What Does a Cake Designer Make For Their Birthday?
Tomorrow is my birthday, i'll be turning 32! Eeeeep!! Anyway, I never usually have time to make myself a birthday cake, and so I end up going without one. However, this year I was determined to make my own cake. I've been falling in love with a recent Instagram trend for almond sable layered tarts, adorned with berries, macarons, meringue kisses, and fresh flowers. So, in my quest to 'cakify' the dessert, I made a two-tiered cake version.
I'm not a huge fan of almond, so I went with strawberry instead. Since the cake was going to be adorned with fresh berries, I thought it would be a delicious combination. Instead of a pastry cream, I used a traditional vanilla buttercream, and I added a generous layer of sliced strawberries between each layer of cake.
Strawberry cake, layered with vanilla buttercream and fresh strawberries.
I made the macarons and the meringue kisses ahead of time. I've never made meringue kisses before but they were surprisingly simple. The recipe is just one part egg-white to two parts super-fine sugar. If you don't have superfine sugar, regular sugar will do just fine. Allow the egg-whites to come up to room temperature, then whisk until thick, add the sugar and continue to whisk until thick, glossy peaks form.
Meringue Kisses streaked with pink and peach.
I streaked a little pink food color on the inside of my pastry bag, before adding the meringue. I then piped little kisses on a sheet tray lined with parchment and baked the kisses at 200 degrees F for about an hour.
Macarons are the devil's pastry- I try to avoid making them at all costs because they are finicky and temperatmental. I used my go-to "never fail recipe", and haha, it failed. I had about 50% of the batch which were unusable....but enough to make the cake.
The cake was adorned with fresh berries, organic flowers, meringue kisses and french macarons.
I purchased some delicious fresh berries from my local wegmans. I wanted the cake to be colorful, so I chose blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. The strawberries were halved, and the other berries were left whole.
The fruit tarts on Instagram also use fresh flowers. There's a bit of a concern about using fresh flowers because they are not always food safe, and can be sprayed with pesticides. I purchased some organic flowers from a reputable florist and washed and dried them. I then cut the heads off the stems and dipped them in white chocolate to seal the flowers and prevent any of the flower water from leaking out into my cake.
I filled and frosted my cakes as usual, before stacking, and then piping large dots of buttercream all over. I then added the macarons, berries, kisses, and flowers in a random formation. Overall, the cake is very pretty and would make a lovely alternative to a naked, or semi-naked wedding cake. Two thumbs up from this baker and my kids LOVED it!
A berry pretty cake!
The cake would be perfect for a bithday or a wedding.