It is tradition for me to bake my friend Richard’s birthday cake. After 4 years of silliness, the cake has come full circle, venturing into a parallel universe. The first cake came about after Richard found a ridiculous cake stand in the shape of a triple layer chocolate strawberry cake. After secretly studying the cake stand, I decided to create an edible replica of the cake stand for his birthday. That was year #1.
Year 2 became a challenge. How could I create something as silly or mind-bending as the cake stand trick? How about a hot mess Barbie cake for a grown man? Why not? (note, store-bought icing would probably have been better visually but I opted for homemade buttercream and shoddy skirt decoration instead.)
And then there was the disaster inspired by Cakewrecks.com and a garage sale cotton-ball owl. Surely, one of the ugliest things every to leave my kitchen.
Year #4, what to do? Last winter I strolled into my local Salvation Army and found the vanilla version of the cake #1. So that’s what I did this year.
While doing a little collection development for the “cookery” section (who, besides a librarian, would use that word in a search?! it’s simply misleadery), I came across a recipe for a birthday cake on the new (and snazzy) James Beard site. I skipped the buttercream icing in favour of some fresh whipped cream and topped with some Quebec strawberries. (In the background with candles an olive oil orange cake from Nick Malgieri‘s Modern Baker. Yummy and easy to make. See Alex’s previous post on olive oil for best results.)