Of Birthday Cake and Sunflowers

28 Jun

Today is the one-week-aversary of my birthday, so I figure I’ve procrastinated long enough in getting these up.

We keep birthdays pretty low key around here – no drunken debauchery, no huge parties and definitely no surprises. All of that energy gets funneled into one thing: the cake.

I love cake. I especially love birthday cake. I have a folder full of potential birthday cakes, and I looooove scouring food sites for the next cake. And never, not ever, do I bake the same cake twice.

This year I picked a lemon-blueberry cake with Swiss meringue buttercream frosting, based on a recipe over at Plant Food Fabulous. Sounds like the perfect summer cake, right? And it included two special challenges: lemon curd from scratch and the frosting. Lemon curd has always intimidated me, and I’d never attempted a buttercream, let alone a meringue buttercream.

And mostly, it really *is* the pefect summer cake and I would recommend it to anyone. I pulled off the lemon curd and the frosting came together really well.

However, no one warned me about what happens to meringue buttercream when you live in Las Vegas in the summer.

This is what happens when you try to make this cake in the summer in Las Vegas – a place where the A/C can never keep up. And you guys, this is the good photo.

Lesson learned: If it’s 80+ degrees in your kitchen, your frosting will go from lovingly whipped and chilled to oil slick in about two seconds. Piping was impossible – the top of the cake looked like a kid made a ring of dribble sandcastles. The sides were all kinds of messy, and I couldn’t even coat the very bottom layer, because the frosting kept melting and falling off. And, it took about 6 times in and out of the freezer to even get this.

But, it is a seriously delicious cake.

And then my husband brought me sunflowers, which I adore:

Aren’t they gorgeous? I’m experimenting with ways to preserve them for use in an art piece I’m working on. Of course, that kind of experimentation is very delicate and may require several more bouquets of flowers. *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*

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2 Responses to “Of Birthday Cake and Sunflowers”

  1. Stacy @ Stacyverb July 3, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    I’m so impressed by all of your ambitious baking projects! Regardless of how it looked, I bet it tasted great. And I love sunflowers, too.

    • Megan July 3, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

      i love to try new things, even if they totally flop. and if it’s not a challenge, i’m not interested! the next cake is not really challenging, but i’ve never made one – i think it will be a tres leches, but with a twist or three.

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