Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Let Me Eat Cake

Today is my birthday. As a child, you could always count on having a birthday cake for your birthday. My mother always let us decide what kind of cake we wanted and let us help decorate it if we wished - of course I always did.

As an adult, if you want a birthday cake you just know you have to make it yourself, which is exactly what I did today. Let me clarify something. Typically when I make a cake it is out of a box. I think Betty Crocker is a genius and there is rarely a reason I need to try and reinvent the wheel when she has so carefully crafted the perfect mode of culinary transportation. This is one of those rare exceptions.

Also, having said that let me also add that I rarely ever leave a box cake alone. Either pouring warm caramel sauce over chocolate cake, or pineapple juice into a butter yellow cake, or make a tunnel of fudge....you get the idea.

I dug through my many cookbooks for just the perfect birthday cake for me. I settled on my Baked! cookbook and specifically on their Lemon Drop Cake. Lemon is fastly becoming one of my favorite flavors. It used to be strawberry but I think my taste buds are maturing for something less sweet and more intense.

I spent the entire afternoon - yes the entire thing- working on this cake. From scratch means sifting flour, whipping egg whites, double boiling the lemon curd and cooking the icing. I am tired, but if what I've licked off spatulas and beaters is any indication -- it is yummy.

It is three layers of lemon cake with homemade lemon curd in between the layers and topped with lemon buttercream icing. The garnish are chopped lemon slice candies.

The icing didn't set like it was supposed to - the hazards of cooked icing - but it tastes great, despite how it looks.

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