Celebration Cakes Archive

Monday, March 29, 2010

almond macaroon torte with chocolate frosting

almond torte with chocolate frosting

And on Saturday, we returned from our week at sea, our week of no work, of sunshine and someone else making dinner and lo, what a bummer. But we had a great time, from stunning views as we sailed out of New York Harbor on a freak 75 degree day in March:

leaving new york
the verrazano went by our patio

On an epically proportioned boat

ferry back to the boat

Continued after the jump »

Saturday, November 28, 2009

cappuccino fudge cheesecake

cappuccino fudge cheesecake

Given that it is but two days after one of the most indulgent meals of the year, I suspect the last thing you want to hear about is the most indulgent cake I have ever made, and yet, given the quality of the last two vegetable-focused, lighter dishes I have made — both of which I’d give a resounding “eh” — trust me, what I’ve got going on here is much more worthy of your attention, and your table at some distant dinner party. So pull up a chair.

adding butter to crumbs, chocolate
massive puddle of ganache

Because this cake is ridiculous, ridiculous bordering on obscene, so obscene that even a wee sliver of it takes an eating intermission mid-slice just to get through. Perhaps you’ll go get yourself a glass of water, do some stretches or deep yogic breathing, but I guarantee that you’ll do whatever it takes to psych you up enough to take on the second half.

espresso cheesecake

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

peach cupcakes with brown sugar frosting

peach cupcakes, brown sugar cream cheese frosting

My friend Molly — she of the dry-rubbed ribs and apple tarte tatin fame — is leaving us for the kind of love that requires one to take up residence in another state. We’re all mighty bummed out about this and not making it easy on her, not only pouting over her imminent departure at every turn but insisting that she perform her half-day rib magic one last time at her going-away party this weekend.

peachesmm, street peachespeach cupcakes, ready to bakepeach cupcake, cooling

Because it was Molly who introduced me to the unparalleled awesomeness that is South Carolina peaches (albeit from the mountains of North Carolina) [and how they're even better when they're sliced and dolloped with whole milk yogurt, or about the only breakfast (with less-exciting and much-fuzzier local peaches) I can fathom on these steaming August days], I wanted to bake something with peaches for the party, but not peach hand pies or peach crème fraîche pie. I wanted to make peach cupcakes.

peach cupcakes, cream cheese frosting

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

espresso chiffon cake with fudge frosting

espresso layer cake, fudge frosting

Of course, there was also cake. I mean, you didn’t think I’d let my better half’s 35th birthday go by without some homemade, stacked and butter-laden goodness, did you? Right, I didn’t think so.

egg whites, soft peaksfrothy cappucino-like batterespresso chiffon cakes, coolingbrushing the cake with more espresso

Now, no introduction to a birthday cake for Alex would be complete without a brief tour of the cakes from years past, when there has been an Icebox Cake, a Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake, a Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake and the cake that you all liked so much, it broke the server’s back for a harrowing day or two last year, the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake. Did you sense a theme or something? There Will Be Chocolate, Like You Even Needed To Ask.

instant fudge frosting

Continued after the jump »

Monday, July 13, 2009

best birthday cake

best birthday cake

Some people find out they’re going to be parents and — you know, after the whole “yay babies!” cheer has simmered down a bit — freak out because they haven’t yet a) traveled the world, b) made their first million, paid off all of their debt and saved up enough for $200 toys for their little snowflake or c) well, grown up yet. But me, I actually had a moment of panic because I hadn’t yet found the perfect yellow layer cake recipe. And apparently — and yes, probably ridiculously — central to my image of the kind of mom I want to be is not to have to turn to a box of Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Butter Recipe Golden (anyone else ever been perplexed by this wording?) cake mix to get a reliably perfect two-layer celebration cake. It’s the Smitten Kitchen, afterall: People have expectations!

siftingegg shellsmm, batteryellow layer cake

But I’m not knocking on Duncan Hines, or anyone else who — like me — thinks they do a frighteningly good job of making a consistently perfect, moist and plush yellow layer cake. It’s just that it has always been on my agenda to crack the code at home, using the kind of ingredients I’m a little more proud to put my efforts behind. And although I’ve made my share of vanilla layer cakes, such as this delicious one for that wedding cake or this one that everyone needs in their repertoire because it is infinitely memorize-able, I hadn’t yet found The One.

yellow cake layers, coolingmaking chocolate sour cream frostingchocolate sour cream frostingfilling the cake

Continued after the jump »


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