I’m torn. Or, I’m of two minds. On the one hand, tradition is a great thing, offering stability in these troubled times (a bit of angsty saga there, eh?). On the other hand, some might consider baking the same cake (yes, we're talking about cake here) as THE birthday cake month after month, year after year is akin to being in a rut.
I think it depends on the cake in question. Some cakes deserve to be consumed on a regular basis. For many years the only birthday cake in our house was an old-fashioned cocoa cake with cocoa frosting. Three layers of OMG this is freaking amazing. (Hubby is a rebel and always wants an apple pie for his birthday “cake”.)
As a youngster quite often my birthday cake was a spice cake with Seven Minute Frosting (cooked egg white frosting = food of the gods). So when I think of that cake, spice cake with the meringue frosting, I’m transported back to the halcyon days of my childhood. And that’s a good thing. That’s what tradition means. Comfort and stability and damn good cake.
So which cake will I bake for the birthday this weekend? I’m torn.
Happy Birthday to my dear hubby!!! I’m so glad he was born. I’ll be baking his “cake” today. Cake is in quotes because he prefers an apple pie for his special day. I bought a bag of locally grown MacIntosh apples, my preferred type of apple for baking, when we were in the Annapolis Valley earlier this week.
In other news, the house construction is coming along beautifully.
I love love love the colours we chose and I can’t wait to get in there.
A very important weekend starts right now! You might be glancing at the calendar on your wall or desk and be thinking “okay, the autumnal equinox is today at 5:02 PM (Atlantic Daylight Time) in the Northern Hemisphere, big whoop”.
Which would be an understandable reaction unless you were part of my family because this is a big weekend for birthdays. Son2 celebrates his. As do I. As does my brother.
I know of people who celebrate a birthday month. And my friend Janet celebrates birthday week – part of which is eating cake for breakfast the day following the big day.
Brilliant! That’s a tradition I’m starting this weekend.
Here’s the recipe for birthday cake in my family.
Aunt Hilda’s Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
½ cup butter, room temperature
¾ cup sour milk (milk + 1 teaspoon vinegar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup cocoa, dissolved in 1 cup very hot water
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and dust with cocoa a Bundt pan, tube pan, or two 9-inch layer pans.
Sift together flour, soda, baking powder and salt. Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and beat until well combined. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk and cocoa water. Mix until well blended (mixture will be very wet).
Pour into pan, or pans, and bake for 45 – 50 minutes. (25 - 30 minutes for layer pans). Tester inserted near centre should come out clean.
Cool in pans on rack for 10 minutes. Turn out and cool completely.
Use the frosting or icing of your choice. Son2 prefers chocolate butter cream frosting. Brother enjoys coffee flavoured icing. I like vanilla. Or as an occasional change of pace, orange flavoured frosting. It captures that chocolate-orange combination that’s a slice of perfection.