Friday, September 9, 2011

An Anniversary Cake

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure to host my parents and 8 of my brothers and sisters during a summer visit to Erie. They stayed at a cottage located near the lake
front in North East, PA and had a wonderful time enjoying the beautiful Pennsylvania countryside. Erie really is quite beautiful during the summer months. It almost (ALMOST) makes up for the dreary winters that seem to drag on endlessly for months.
While my family was in town, Paul and I planned a surprise anniversary party for my Mom and Dad. Their anniversary was technically the month before, but it fell on the eve of my older brother's wedding and was largely forgotten about in the chaos and panic characteristic of wedding preparations. To make up for this oversight, I wanted to surprise them with a few desserts and maybe a bottle or two of wine at
my home. Paul and I worked tirelessly to create the desserts: an elegant 6-layer Coconut Cream Cake for my Dad, a Root Beer Bundt cake for the chocolate-crazed little kids, and a Triple Layer Blueberry-Lemon Cake for my Mom. We decorated the house with roses and candles, and saved a bottle of Riesling from our favorite winery in North East. All in all, the party was a success and the cakes were very well received.
The Root Beer Bundt cake was courtesy of the boys from Baked in Brooklyn, New York and it was probably my favorite dessert of the evening. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it was a slice of heaven. The rest of the family swooned over the layer cakes -especially the coconut cake. I actually obtained that recipe from a chef of a restaurant Paul and I dined at while on a business trip in Columbus, IN. It was actually served to us as an apology from the restaurant staff for mixing up our dinner order. They absolutely insisted on serving us a slice of this cake, and I am so glad that we finally gave in. Paul and I were literally fighting for the last bite - and Paul is NOT a fan of coconut. I ended up emailing the restaurant the next day requesting the recipe, and they promptly replied with the recipe in its entirety! I am already planning on serving this for Christmas dessert!

As loved and praised as the Coconut Layer Cake was, I actually found myself eating bite after bite of the Lemon Blueberry Cake. Noticeably more subtle in flavor and infinitely less rich than the Coconut Cake, this gem was a beautiful slice to behold and, at least to me, had the appearance of summer on a plate! I was also very proud of the new ruffle decorating technique I tested out on this cake. It wasn't perfect, but it was very forgiving.

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