It’s birthday time!


I like birthdays.  And holidays.  And special occasions.


I like to make things for them.  There’s a good possibility I will make myself a birthday cake this year.  Because I want to.  Because that’s how I roll.  I like to try to make the most challenging thing I can, but still have it be appealing to the people I am cooking for.  I like complex things.  I like to try something that there is a 90% chance I will fail at making and have to start over.


It’s how I learn.  I’ve yet to screw something up twice.  And I don’t get discouraged.  Just do the dishes and start over, this time with more knowledge and a better game plan.


That’s how I like to cook and bake.  Someday I am going to make every single recipe in Thomas Keller’s cookbook from The French Laundry.  I’ve yet to receive this as a gift so I haven’t begun on this task yet (hint, hint).  To date I’ve tackled two recipes.


The thing I love about this cookbook is that while a number of the recipes are quite complex, when you boil them down, really read them first, they’re not all that difficult.  They are challenging, but in a good way. 


 Back to birthdays.



It was my mother’s birthday a few weekends ago, and as I said before, I made her a cake.  It was cute, and small, and white.  With lots of buttercream. 


 There were also oranges and zest and cream.


This cake was intense.  And intended as such.   Okay, possibly a bit too intense considering the time it took to bake completely.  But it was good.



I used this recipe, which I will be using for a function later in the summer, and made a few changes.   I will probably use it in its pure form this summer; as I will be doing cupcakes and I think lighter is better.  Since I used cream in this cake instead of milk it was quite dense, and took longer to bake.  I took it out a little early, hence the slightly sunken look in the unfrosted photo.  Don’t worry if that happens, as long as the center is done.  You probably need to cut off the top anyway to get it flat.


Next time I’ll get 4 cake pans.  I used springform pans this time since it was what I had.  It worked fine, but would turn out better in thinner pans.


In June I’ll get another chance to try since my husband will be having a birthday.  


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