Hazelnut Torte for James Fraser

Happy Birthday JAMMF! (Hazelnut Torte)

"Happy Birthday," I said, softly.  "Taking stock?"  He let the hand fall on his chest, and turned his head to look at me, smiling.

"Aye, something of the sort.  Though I suppose I've a few hours left.  I was born at half-six; I willna have lived a full half-century until suppertime."

I laughed and rolled onto my side, kicking the blanket off.  The air was still delightfully cool, but it wouldn't last long.

"Do you expect to disintegrate much further before supper?" I asked, teasing.

"Oh, I dinna suppose anything is likely to fall off by then," he said, consideringly.  "As to the workings...aye, well..." He arched his back, stretching, and sank back with a gratified groan as my hand settled on him.

"It all seems to be in perfect working order," I assured him.  I gave a brief, experimental tug, making him yelp slightly.  "Not loose at all."

The Fiery Cross (Chapter 58 - Happy Birthday to You)

Happy Birthday, you red-heided Adonis!

Glad to hear everything is still fully operational.  Your legions of admires expect nothing less, even at the ripe-old age of 291.

No pressure though, really.

Hazelnut Torte

When I decided to bake our favourite protagonist a cake for his big day, I started by listing a few of the things he loves:

  • Brandy (a finer nose and palate would be hard to find)
  • Butter (especially when Claire's churning it)
  • Nuts (show me a man who doesn't -- eunuchs don't count)

Following my thought process along (proceed at your own risk), I remembered the crude hickory nut flour cake that Claire baked in in Drums of Autumn, just after they started their life on The Ridge.

brown-butter for Hazelnut Torte

I had intended to use pecans, which are a type of hickory, but somewhere along the line I concluded that a big occasion like this called for something beyond the ordinary...and when it comes to butter, browning it fills that bill.  Rich and nutty, brown butter takes pretty much everything from good to mind-blowing.

And since the French call this magical substance beurre noisette, or hazelnut butter, before I even knew what was happening, I was out buying hazelnuts instead of pecans.

It's always best in the kitchen to go with the flow and ride the current of inspiration...

Hazelnut Torte

"This is a morning my father never saw," Jamie said, still so softly that I heard it as much through the walls of his chest, as with my ears.  "The world and each day in it is a gift, mo chridhe -- no matter what tomorrow may be."

I sighed deeply and turned by head, to rest my cheek against his chest.  He reached over gently and wiped my nose with a fold of his shirt.

"And as for taking stock," he added practically, "I've all my teeth, none of my parts are missing, and my cock still stands up by itself in the morning.  It could be worse."

The Fiery Cross (Chapter 58 - Happy Birthday to You)

Hazelnut Torte


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