Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Celebrating Birthdays

A chocolate cake with white icing and a ninja turtle on top. A chocolate cake with a blue whale. Chocolate Coke Cake. Carrot Cake. And every year in between.
These are the cakes I remember. Not necessarily memorable birthdays. I don't have many of those. None really stick out in my mind. Of course there are pictures and smiles, but no details stick out.
I think this lack of memorability is why I like making big deals of others' birthdays. I want them to experience something special, unique and memorable. I guess making up for what I lack.

This week was no different. Danielle is an amazing woman with a big heart. She has only experienced a few cultural foods. I plan on changing that and I already begun.
So for her birthday, I decided to celebrate her birthday and Julia Child's. I checked out Julia's baking book from the library and began flipping through it. It was jaw-dropping how many different recipes I wanted to try. All seemed to leave me salivating.
However, milk in my fridge limited my scope. So I found Julia's Vanilla Pound Cake. It sounded delicious. I exchanged one major ingredient for another. However, the cake was still moist and scrumptious. It even made 2 cakes, when Julia said it would make one.
Danielle enjoyed it and she had her first taste of fig, which I think accompanies it nicely. Justneeds a little whipped cream, but thats just a suggestion.
So Danielle, Happy Birthday! I hope we can experience more new foods together!

Vanilla Pound Cake adapted from Baking with Julia
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salk
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large egss, at room temperature, beaten together
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift dry ingredients together. Begin beating butter with mixer. After creaming butter, beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Occasionally scrapping down bowl. Begin beating eggs into batter at medium speed, after incorporting alternate milk and dry ingredients together. Propperly combined ingredients will be white and fluffy. Scrap vanilla bean and at to mixture, slowly beating in. It makes 2 loaves or at least thats what I found. Cook for between 55 to 65 minutes. Stick in a toothpick to make sure middle is down. Let cool 10 minutes before turning out.


nicisme said...

Your cake is beautiful! I'll know where to come on my birthday - lucky Danielle.

lynn said...

Lovely cake. And aren't you sweet to make it for someone else's birthday!

Paola said...

That's a gorgeous cake! Yum!


candy said...

i know it wasn't the focus of your post but you just reminded me that i promised someone a carrot cake. :)

lori lynn at Taste With The Eyes said...

Hi Jerry - I am having so much fun reading everyone's posts about their connection to Julia Child.

I'm not a baker, as I really don't like to follow recipes, so I made a Sole Meuniere in honor of her first meal in France. I appreciate your cake, and figs sound like a perfect accompaniment.

Happy birthday Julia and to your fortunate friend Danielle!