I made my own cake for my 40th Birthday this month. For some reason, this exasperated a lot of folks. Clearly those people have never eaten a cake I’ve baked. Because if the did, they’d know it will be better than any cake ever made before. Like. Ever.
Maybe they felt sad for me. Maybe they were worried I’d be sitting at home alone, singing “Happy Birthday to Me.” As if. The fact is, I have plenty of friends who would make me a cake, if I asked them to. (Though the truth is I only have one friend that I trust with the task, and she was already organizing a cooking class/party for me.) I also have friends who would gladly buy me one, without hesitation. But I am of the opinion that a homemade cake, made with a little skill, and a lot of love, ALWAYS tastes better than one from even the best bakery.
A homemade birthday cake should not be too composed. It should be slightly crooked, and there should be a few stubborn crumbs in the final layer of frosting. Despite these flaws, it should be oohed and aahed over, while the baker coyly rejects the compliments. Any leftover pieces should be wrapped and sent home with the guests, but one piece should remain, and should be eaten for breakfast the next morning. If you bring the cake elsewhere, the plate it was served on should be left behind at that person’s house for months.
I made Lora Brody’s “Best Birthday Cake”, from her beautiful cookbook Chocolate American Style. I picked it because it’s a fail-proof, delicious recipe, and also because my favorite cake/frosting combo is chocolate/vanilla. This frosting recipe has cream cheese and white chocolate and butter. Do I even need to explain what that means?
|It means it’s rich and delicious, dummy.|
Here’s a link to the recipe, if you’re so inclined. It looks like a lot of ingredients and instruction, but don’t be afraid. It’s actually a good cake for a novice baker, as there is no creaming stage for the butter and sugar, and no tricky folding in of the dry and wet ingredients. If you do your mise en place ahead of time, it’s as simple as putting together a boxed cake mix. Even the frosting is tough to screw up.
And by the way, it’s still technically my Birthday Month, so if you want to buy me a gift it is not too late! Here’s a link to my Amazon Wish List*:
More Food, Less Pain,
*Not a real wish list. Though if you buy me the 60lb wheel of provolone, I’ll share. Promise.
**Special thanks to The Ninja for the creative assistance. Only a mind as warped as yours gets why this was fun. And thanks for the b-day tart.