I went all out this year. It was for a VERY special occasion. It was for my Mummy’s birthday. It was the mother of all cakes. I bake often, as I’m sure you’re all aware but there are some occasions which mean I pull out all the stops. This being one of them. I have been notably absent from my family’s lives for the last 6 years, what with living in Australia and all, it was a bit of a schlep to come home for birthdays. But being that I am on sabbatical in the UK at the moment, as part of my worldwide culinary adventure, I am here, in the UK, primed and ready to bake for loved ones and bake I did!
My Mummy does like sweet things but not too sweet. Mummy likes things tart! Raspberries, gooseberries, grapefruit, lemons, if they’re sour, she likes them. Which seems to be a complete paradox, as she is so sweet. So I decided to make my favourite lemon curd to feature as one of the cake’s fillings. I also made a sheep yoghurt mousse, again to add a sour note to the cake. The sponge itself was a lemon cake, I made two of the same small cakes and sliced them in two so I ended up with four layers of cake.
Sponge layers were interspersed with perfectly tart lemon curd, sheep yoghurt mousse and fresh raspberries. And all of this was then smothered in a vanilla marshmallow frosting (possibly the most fun frosting in the world) and sprinkled with dehydrated raspberries and topped with happy birthday candles. It was a fun cake to make and even more fun to eat.
Why is cooking important to me? Because I want to nourish people, because I want to nurture people, because I want to brighten someone’s day with the food I have created. I think food can be such a beautiful expression of someone’s love, the food that is plated and wrapped and left in the fridge for me (by my darling sister) when I get home from work in the wee hours of the morning is packed full of love. As I sit here now in the middle of the night, all is quiet, everyone’s asleep but I have a delicious plate of food, food which to me says, I love you and this is my way of showing it.
So, Little Chef making a giant cake filled with my Mummy’s favourite things was a big ‘I love you’ gesture. We all sat around the beautifully styled kitchen table and each took charge of one course from the birthday menu and we ate and drank and laughed a lot and I made a speech and made everyone cry and we all got a bit tiddly (probably why I made the speech). Food to me is a form of communion, we all come together to share.
And in the spirit of sharing, I have included lots of photo’s of the cake’s construction. Great cakes are not born, they are made.