Happy Birthday!

June 19th, 2009

Hooray! It’s my birthday!

Candle for decoration only.

Candle for decoration only.

I decided I wanted to make myself a little birthday cake. Emphasis on little!

I feared a candle might melt the buttercream.

I feared a candle might melt the buttercream.

I originally wanted to have a picnic for my birthday.

It's been rainy here, can you tell?

It's been rainy here, can you tell?

That…didn’t pan out. So I broke out the quince jelly and made a Perfect Party Cake!

Pink and quincey!

Pink and quincey!

A tiny one. It is still a serious cake that could serve up to four, being that it’s all tall and covered with buttercream. But, so tiny I had it on a saucer. The whole cake. On a saucer. Precious!

Oh, this ice cream...

Oh, this ice cream...

I made what I can only really call a frozen custard to go along with it. It’s vanilla-anise. We’ll get to that later.

What this cake lacks in color, it makes up for in sweet, happy flavors.

What this cake lacks in color, it makes up for in sweet, happy flavors.

The odd decoration is thanks to me not really knowing how to make white chocolate curls. I got a thin bark instead so I broke it up and used it to cover my sloppy frosting job.

Hooray for birthdays!

Hooray for birthdays!

Tiny Perfect Party Cake

(based on Dorie Greenspan‘s Perfect Party Cake from her big, wonderful book, Baking: From My Home to Yours. Thanks to Tartelette for making tiny cakes first so I knew it could be done!)

For the Cake:

  1. 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp cake flour
  2. 1/4 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/8 tsp fine salt
  4. 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp whole buttermilk
  5. 1 egg white
  6. 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
  7. 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  8. 2 Tbsp (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a 4″ (springform if you have it) cake pan and line with a parchment circle and parchment strips, buttering the outside of the strips slightly as well. Place on a baking sheet and set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg white. Pour the sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer (or just a medium bowl if using a hand mixer). Add the zest, then rub the zest into the sugar with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and beat on low until light and fluffy (up to 3 minutes). Continue beating and add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Wait until it is incorporated, then add half of the buttermilk mixture, wait, half of the flour, wait, the rest of the buttermilk, wait, the rest of the flour. Stop the mixer, scrape down the bowl, and beat for another couple of minutes to mix completely. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top of the batter with a rubber/silicone spatula, if necessary. Bake 30-35 minutes, turning halfway if necessary. The edges will be lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean. Remove to a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then release the spring or invert and remove from pan. Peel off paper and flip back over, if necessary. Allow to cool fully before assembling.

For the Frosting:

  1. 1/4 cup sugar
  2. 1 egg white
  3. 3 oz. (6 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cut in Tbsp & room temperature
  4. 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  5. Couple blobs of yellow gel food coloring, if desired

Place the sugar and egg white in the bowl of a stand mixer (or another metal bowl if using a hand mixer) over simmering water and whisk for about 3 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is shiny and hot. Remove and whip until cool, up to 5 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter in Tbsp, waiting for each one to fully incorporate before adding the next. Gradually beat in the lemon juice and food coloring.

To Assemble:

  1. Cake, cut horizontally into fourths
  2. 1/4 cup quince jelly, warmed slightly
  3. Frosting
  4. White chocolate bark/curls/chips/whatever

Place the bottom layer of the cake onto a decorative saucer. Spread evenly with a thickish layer of jelly. Place the next layer on top and repeat. When the top layer is in place, freeze the cake for a few minutes. Once cold and firm, plop most of the buttercream on top of the cake. Smooth with a spatula, frosting down the sides then around to smooth it. Use any fancy decorative stuff you have if you want. Decorate with white chocolate.

This cake is a more than deserving use of my quince jelly. The lemon meringue buttercream is light and a bit tart, the cake is ridiculously moist and soaks up the barely-frozen, perfectly sweet ice cream…Like I said. Later.

4 Responses to “Happy Birthday!”

  1. Amy Doebler says:

    The cake is so cute!I love little bake goods. Thanks for sharing a great recipe too. :)

  2. Katey says:

    Looks lovely and delicious! Happy birthday @->—

  3. Happy Birthday Anna! I hope you have a wonderful day and what a wonderful cake to celebrate it! :D

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