Special birthday cakes…..
In 2010, my son visited Australia on his own with his grandparents. He had a great time there, hanging out with his cousins, helping out at the warehouse where my sister and my brother had import and export businesses.
When he returned home, he handed me a magazine, and said, mom - present for you. MasterChef Magazine July 2010 - featuring Adriano Zumbo's Macaron Tower. And make this…..pointing at the cover page of the cover photo. Macaron Tower. Turned the page to the recipe and the method, I thought, this was too difficult. I said to my son. Ok, make this for your birthday.
2012, my son was turning 13. I recalled that I promised him a Macaron Cake. In search of an easy recipe, I went online, and 2-3 weeks before his birthday, attempted an online recipe. It turned out no good at all. I decided to follow exactly the way it was instructed in the magazine. Using my little notebook, I decided to make a chocolate cake as the triangular tower, and stick the macaron with a toothpick onto the cake.
Each of the macaron puff up nicely, smooth surface and I just make a very simple chocolate filling. The assembling was a challenge, I was never good at art, and trying to make it look beautiful, elegant is just not me. Tried my best to have it stuck to the chocolate cake without each of the macaron being coated with chocolate finger prints, I managed to tower up.
The kids had a great time, and when I brought it out, kids were impressed and they were snatching up the macarons and gobbling up the chocolate cake. I was totally pleased with it.
2013 came. My son and I were just surfing the net. In Singapore, there was a craze over Lady M's Mille Crepe that just opened shop in Singapore. I was totally curious. Isn't crepe easy to make? Why are these people paying so much for such cakes? So, here I am, early in the year, told my son, my challenge this year for your birthday cake is Mille Crepe - Ok? He said ok.
And there I was couple of weeks before his birthday, thinking how am I going to make the crepe without a flat pan. I went online and started to search for the recipe as well as a pan that I can make think layer of crepe. I was lucky to find an electric one. Again, 2 weeks before, I tried one of the recipe, and tried to learn how to use the pan. Obviously, it took me a while to master the flipping, the evenness of the wet dough on the pan.
I used a mix of 2 recipes from online: 20 Layer Crepe Cake by Ellen Easton 2009 and Tasting Table - Best Pastry Chefs - Mille Crepe Tiramisu. Making the crepe was easy enough after the first few attempts. I was trying to make the tiramisu filling and I think I over beat the mascarpone cheese, it turned watery. I just couldn't use it. Had to run out to purchase new ones to make them. Luckily I was in time. I even had time to make wordings from chocolate. I probably made 30 layers of crepe tightly packed.
This time we only invited 2 of the other boys over to celebrate with him. The Italian friend that is so fussy with food had like 2 extra servings, I guess the Tiramisu taste suits him well. Again, assembling is not my strength, but the overall cake was absolutely tasty.
November 2013, my husband's birthday. I decided to make a traditional Blackforest Cake. It's just one of those times when I just like things simple, back to basic, no nonsense type of cake. I had a collection of Cordon Bleu cookbooks and one of them featuring Cakes. This is one book that I used quite frequently.
The cake turned out fluffily, moist, and we don't like lots of cream, so, I half the cream to be used. I guess if its for selling, I would have used more cream. I just love my dark chocolates that I had used to cover the whole cake. Not a cake to be kept long, best to have it on the day it was made.
Its 2014, half the year has gone by, our main celebrations are usually end of the year, so what challenges should I give myself?