When I advanced to the "real" oven, I took an interest in making my own birthday cakes! I enjoyed making them, the family enjoyed eating them, and I always liked them. I remember when I made my first yellow cake with cream cheese frosting. I knew that I liked cream cheese, so I doubled the recipe!! I remember to this day, that I tinted the frosting green. I guess because pale green is a lovely spring color. Needless to say, I think others left quite a bit of frosting on their plates. Not me, I enjoyed every bit...... didn't feel so great the next day, but that hasn't stopped me from eating cream cheese frosting. It has stopped me from doubling the recipe though.
Mom had several cookbooks. I would read them from cover to cover. I still continue this pleasure with the hundreds of cookbooks I have collected over the years. I especially liked her book of recipes from all over the world. What a way to learn about other cultures. My love for Paris developed the first time my family set foot in the wonderful "City of Light". Of course, my birthday cake one year had to reflect the passion I felt for that city. I was only 12 years old or so on my first visit, but the foods I remember fondly. I made a "Paris Brest". It is supposedly named for the bicycle race between the cities of Paris and Brest. The cake is made of a pastry called choux (similar to that of an eclair). The pastry is shaped in a circular shape to represent the wheel. It is cut in half and filled with a cream. The cream can vary, but I know I used a custard cream. Not difficult to make really, just takes time. Other favorite birthday cakes:
The Black Forest cake is wonderful. Filled with kirsch soaked cherries, rich chocolate, and topped with whipping cream. What's not to love?
Greek Baklava!!! It's not a cake, but it's MY birthday and I made it! Just put a few candles in it and voila, a birthday treat.
There have been many others too. I think the favorite cake of my children has to be the Krispy Kreme Donut Cake. A platter of Krispy Kreme Donuts stacked like a pyramid with, of course, candles on top!
This year, my aunt had a yellow cake with fudge frosting. It was delicious. Also on a platter were several Greek cookies, candy, and cake from a delicious Greek Bakery in the Atlanta area. What a treat!
My sons know that birthday cakes are not typical at our house. As a matter of fact, not much is typical about birthdays. My sons are 18 and almost 21, their cake may be an ice cream cake, cookie cake, two layer cake, donut cake, or a special cake yet to be revealed on my son's birthday May 4th. You'll have to wait and see. They know that even now, mom might have "Bob the Builder", "Scooby Do", "Speedracer", "Blues clues", etc.... for their plates. I'm young at heart, so they never know what to expect.
One of my fondest birthdays was when my two sons made me brownies! It was a delicious birthday treat! YUM