Mama TWMVO likes to celebrate her birthdays in New Orleans: we get her a tattoo, we go to a winery, eat too much food, and get too drunk. The tradition of tattoos in NOLA started back in 2014 when we met here (I was a New Yorker at the time) to jointly celebrate my 30th and her, well, nth 21st.
The winery addition was a happy accidental find last year to celebrate and we did it again this year – so, y’know, new tradition. I’m debating if I want to share this with you because it’s my happy place and I don’t need all, oh, five of you who reads this blowing up my shit. That said, the wine is delectable, the company unbeatable so I would be doing this world a favor by sharing. The winery is L.A. Serendipity and it is a magical place. And the owners, Jan and Ernie, just so happen to be vegan which means I can bring up 1,000 yummies for us all to share. (Also, they are honestly the kindest, most generous, caring people I may have ever met so the rest of y’all need to step up your game.) I bring this wine to dinner parties, I serve this wine at my own dinner parties, I drink this wine in front of the TV on a Tuesday night. This wine is infinitely drinkable. (Their wine is currently sold at Martin’s Wine Cellar in NOLA or you can email to see if you can head up for a tasting. They’re about 30-45 minutes across the Causeway. But if I hear they no longer have time for me because of y’all, this relationship is over…)
Because we bring the birthday cake to the winery and because the majority of us there are vegan, I always scout a vegan cake I think Mama TWMVO will enjoy. (Actually, if I’m buying, I’m eating. So it’s vegan or bust, Mom.) Last year, we went with the Samoa Cashew Cheesecake from Girls Gone Vegan. Although we’re not focusing on that, make sure y’all add that to your lists because DAYUM. That freezes a treat too so you don’t have to feel too bad about getting a full cake for yourself because it’s the freezer cake that will keep on giving. But also – and here’s another POV – maybe just eat it in one sitting while you cry over an episode of This Is Us or the finale of Gilmore Girls (not the re-release – the actual final episode). I’m not going to tell you how to live your life, don’t tell me how to do mine.
Back to 2018. This year, I hit up Sweet Treats By Rah. I asked about her Strawberry Chantilly Cake which I’ve been foaming at the mouth to try, but pretending I wasn’t rabid for cake. I met Rah ages ago at Arrow Café doing a pop-up with Midnight Noodle when she was serving some very tasty vegan king cake. The price tag is not cheap on this cake; all in, it came to just over $65. I recoiled a bit at the price because I’m cheap and in my day in Nebraska you paid $15 for some crappy grocery store cake that at least one employee had stuck their thumb in. But Rah explained that it’s all organic, vegan, and gluten-free AND it serves 15-20 people. Now, organic, vegan and GF are words I use to denote healthy so I figured this was like eating a kale salad and therefore would be doing something healthy for myself. Y’all, basically I was paying for a power circuit workout class when I ate this thing – I’d be a fool not to. Now, when I did slice up this cake, we served half of it to eight people. Turns out that’s on me – you don’t need big slices of this cake. Chill the eff out on that sugar train and you can definitely get in those 15-20 slices. (You’ll also save yourself from the sugar shakes.)
So let’s break this cake down (much like it did in the back seat of my car after it sat for two hours in the sun). It was divine. It has a coconut mascarpone whip which is what I told everyone I served it to at the winery without really knowing what the hell I was talking about. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I do know that I’d gladly bathe in that stuff. The cake itself is moist (yea, I said it), though very dense. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, cut yourself a smaller slice. Mama TWMVO was the only one who managed to polish hers off, but that woman lives on M&Ms, wine, and sugar so… The rest of us marveled at the deliciousness, but could have shared a slice between pairs of us. (And to be fair, we had made a veritable feast at the winery before serving the cake so we were all already rubbing our stomachs like a genie was going to pop up at any moment.)
And I won’t lie to you because this isn’t middle school and you’re not my parents. The next morning, I definitely woke up and asked the household what they would like for breakfast. We settled on coffee and birthday cake. We absolutely ate a slice of that cake with our coffee while watching Explained on Netflix at 9am. I don’t regret a GD thing.
Would I pay $65 for the cake again? Yes. Yes, absolutely and I would probably do it once a month if I didn’t need to do other things with my paycheck – like see a dentist or feed my cat. Or if I wasn’t as attached to my jeans buttoning. Am I itching to get to Circle Mart now to see Sweet Treats by Rah in action and try what other goodies she has to offer? I’m already there. (I’m not really, I’m at my dining room table, but I think we all know what I’m saying.)
There were some issues with actually obtaining the cake once paid, but I have to hand it to Rah because she worked her ass off that day to get her clients their sugar and when we actually got the cake, it.delivered. Would I order this cake for my own birthday? No, because I strongly believe if you love someone, on their special day you buy them birthday cake, remind them why they are brilliant, and shower them in love and presents. So y’all better get on ordering me this damn cake already.