Happy father’s day to any and all dads out there, especially mine.  My dad is the best… Sorry everyone, but it’s true.  There is no contest.

I am a daddy’s girl, the little princess of my house.  I am openly admitting it… I’m not ashamed.  I am so grateful to have grown up with a dad who is so loving, caring, kind, and gentle.  He has the most generous soul and he is my rock- always has been.  I appreciate everything he’s given and taught me, done for me, and put up with from me; it’s not always easy being the father of a stubborn little diva.
Thank you, Daddy, for teaching me all that you have.  You’re the best man I will ever meet, of that I’m sure.  I love you more than words can describe; I will never be able to express how thankful and blessed I feel to have a dad like you.

We like cake, okay? 
I spent the entire day at my parents’
renewal of their vows like this,
plus or minus a few chocolate strawberries.

My dad loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches like no one I have ever met.  Personally, I can do without them, but he could not live without peanut butter and perhaps some sandwich bread, too.  He also, no surprise here, loves peanut butter and banana sandwiches, akin to Elvis’ favorite meal.  I wanted to recreate a peanut butter banana sandwich in a cake for father’s day, so I made a brown butter banana cake (for the fried taste, reminiscent of buttery sandwich bread), filled with peanut butter cream cheese frosting and iced with homemade macadamia-hazelnut nutella cream cheese frosting (I’m sure the King would approve of a bit of nutella being added to the mix…).  Lawd have mercy this stuff is good.  This is not the kind of cake that demands intricate piping.  I opted for big, shaggy, home-style swirls instead, and I ended up liking the messy look.  I then affixed a little banner to the top of the cake, to give it a little more oomph: I love the way banners look, and you’re sure to see them pop up more soon.

I spent an entire week in France like this, 
plus or minus a few tartes au citron

 This one’s for you, Dad.  I love you.



The “Elvis” Cake
Makes 1 6×2 layer cake, or one 10 inch layer, adapted from Smitten Kitchen
For the Brown Butter Banana cake:
11 tablespoons butter
1 cup cake flour
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
pinch sea salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown
3 tablespoons yogurt
3 small eggs
2 large bananas, mashed (around 1 cup)
Hearty splash vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour two 6-inch rounds, or one 10-inch round.
Brown the butter in a large saucepan, being sure to scrape up all the yummy brown bits at the bottom of the pan.  While it browns, ready the bowl of a stand mixer in an ice bath.  Once the butter is brown, pour it and all of the brown goodness into the bowl, and let chill.  Once hardened, cream the butter with the sugars.  Sift the flours, baking soda and powder, and salt together.  Mix in the eggs to the butter and sugar one by one, making sure they are incorporated.  Mix in the yogurt, bananas, and vanilla, then, with the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture.  Once it is all homogeneous, beat on high speed for 20 seconds.  Pour into prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, if using 6-inch pans.  For a ten inch pan, it will take slightly longer.  The cakes will be deeply tanned and springy when done.
Macadamia-Hazelnut Nutella:
1/2 cup macadamia nuts (mine were salted, but if yours aren’t, add a big pinch of sea salt)
1/2 cup hazelnuts, skins removed and still warm (you can just warm them up in a pan if they’re pre-peeled)
5 ounces melted bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Blend the nuts in a food processor until a smooth paste forms, about 5-7 minutes.  It’s a long time, I know.  You can’t use a wimpy food processor here.  Once the nuts have formed a butter, add in the chocolate, sugar, and cocoa powder and mix until well blended.  Try not to eat all of it at once, and by that I mean save at least 1/2 cup for the frosting of the cake.  Eat the rest, fa sho.
Cream Cheese Frosting/Filling Base:
12 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
Blend with an immersion blender (Seriously people, you need one of these in your life, STAT.) until thick, creamy, and well-mixed.
For the Filling:
Take 1 1/2 cups of the cream cheese mixture, and stir in 2/3 cup of creamy peanut butter.
For the Frosting:
Blend the rest of the frosting with 1/2-2/3 cup of the nutella.
To assemble:
Cut each layer in half, and fill with one third of the peanut butter.  Seeing as the frosting is a bit thin, and hard to smooth, I recommend dumping the entire thing on top and swirling it around the cake sides with an offset spatula, creating large, home-style swirls as you go.
Shoutout to Momz too! You’re ma girl. Love you forever.


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