First and foremost, thank you all for your wonderful comments to Mr. N. He was very excited to hear them all. He had quite a fabulous birthday week and we still have more celebrations to come, so he’s not done yet! Ah, to be a kid again.
As promised tonight we’re going to bring you the special dessert for Mr. N’s birthday dinner. Here’s how it came about: “I think I want you to make me a cake this year mom.”
“A cake? Oh, honey you know I don’t make cakes.”
“But you’re a really good cook mom. You can do it.”
“I’ll make you anything else…cookies, pies, cobblers, brownies.”
“Nah. I want you to make me a cake.”
“Well, as long as you don’t care that it might not look real pretty.”
“I don’t care. It will still be good I bet.”
“Okay, what kind of cake would you like?”
“A yellow cake, with raspberry filling and lemon frosting.”
At this point I nearly drove off the road. Seriously I have maybe made one cake from scratch and that didn’t involve frosting. So not only did I have to make a cake, but this was a multi-step, bakery quality cake that was requested. But it was Mr. N’s birthday and well, I wasn’t going to disappoint.
So it was all hands on deck. First I found a recipe for the “best birthday cake” over at Smitten Kitchen. I knew this couldnt’ disappoint, so I followed the recipe step-by-step. Miss A sifted together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder for the cake batter.
Now we followed the recipes instructions for pouring the batter which included cutting a piece of parchment to the shape of the pan and greasing it with butter. (You’ll note I don’t have two round cake pans. I wasn’t going to go buy them either as I don’t expect to ever become a big cake maker.)
We combined it all into a sauce pan and simmered it until the raspberries were good and broken up. Then we ran the mixture through a sieve and discarded all the juice. We returned the raspberries to the sauce pan, added a slurry of water and cornstarch and let it simmer a bit more. Once it was thickened we set it aside to cool.
The best part though, was that the cake slid easily out of the pan to a cooling rack. Not like last time. As the cake cooled we began work on the frosting. We opted for a lemon buttercream. Mr. N was on-hand to supervise this part.
We beat together the confectioner’s sugar and butter. Then we whipped in some lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. You may want to start with the juice of one lemon and sample. Mr. N’s tastes buds like it super lemony (as do mine), so we went with the juice of two lemons. Now with all the recipes complete it was time to assemble the masterpiece. First I sliced the cake in half vertically. I probably should have done it horizontally, but I figured there was more chance of me screwing that up. I also sliced off the top of one half of the cake to make it flat.
Finally we put the other piece of cake over the top and covered the cake in super lemon buttercream frosting. (We had to make two batches to cover the tower of a cake.) Now this certainly isn’t a thing of beauty. If you’re looking for one of those I suggest browsing through the desserts at Just a Smidgen or First Look Then Cook. Now there’s some beauties. But I will say, the end result wasn’t as bad as I thought and most importantly, the birthday boy was in awe.
He looked at me and said, “See mom, now that you know how to make a cake, you can make them all the time.” I gave him the raised eyebrow look to which he said, “It’s a piece of cake!” I couldn’t help but laugh. You can tell he’s getting older. His sense of humor is certainly maturing.
After making his wish and blowing out his candles, we were ready to dig in. As you can probably guess, Mr. N gave this a definite 4 spoons. Miss A did as well. She said it was a like a cake stuffed with cobbler.
While I had a certain sense of pride in having made my little boy happy and actually turning out an edible cake, I only gave it 2-1/2 spoons. I’m just not a big cake eater. It’s never been tops on my list. The frosting, however, I would give 4 spoons. I could have eaten an entire bowl of that sour goodness!
So there you have my baby boy’s birthday meal. Although I guess he’s not much of a baby anymore. While the meal, the celebrations and the family time was absolutely precious, by far my favorite part of the day was bedtime. As I was tucking Mr. N in for the night he gave me a big hug and said, “I’m really happy I’m me mommy. I love you.” I’ll take that over a 4 spoon dessert any day of the week.
Have a great weekend everyone and we’ll return early next week back on track with Romania!