At least that's how I was brought up.
You should choose your own meal or pick your favorite restaurant. And, without a doubt, the day should end with a special cake. (Or pie or cupcakes or cheese platter--whatever you prefer.)
When it's a family member or friend's birthday I always want to make sure their food wishes come true along with his/her birthday wishes.
A great birthday dessert is a sign that you're loved. Take, for instance, my Hello Kitty cake from SEM.
This past weekend it was her birthday, so I wanted to share the love and ensure her food wishes came true.
But that I meant I had to get over my fear of baking...
Ever since I've started cooking seriously I've proclaimed to be the worst baker ever.
Baking is a combo of science and genetics. You're good at it or not.
I think that wins me some bragging rights, especially when every batch of sugar cookies I make come out of the oven charred and smoking.
I do have to give Alice Waters props. She's the one who walked me through my first made-from-scratch cake. Her 1-2-3-4 Cake recipe in The Art of Simple Food is so easy to follow it make Easy Oven look difficult. Her variation suggestions are spot on and her whipped cream and frosting recipes were a snap. The cake came out perfectly moist and crumbly. The frosting wasn't too sweet or too hard. And the filling didn't drench the cake. It was such a breeze, I could hardly believe it.
The most difficult part was making the sprinkle turtle look like a turtle. That took a little work on mine and FD's behalves.
Thank you, Alice Waters, for giving me some baking confidence.
More importantly, Happy Birthday, McGuire! If I didn't love you so much and want to make you something special, I would have never known that I can bake.