Happy Wednesday Folks!
After a few weeks of mild weather, winter seems to have hit again. The first noticeable snow fell about a week ago during Samuel’s 2nd birthday and that might have been one of his favourite birthday presents. A short 5-minute walk from his sitter took about 25 minutes while he excitedly pushed snow from the sidewalks with his little green shovel.
His birthday also entailed 2 delicious cakes made by yours truly. This might seemed like an easy task for many parents but truth be told, “I am no baker”. Savoury meals come easy but the desert department is pretty intimidating and I try to avoid it to the best of my abilities. Last year’s moose cake turned out ok but the cupcakes were a bit hard and the icing never really set. Could I make it happen this time?
Samuel’s birthday was on a weekday so I started by baking a simple flourless cake from one of my favourite cooking sites 101 Cookbooks. The day before the almonds were blanched and the almond paste made using this very simple recipe. It was a delicious but surprisingly heavy cake. I guess that 1 ½ cups of almond paste and 5 eggs would do it. Samuel did not complain and the cake disappeared in a couple of days.
For the family party over the weekend I made a 3D tractor cake. Samuel is obsessed with tractors – remember the Tractor! Tractor! post? – but going from an amateur baker to making a 3D cake was kind of terrifying. After much research I made the Best Yellow Layer Cake. Luckily enough one recipe filled both rectangular cake pans needed for the masterpiece. After freezing the cakes for about 2 hours they were sliced in the middle and each layer covered in rich chocolate ganache. For the frosting I used a family’s buttercream icing recipe replacing the milk for carrot juice to give a hint of orange (Samuel’s favourite colour). Fun was also making the decorations: orange slices for the wheels and liquorice for the windows and escape pipe.
The cake was placed on the table next to Samuel’s favourite snacks: a bowl of plain yogurt with an assortment of toppings (raisins, strawberry sauce, blueberry-basil coulis, and leftover chocolate ganache) and olives. When Samuel woke up from his nap and saw the cake, all he could say was “Tractor!” and that is how I measured success. The cake was also very tasty and remarkably better the next day. Finally, I can’t believe it that I did it and actually had fun in the process. Big thanks to my friends that suggested decorations items and provided spatulas and baking pans. I am looking forward for the next baking challenge!
Have a wonderful week! Make it count.