Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Let them Eat Cake (a lot of it)

Yesterday was Hubbabubba's birthday. We celebrated appropriately by throwing a Cakewalk, which so perfectly describes our marriage (in an alternate universe, that is). I made 7 different types of cakes and invited a few friends to sample the goods. The Lemon Curd Cheesecake was a consistent favorite, along with the caramel latte cake. Some were really into the taste and texture of the carrot mandarin cake with cream cheese frosting, it contained shredded coconut along with the carrots and mandarins, and at first bite you think you're chewing on the carrots but really it's the coconut- kind of a nice surprise that added a different mouth feel to the dessert. I loved the strawberry shortcake because it was so pretty and fluffy and fruity looking, with mounds of homemade whipped cream and luscious red strawberry halves adorning it like beautiful rubies on a crown. Hubbabubba requested his fave; banana creme pie, so I made a fudge bottomed banana cream pie, which went in about 30 minutes (Hubbabubba has a great pallette). Of course I had to represent the chocomaniacs out there. I offered them a deep dark chocolate layer cake, which they seemed satisfied with. Funny thing about chocomaniacs is that a lot of them feel it's just not worth the calories if it's not chocolate. They didn't even look twice at the other cakes, being hopelessly devoted to their dark master. And lastly I served a solidly reliable sour cream coffeecake, not as beautiful or exotic or stylish as the other cakes- but an old standard that always tastes good, begs for the partnership of coffee (iced or hot), and is moist and tasty no matter the season or occasion.
It was a pretty fun and indulgent way for Hubbabubba to spend his birthday, and it gave me the chance to try out all the cakes I've been wanting to make as each new bakebook is added to my collection on the nightstand. The ones that didn't make the cut this year; honey bun cake, peanut butter tandy cake, tres leches cake, will get their turn next year, when, again, I can make my cakes and have everyone eat them too.

Semi Homemade Fudge Bottom Banana Creme Pie (in honor of H.'s 37th b'day)
Follow instructions on 1 box (4-serving size) non-instant vanilla pudding mix (it involves boiling 2 c.'s milk and a lot of stirring). Cool pudding for 30 mins. In a ready made pie shell baked to your personal preference, spread half a jar of hot fudge topping (or more if you really love ithe stuff) on bottom of cooled pie shell. Top with 2-3 c. sliced ripe bananas, then the pudding, and a final layer of whipped cream (homemade is best). Garnish with chocolate shavings if you really want to show you care, banana slices if you only care a little, or eggshells if you don't care at all. Refrigerate for about 3-4 hours.

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