Wednesday, July 27
happy belated birthday, heidi!
About two weeks ago, my dear sister turned thirty, and all has been a blur before, during and after. Choosing a loved one's birthday cake is always something I will start months in advance. I will search for a recipe or flavour combination almost as early as the day following their birthday the previous year. I'll decide upon a favourite, and then change my mind, and then lose a recipe or two until I settle on something I hope will be perfect, and that they will love. But, it's always particularly difficult choosing a cake to make my sister, and certainly not because she's fussy-- her and I definitely share our love of all things sweet and cakey. But each year, the cakes we make for each other have to be bigger and grander than the last. Two years ago, my sister made me a Cherry Ripe mudcake that weighed more than my cat. Last year, I made her a six layer black forest cake. I imagine (and hope) this will continue until forever.
This year, it may seem as though I've toned it down a little, but when I saw Sweetapolita's neapolitan cake, I knew I'd found 'the one'. This cake is made from chocolate, strawberry and almond-y vanilla layers, and was big enough to feed all our friends and family. In my haste to get this cake finished, and in the excitement of my sister's birthday dinner, I took no real photos of the cake, much to my disappointment. So, since then I have re-created miniature versions for photographic and eating purposes. Okay, mostly for eating.
Each cake was beautiful and moist, and sandwiching them with some homemade strawberry jam was all they needed. The buttercream has strawberry extract and pure cream, which gives it a taste surprisingly close to old-fashioned strawberry ice cream. Please see Sweetapolita's blog for so many more perfect recipes accompanied by magnificent photography. But be warned: you will feel inspired to bake absolutely every recipe within.
Recommended baking soundtrack: Tallest Man on Earth - Shallow Graves.