How do I Love Thee? Let me Count thy Years; Make thee a Cake

3 May

My dad’s birthday fell this past weekend, and the same question arose as it does every year: what kind of cake would he like? 

After eating carrot cake for days leading up to Easter, my dad was a little carrot-caked out, so his usual plan A was done for.  He pondered the idea of a key lime pie, but his verdict was inclonclusive, leaving me a realm to explore on my own. 

With all of the nice weather, we have been going a bit lighter and more tropical with our drinks lately.  Tequila and fresh citrus juice has taken center stage in the bar scene for us.  Therefore, I could not help but draw inspiration from such flavors for my dad’s birthday cake. 

Everyone loves chocolate cake, so that is where I started.  Using the New York Times’ recipe for whoopie pies, I made two layers of chocolate cake, adding a teaspon of pimentón to the batter.  The cake came out phenomenally, and the pimentón added the sophisticated smokiness that I sought. 

Fillings tend to get me down; while the options are endless, I too often find myself wondering how to add more filling without letting it ooze out when I top it with the second cake layer.  This time, however, my dad’s love for key lime pie was the solution!  I whipped up a basic panna cotta and added the juice of six limes and their zest.  Then, I chilled it in an eight inch cake pan.  When I put it between the two cakes, it remained tall and intact. 

For the frosting, I made a chocolate-margarita buttercream (with lime, tequila, and salt).  I frosted the cake with the buttercream; covered the sides with some more cake crumbs; and then topped it all with a toasted pecan and cacao nib olive oil brittle. 

As a whole, the cake was sublime.  The frosting was rich and lightly drunken.  The cake had a subtle savoriness, which was great with the brittle.  Of course, the panna cotta really brought the lime home, and its depth of citrus flavor brought out the tequila in the buttercream.  

Perhaps the best way to convey people’s personas is by making a cake.  Take a little of what they like, add some flavors analogous to their personality to show what you like about them, and –tada!  You’ve given them a great birthday gift.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: