Friday, April 24, 2015


It's always around this time of year when I start thinking cake but more specifically, birthday cake, MY BIRTHDAY CAKE. Yes, this baker bakes herself a birthday cake. I had big dreams of testing out cakes and fillings to find my favorite combination to create "the birthday cake". But as life moves on, taxes and baking items that others love, took up most of my recipe testing time.

Can't say I didn't test any recipe. I did test the mousse recipe when J was in town for a visit so at least I know I can fiddle with that as filling. And remember last year's cake: lemony white cake recipe from Dorie Greenspan with lemon swiss buttercream and a crown of fresh berries. Here's the link to that post. So I have a couple of ideas.

My love of lilikoi won out this year and I decided to make Earl Grey Tea Cake with lilikoi mousse and cream cheese frosting. 

We end up eating cake at 9:30 in the morning
I slightly adapted the Milk Tea Cupcake recipe from JustJennRecipe. Here's what I adjusted: used 4 tea bags of Stash Double Bergamont Earl Grey Tea, 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla and baked the cake in a two 8" square pans for 30 minutes.

Here's a couple of shots of the great start.

steeping the tea in milk
creaming the butter and sugar to a very light yellow
bake to golden brown
Then drama begins. I think the trouble started with starting the cake too late and not having enough time to cool and chill everything component of this cake before assembly. 

As the cake cooled, I started on the filling lilikoi mousse using the same recipe I tested the raspberry mousse. Here's the link to that post. I was ambitious enough last weekend to make the lilikoi curd. I forgot to take a picture of the mousse on it's own. Here's a picture of the leftover mousse for me and WG.

a beautiful light yellow color
I thought the cake cooled off enough that I decided to take them out of the pans [apparently not]. I buttered and floured the pan but didn't a put a sheet of wax paper on the bottom. I should have known better. The bottom stuck to the pans and needed to puzzle piece them back. I wanted to slice each layer in half but I wasn't sure they would be stable enough as thinner layers. [This where I stopped taking pictures of the steps because I was getting annoyed.] 

To make a long story of my birthday cake disaster short, here quick recap [well as short as I could make it]

  • top layer cracked
  • added mousse layer, use it as glue for the crack
  • chill to set mousse
  • frosted cake
  • realized that the cake was too big for cake box
  • trimmed frosted cake
  • layers begin to slide
  • about to toss the cake on the floor
  • lots of slamming and cursing
  • shoved bamboo skewers in the cake to hold it in place
  • shoved the *%$#^% cake in the refrigerator
  • I'm done for tonight
  • wake up 15 minutes earlier [I already wake up way too early] to get cake ready for travel
  • pull skewers out, last minute touch up to cake
  • add "Happy April" in lilikoi curd to top
  • realize cake too tall for box
  • find a container to bring the cake in
  • add plastic wrap to the top
  • say good by to "Happy April"
Here's rest of pictures I got. Not sure how this cake survived not being thrown in the garbage. But it did and it survived the hour commute on NJ transit and arrived in one piece. That's all I could ask. It tasted great and may make batch for the restaurant. I just have to remember everything is better with some time to chill including the crazy baker.
before the trim and sliding layer disaster
when realize it still was too big for the box

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