My niece turned 3 this week and on Sunday we had a small party for her. Isn't it interesting that almost every birthday party centers around one (ok, maybe 2) things, one of which is a certain food item: Cake.
Why is it that cake is set apart to mark the passing from one year to the next, and then goes on even further to mark our passing from Single life into the realm of the married? Well, I don't know. It's certainly tasty, but then so are many other desserts.
Perhaps it has to do with the customizable nature of cake thanks to it's ability to be carved, and to the frosting which can make a cake look like just about anything. If there's any who have watched the Ace of Cakes on Food Network, you know. It's incredible! Each cake can be so unique, and so personal.
Besides, what would a birthday be without extra frosting on graham crackers?
These were made by my adorable nieces. They're both monsters. (the graham crackers, not the nieces)
So you see how a tube of frosting inspires even a very young mind. Really it's no wonder we use it to beautify our most important events.
I do feel, though, that we don't take advantage of the full scope of the cake. People tend to focus on the decoration, but overlook much potential yumminess while focusing on looks. There are so many fabulous recipes, fillings, fruits, and alternative frostings to butter cream and fondant. For example, at two of my very best friend's weddings the cake has been made by a family member (the groom's mother). The layer I was fortunate enough to try was a pound cake with the most wonderful strawberry filling I've ever had. I've never had pound cake like it, nor am like to again, until I convince either the bride, groom, or his mother to get me the recipe. (hint hint, I know you're reading this, Thora) The couple now has two children (which should indicate just how memorable this cake was).
Most people don't even know the difference between white and yellow cake, and there is so much more than white, yellow, and chocolate. I'd like to encourage people to make more cake, shun the evils of cake mix, and find a new yummier recipe. It does take a little more practice to get cake right than say...cookies or brownies, but once you do it's well worth it.