We had a birthday at our house recently.
My husband, Jason, turned 24 on Tuesday and I made sure that we had a few parties to celebrate his wonderfulness!
On Tuesday, I made him a birthday dinner of filet mignon (ok, so he cooked that part), bacon-wrapped asparagus, goat cheese mashed potatoes and an incredible dessert of goat cheese custards with red wine berry sauce (these will be up on the blog soon).
But before the actual birthday, we went out for drinks and grilled cheeses (thanks to Hammontree's for dinner) with friends.
And then we played games and ate cake back at our apartment.
I have never made a whole birthday cake by myself, so I decided to try it out, mainly harnessing the few skills I learned when I worked in a bakery back in high school. Note the pieces of wax paper under the cake to keep the plate clean (thanks Martha Stewart for teaching me that tip).
It turned out well, but it definitely made me appreciate the bakeries around town. And it might not be the best idea to know how much butter and sugar go into a cake and icing. But as long as it's for special occasions only, it's all good, right.
I decided to make a white cake (Jason' pick) filled with lime curd and iced with a white buttercream icing.
The lime curd was so tart, sweet and vibrant. It was definitely the star of this summer birthday cake! The buttercream icing was classically sweet and smooth. And the cake turned out pretty dense.
Tip: Always read the reviews of a recipe before you make it.
I made this mistake and didn't whip the egg whites in this white cake recipe. This resulted in the cake being tasty but more dry and dense. It didn't quite rise enough and was not as soft as I hoped.
But once you pile the other fillings and icings it's hard to tell if the cake isn't perfect.
Also, the lime curd is great to eat with a spoon or as mini tart. You can make an easy tart by forming store bought pie crust dough in a mini muffin pan and cooking it at 400 for about 15 minutes or until it starts to brown. Then, fill that little cup with the fantastic lime curd.
*Click on recipe card to enlarge and save
Basic Buttercream Icing
Recipe from Food Network
Yield: 6 cups
Yield: 6 cups
- 1 cup unsalted butter or margarine, room temperature (usevegetable shortening when pure white icing is needed)
- 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla or other desired flavoring
- 2 pounds confectioners' sugar
Combine all the ingredients in large mixing bowl and mix at slow speed until smooth. If stiffer icing is needed, or if the weather is very warm, add a little extra sugar. This recipe is enough to cover and fill a 9 by 13-inch sheet cake or 2 (9-inch) layers.