Thursday, May 31, 2018

Three At Last

Phoebe was sick on her birthday and after her birthday party was rescheduled twice, we finally celebrated with grandparents.  I had baked her cake in early May and stashed it in the freezer, so finally I could pull it out and finish it up.

 It's a wacky cake (chocolate) flavored with bergamot.  So when the recipe called for hot water, I used very strong decaf Earl Grey tea!  I got the idea from my friend Jess.

Then I iced it with Italian meringue tinted pink, and served sour cherries on the side; I got the idea for the cherries from Moosewood - Mollie Katzen calls them Danish cherries, but most of us would call them cherry pie filling.  I decorated the cake with mint leaves and candied cherries (I have them to use in Grandma's Christmas bread), and I do think the effect was more Christmassy than I intended.

I used my frozen sour cherries that the girls and I picked at an orchard last year.  The whole combination was so delicious.  I've been on a kick this year to use fruit in interesting ways for desserts.  Typically, I think I would have served ice cream with this cake.  No one missed it here.

Phoebe loved her cake, loved her party, was just a total birthday champ from beginning to end. She was fascinated by "the number on my cake." She actually tried to eat it in the happy chaos after she blew it out and I was cutting the cake. And now one of her conversation starters is "the number on my cake" and "it's wax, and we don't eat wax."

I'm glad we waited until she could fully participate and appreciate her birthday. She's a kid now, not my baby - I have such mixed feelings about this passage of time.


Shauna said...

Looks like a very nice party! I thought what a beautifully decorated pink and green cake, not Christmassy at all. We love sour cherries here too, I have a few sour cherry trees and they are blooming now, one of the things that produce well in the north. I've never served them 'on the side' always make them into something, lots of jam, so that's food for thought!

Jennifer Jo said...

That cake is lovely! And you're right: Christmassy. A summery Christmas cake!

Alica said...

The first thing I thought when I saw the cake was..."Oh, what a beautiful, simple cake!" (and simple is a complement!!) I don't think it looks Christmassy at all. She looks just delighted. Oh to be 3 again!

Hazel said...

So glad she had her party. I remember my youngest being ill for her 5th birthday- she just sat on the sofa looking wan whilst my mum tried to cheer her up.
The cake looks beautiful and I'm intrigued by the flavours- I love bergamot and earl Grey tea.

Becky said...

What a festive looking cake! Happy Birthday celebration Phoebe!

My girl has been sick on her birthday a few times (those January birthdays are rough), but worse, she's been sick on her dad's birthday two days after hers more times than I can keep up with (this year it was the flu. Last year was the stomach bug....other years it was strep throat and more stomach bug. Lots of stomach bug....)

beth s said...

Such a pretty cake. I didnt think "christmas" until you mentioned it. It's perfect.

Anonymous said...

My first thought when I saw the cake was, "What a darling retro-looking cake!" Christmas didn't enter my mind.

Did you add anything to the sour cherries served on the side? For the cake, did you just add sour cherries to the wacky cake recipe?

I love cherries. We have two sour cherry trees in our yard. I'm always looking for ways to use them.

Margo said...

Anonymous, thank you! For the sour cherries on the side, I essentially made a cherry pie filling. It's a fairly straightforward recipe - thicken cherry juice with cornstarch, add sugar, almond extract, butter, pinch of salt, cherries.
There are no sour cherries actually in the wacky cake - just those storebought candied cherries as decoration. I did flavor the wacky cake with Earl Grey tea, though.
Jealous of your sour cherry tree!

AmyK said...

The cake is lovely! I didn't even think about Christmas when looking at it.

BLD in MT said...

Three!! Wow! I am so glad to hear you all--birthday girl especially--had a lovely celebration. Fun times and life lessons (we do not eat wax! Ha!) to boot.

I also can't wait to try Wacky Cake with Earl Grey! My grandmother (who gave me her recipe) called for coffee, but that never appealed to me much. HOW HAVE I NOT THOUGHT OF TEA?!?! I so look forward to it.

jenny_o said...

What a very pretty cake! And your baby is certainly growing up fast.

Sarah Barry said...

EEEKK! How is she 3?! Happy belated birthday!!!

Oh the passage of time...bittersweet.


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