About a week ago, I was having a conversation with (my 4yo daughter) Gillian as we were in the car on the way to the daycare. I asked her if she knew that she was going to get to stay home with me on Monday (Presidents Day, the 21st). "Yes! That's my day off!" "Do you know what else it is?" "Is it your birthday?" "Yes, it is. How old do you think I'm going to be?" "100?" Thanks, kid. =)
So yes, this past Monday was my birthday. While I'm not quite 100, it was one of those birthdays with a zero at the end. When I told Gillian which one, she insisted that we count from 1 to 40, just because she could. Again, thanks. =) I didn't really have any special plans for the day, in part because I knew Gillian would be home with me all day. We went to Costco (and G was very disappointed in the lack of samples on weekdays), and did some baking.
I was thrilled to get lots of wonderful birthday wishes from family and friends. My family knows me well--my in-laws sent a baking-themed card, my sister Kate & her husband Jeff sent a gift card to King Arthur Flour, and my Dad and Judy sent a gift card to Sur la Table. Time for some shopping! =) (I already have my eye on this pullman pan. Though I still don't understand why they don't just sell the lid with it...) The big question everyone kept asking, though, was who was making my birthday cake?
There are two answers to that. The Friday before my birthday, one of my bankers made a cake for me and brought it to work. It was one of my all-time favorites, yellow cake with chocolate frosting. She was a little worried that I wouldn't like cake from a box mix. My thoughts on that? Any cake that someone else makes for me is awesome! Plus, who doesn't like box yellow cake? =) It was fantastic.
I also made cake for myself on Monday. Gillian helped a bit with stirring and licking beaters. =) Unlike the rest of my immediate family, I prefer vanilla cake with my chocolate frosting. Since I was in the mood for raspberry filling, I decided to make white cake, since I think it works better than yellow for that. My go-to recipe for white cake is in one of the first baking books I ever got, The Cake Bible. It's the White Velvet Butter Cake. One of the great things about making white cake instead of yellow is that I got to get some of the egg whites out of my freezer. =) For the filling, I got to use more egg whites, since I made my favorite Swiss meringue buttercream, flavored with raspberry. And I went the easy route for the frosting--I can probably make the sour cream-chocolate frosting in my sleep, I've made it so many times now. I like lots of layers, so I sliced each of the 9" layers in half so I had four layers of cake with filling between them. I didn't want to mess with decorating, so I just swirled the chocolate frosting on the top. Brianna and Gillian insisted it needed something more, so we added some multicolored non-pareil sprinkles.
The verdict? Well, that's kind of a silly question, since I made it with flavors that are my favorites. Honestly, though, I might change the frosting next time. The raspberry buttercream was fantastic with the texture of the cake. The chocolate frosting was a bit heavy for the whole thing. I might have to try it with chocolate buttercream for the outside next time, or maybe a milk chocolate ganache glaze. It was still very tasty, though, and was eagerly eaten by everyone here.
If you'd like to try making the White Velvet Butter Cake, you can find the recipe here. The Sour Cream-Chocolate Frosting is in this post of mine. And the Swiss Meringue Buttercream is in my post on Dorie's Perfect Party Cake. (I added about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of raspberry fruit butter to the buttercream to flavor it. Raspberry jam should work as well.)