Thursday, September 17, 2015

Birthday season and my top 5 cake recipes

I see that Stuff is warning us that our wallets are about to take a thrashing, because the heaviest birthday season of the year is imminent.

I knew this actually, because a) I am one of these peak-birthday babies (though my birthday is only the 21st most popular day of the year, it does fall within the 19 September - 1 October window) and b) we are total nerds and looked at birthday frequency for the Little Monkey's birth announcement (his is 348th on the list - we were going for niche).

Anyway, in light of the season I though perhaps it'd be helpful to share my five favourite cake recipes, in case you want to make someone feel special.

1. Kumara and ginger cake

I made this one for my birthday one year and it was a winner (even if it doesn't look like much).

It's flavoursome and pseudo-healthy, and really quick to put together. If you want you can jazz it up with cream cheese icing, or shower with icing sugar and leave as-is. Either way, it's delicious.

2. Chocolate nemesis torte

This is about the opposite of the kumara ginger number - dense, very rich, definitely not healthy (but who looks for that in cake anyway) - this is a rock-your-socks-off kind of cake. This is serious dessert cake, and must be served with ice-cream. And preferably also salted caramel sauce.

3. Caramel cake with brown butter icing

This caramel cake is more of a production, and requires attention to detail, but your efforts will be rewarded. The brown butter icing in particular is worth the process - I hadn't fully appreciated the glory of butter before I made this cake. 

Definitely for the sweet-toothed, I recommend starting with small slices!

4. Chocolate carrot cake

For a bit of a twist, combine two of the most popular cake flavours and what do you get? This glorious confection! Like most veg-based cakes it's pretty much guaranteed to be moist, but the chocolate pushes it to a whole new level. And - bonus - it's a chuck-everything-in-a-bowl-and-mix kind of affair. Easy!

5. Bienenstich / Bee sting cake

And now for something completely different - this German recipe is really more bread than cake, but the combination of rich custard filling and sticky nut topping means it's going to be eaten as cake so I reckon it counts. 

Despite the technicality I'd be pretty happy to be presented with one of these on my birthday... So who's baking? ;-) 

So tell me - are you a peak birthday baby? And what cake would you like for your next birthday? 

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