Classic Birthday Cake
February 1, 2013 § 2 Comments
It’s February. My birthday month is gone, but certainly not forgotten. I may even try to sneak in one or two more celebrations yet. The memories of laughing with my friends and being treated to breakfasts, lunches, and dinners certainly still lingers, perhaps none more so than the taste of The Cake. My favorite has always been simple and satisfying: yellow cake with chocolate icing. My mom has always been game for any riff on that basic starting point. Buttercreams have been whipped, multiple thin layers baked in a rotating side show of cake pans, chocolate has been melted into cream.
This year, she chose a favorite yellow cake recipe (from Smitten Kitchen, of course) and paired it with a boiled chocolate icing that incorporated a bar of unsweetened chocolate and sugar and butter and evaporated milk and other ingredients I’ve forgotten. It boiled and then it cooled, developing into the fudgy, crackly glaze/icing I was hoping for, one that spread thickly and luxuriously onto the soft yellow cake layers.
This cake has heft, and yet, at the same time, each slice revealed all the pockets and crannies that contribute to making cakes airy and light. The buttermilk gave it an edge to offset the sweet icing. Decorators we are not, but I think the big 3-0 looks appropriately either shaky or scary depending on your perspective.
Made on Saturday; gone by Thursday. All that’s left now are the withdrawals.