A long weekend at my parents' house, 27-mile bike ride in the hill towns, avalanches of town gossip and barbequed chicken sausages, huge flowers everywhere, teary Memorial Day parade with a troop of T-Ballers and my dad riding on a flatbed playing the saxophone, strawberries and cream, was everything I needed in the world. And along the way I made a few cakes.
shortcake. It was free choice week for the Heavenly Cake Bakers, but the cake that my family picked out from the book was already on the list for the week after next--the chocolate covered strawberry cake. It was an over-the-top, squashy, sweet monster of a cake, and the pictures will appear in two weeks. I was just going to skip free choice week, as I didn't want to overwhelm the home folks with cake beyond their strength, but on a quick tag-sale cruise, my mother picked up and handed to me none other than--the daisy pan. Then she didn't understand why I was laughing. I often gently mock Rose's Heavenly Cakes for the large percentage of specialty cake recommendations--I mean, seriously, not all of us are product testers, but when the daisy pan of fate presented itself, what could I do?
I tried to hold back, and succeeded for about 24 hours, but then I couldn't take it anymore, and besides, there were all those egg yolks left over from the strawberry cake that my mother was just going to throw out...The 'She Loves Me' cake is a plain butter cake, and the most difficult thing about the operation (aside from my mother's small mixing bowls, which got me and the kitchen well cake-spattered) was making sure that it would turn loose from the pan. I didn't have my Baker's Joy with me, but I buttered and floured very carefully, and only lost a tiny corner from one petal. In the end, the cake pan stood up to my and my mother's mockery, and surprised us both by having more texture and appeal than we had expected. In fact, it was downright attractive. I didn't bother outlining the flowers, as we had plenty of real live daisies in the garden, but I did fill it with passion fruit curd and last summer's blackberries, a bag of which had been waiting frozen from our picking spree in August.
cuit, strawberries, and whipped cream, but the daisy cake came in a close second. Happy birthday, little sister. I've loved every year of your twenty-five.