Monday, February 14, 2022

Birthday Memories

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a bit of a nut about birthdays. I love to celebrate birthdays, especially other people's. I love to make birthday cakes, too. When I was a child, as soon as I was old enough to make a layer cake, I became the family birthday cake maker most of the time, which was great. Who can hate birthday cake? This past weekend was full of great birthday memories.

This is the cake I was trying for...I even wrote in what icing tips to use!

Day before yesterday my awesome daughter and I made great memories as we each decorated a chocolate cake we had baked earlier. We both have an Alexa device with screen, so she could see and hear me and I could see and hear her. There was a lot of laughter! When close ups were needed, we FaceTimed. So why did we decide to spend a Saturday morning making buttercream and decorating cakes? Well, King Arthur Baking sent out a catalog with a heart shaped cake on the cover and it was stunning. The bakers had used a variety of decorating tips and colors to cover the cake all over the top with buttercream rosettes. I immediately wanted to try my hand at that, despite the fact that my skills in that department are pretty rusty. For Kate it was a completely new experience. She even bought a thirty tip cake decorating kit so she had a wide variety of possible shapes. She got an awesome buttercream recipe from a neighbor who makes cakes all the time. I should have used that recipe.

My cake turned out to be a "Nailed It" kind of cake. You'll understand what that means if you have ever watched the Netflix show Nailed It. Bakers who are not skilled in the kitchen compete for prizes by making very complicated sweet baked creations that I think were mostly inspired by professional baked goods found on Pinterest. To make it even harder, the time allowed is much too short. The results are hilarious and each contestant says, enthusiastically, "Nailed It!" when they present their fairly strange looking approximation of the one shown at the beginning.

Not a terrible cake, but nothing like the King Arthur one or the even more beautiful one Kate made.

Why, you ask, did I have trouble? Well, this was the first time I was trying to make my favorite buttercream not using actual butter. I guess the margarine and plant based 'butter' just had too much water or something, because the buttercream broke and all the usual ways to fix it didn't work. The uncolored buttercream was OK but too soft, but once I started adding color, it was a disaster. The color only mixed partially with the icing. I did end up with something that wasn't too bad, but it was nothing like what I was going for, and nothing like the gorgeous creation my daughter made. Check it out! This is her's:

Isn't it awesome !!?

Even with my disaster with buttercream, it was a wonderful morning. I still had a cake for later, Kate created a beautiful cake and expanded her cake decorating skills,  we had the best time together, and that best time together was my birthday of the awesome kind, where memories are made.

On Sunday Sweetie and I took my cake to a birthday lunch and shared it and even though it was fairly plain looking, it was really, really delicious. Looks aren't everything, which is probably a good mantra for being a year older, too.

Happy Birthday to me!

1 comment :

  1. Both yours and your daughter's cakes are wonderful!! While yours is not as ornate as your daughter's, I'd hardly call it plain. It's lovely in its simplicity.

    Ha. If I were attempting this sort of thing, there would be laughter galore, and probably icing everywhere except on the cake itself. I cannot believe that either of you have the patience, not to mention the skill, to do these icing designs. Bravissime!!!

    Happy birthday to you, indeed!