Happy Birthday to Me!

10 May

My birthday was almost a month ago.   30 days to celebrate turning 30.  Every weekend for the past 4 weeks or so has had a portion of a day dedicated to celebrating with different friends and family, in Cayman and here in Philadelphia.  Dinners, balloons and champagne.  A gloriously massive chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache, cookies, lemon cake and more.

To cap off the birthday month I made a cake of my own. A cake to celebrate my birthday, a day I share with Joey Lawrence and my dear friend Drea.    Drea and I share a great many things: a birthday, a middle name and a love of Terry Gross to name a few.  Drea loves fruit in her desserts, I love a layer cake.  We both love Mexican dresses – our 2012 birthday cake was born.

Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Mousseline Buttercream and Strawberry Rhubarb Compote.

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

3/4 pound (about 2 large stalks) of rhubarb, trimmed, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch chunks

1 1/2 pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered

3/4 cup sugar

1 lemon, zest and juice

Put aside 1/2 a pound of strawberries.  Combine all remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.  Cook, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.  Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the liquid has reduced and thickened – about 5 minutes.  Take off of the heat and let cool.  Mix in reserved strawberries.

Spread the sauce between cake layers or serve over ice-cream.  Spoon over pancakes or serve along side angel food cake with whipped cream.

I loved this cake.  I pick apart every cake that I make – I make a mental list of what I would change the next time I bake.   Tweak the design,more buttercream here, less sugar there.  Not this cake.  This cake was just right.  The compote soaked into each of the 6 layers, almost completely marrying with the cake. The mousseline buttercream, my favorite kind, airy and silky,  a miracle of meringue and butter.

I love Mexican dresses for the embroidery and the color.  When I spy one in a vintage shop, it is very difficult to resist.  They make me smile.  And this cake picks up on what I love about them. The patterns are at the same time symmetrical and riotous.  Full of color and joy and love.  Happy Birthday to me!


2 Responses to “Happy Birthday to Me!”


  1. Angela’s Birthday Cake « Heavy Cake - June 24, 2012

    […] Cake, vanilla buttercream and strawberry rhubarb compote – the same combination I used in my own birthday cake.   Happy Birthday […]

  2. Mexican Destination Wedding Ideas | The Destination Wedding Blog - Jet Fete by Bridal Bar - July 26, 2012

    […] Photography,  Two Tabletops: Nancy Neil via OnceWed, Blankets: Etsy, Cookies: Edible Crafts, Cake: Heavy Cake} You may also enjoy these other Jet Fete posts:Turquoise, White and Orange WeddingsWelcome Bag […]

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