Sunday, February 17

a birthday cake

Yesterday was my birthday, and Christopher baked me a cake.

Christopher doesn't cook. I mean, sometimes he boils pasta, and I've taught him how to make brown rice and quinoa, but he doesn't usually assemble ingredients in a complex way and then serve them to multitudes. But he wanted to impress me, and somehow he knew I'd be completely blown over by his courage to do something (on his own, and for the first time) that I have done before, and to make something that would be judged by our guests and myself in one bite.

The cake was initially meant to be a surprise, but since I kept mentioning the cake I was planning to bake, and showed no sign of leaving the apartment, he told me of his plans. Together we looked at some cake recipes, and we settled on a recipe for a coconut mace cake his aunt had brought to our wedding. She had also sent the recipe to my cousin, who had collected recipes into book for my bridal shower. The recipe as written is just a list of ingredients, in the order of adding them, along with an oven temperature and bake time. Since Christopher had never baked a cake, we decided to follow the instructions from a cookbook for a yellow layer cake, but use his aunt's ingredients. It worked rather well, I think!
The recipe calls for boiled frosting, which I've definitely heard of but did not know how to make. I pulled out the Joy of Cooking, and though there were cooked frostings, there was nothing specifically called "Boiled Frosting." My other standby cookbooks also offered no help, so we settled on a buttercream frosting, which involved cooking over a double boiler while mixing and measuring the temperature until it was exactly 160 degrees. I actually helped for that part, since it demanded more than one pair of hands.
Since we rarely make cakes, and definitely not iced ones, we didn't realize until it was too late that we didn't have an icing spatula. Christopher improvised rather well with the blunt side of a carving knife.
Not so bad, right? This is the finished cake, dusted with coconut flakes.
And here it is in action.
There aren't any more photos of the cake, or partial cake, since it was quickly devoured by our guests last night. It was incredibly delicious though, and my friend's boyfriend said that he was intimidated by the bar that Christopher had now set.

Christopher's reaction to baking the cake: he's not impressed by other people's baking anymore, since he had now done it and it didn't seem like such a big deal. Does this mean he'll bake regularly?


Ami said...

Happy birthday! That is an impressive looking cake. Yumm.

Mary Jane said...

Happy Birthday! The cake looks wonderful! What a goodb man that Christopher is.

Lauren said...

happy birthday! I'm very impressed by his initiative and even better that it turned out tasty!

Anonymous said...

Well, for Christopher's information, there are lots of ways to ruin a cake - and he avoided them all. It looks great.
Bravo to him and many happy returns to you!


Jane said...

Happy birthday! What a delicious birthday cake!

Mz Kwooz said...

Happy Birthday! And I know I haven't met your beloved and he hasn't met me, but there's plenty of time for that as my brithday isn't until Dec. 2nd....

hee hee