each mixture. And it worked! I didn’t have any issues with deflating batter, and the colors didn’t run into each other! I was mildly concerned with the meringue-like crackly texture after it came out of the oven; however, once I fitted the ladyfingers in the cake ring and filled the birthday cake, the moisture from the cream softened the ladyfingers and its characteristic dry appearance.
Sunday morning was spent buying some last-minute groceries for Monday’s noodle dish, and in the evening I was making the orange Bavarian cream. I wasn’t sure if the cream would turn out, but it set so nicely! I sliced the chocolate cake, trimmed and aligned the ladyfingers, and was able to fill and level the cake with all of that yummy orange fluff! With the birthday cake finished, I marinated the short ribs and went to bed.
Monday morning was pretty uneventful, until the afternoon rolled in. I set out to chop, dice, and julienne vegetables. I had set a container of water and dried mushrooms in the refrigerator overnight, and those were also ready to be sliced. With the help of my hubby (my sous chef), we cut all of our vegetables and protein for the Japchae. I sautéed each ingredient separately (which is essential in making a good Japchae), boiled and cooked my noodles, and seasoned the dish in a huge bowl by hand. The kaleidoscope of colors just made me so happy, I was standing in the kitchen noshing on bits of noodle instead of cleaning up my messes!
With the short ribs in the oven, I decorated my hubby’s cake with a quick shell border, popped it back into the refrigerator, and watched Netflix until the ribs were ready.
After about an hour, and a quick flip of the beef, everything was ready to serve! I made my hubby’s favorite dish (anything beef!), noodles to ring in the new year, and a light, airy, and creamy dessert. I say this year’s festivities turned out lovely!