Monday, February 4, 2013

Happy Birthday Sparky!

I always look forward to family birthdays.  I usually get some more freedom to "do what I want" and my family are usually victims of new recipes or ideas.  Why?  Because then I get to taste them.  It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.  

So, when my brother's birthday was approaching, I talked to my sister-in-law to see if she had any ideas for my brother's cake.  She asked me to do something with squirrels (more on that later).  Other than that, she really didn't have much of a preference and we both knew that my brother wasn't all that picky.  I know that one of my brother's favorite flavors is lemon, so I started looking for some fun lemon recipe ideas.

In the process of researching, I discovered a little website called "Pinterest".  You may have heard of it.  I am know addicted and am looking into a 12-step program to detox.  It.Is.Awesome.  And the cake ideas are endless!  I just love it!  Anyway, I came across some pictures of a lemon meringue CAKE which I thought looked fun.  My brother's favorite pie is a lemon meringue pie so I thought this would be perfect.  

I started with a lemon cake and I made some lemon curd and filled and stacked the cake like so:

These are three 6-inch cakes sliced in half for 6 layers.

Then I made up some White Cloud frosting, a Martha Stewart recipe.  I've made 7-minute frosting before and that's what I thought I was making again until I had all of the ingredients put together and discovered that I had to beat this stuff for about 25 minutes!!!  Well, I'm happy to say, it turned out beautifully!

Frosting the cake was a cinch!

It didn't have to be super neat if I was going to give it that lemon meringue pie look.  I achieved it by using the back of a spoon and making little peaks.

Then, I got out my blow torch (yep -- I have one for when I make creme brulee) and I torched the little peaks.

I think it looks like meringue right out from the broiler, don't you?  

So, back to the squirrels.  My sister-in-law sometimes calls my brother "Sparky", and references Chevy Chase in the movie National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.  A squirrel in that movie had a pretty destructive role.  So, she requested that squirrels be somewhere on the cake.  I was happy to oblige.  

And here's a delicious shot of the inside of the cake.  Mmmmmmm!!!!

Happy Birthday, Brother!  I'm so happy we got to celebrate another year of you!  Here's to many more!


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