Saturday, June 16, 2012

Birthday Cake

Birthday Chocolate Cake
Bill's Birthday:  This is the first cakes Rachel has ever made from scratch.

June 16.  Bill's 52 Birthday!

It seems like whenever we want to cook it always entails a search of the cabinets and the pantry, then a trip to one or more stores.  The planning for Bill's birthday cake was no exception.  The prep took three days.  
  • Day 1:  Rachel searched internet, chose recipes, made a shopping list.
  • Day 2:  Two hours shopping at two stores, plus drive time.
  • Day 3:  A full day of cooking for Rachel.  Third trip to store for candles.
  • Day 4:  Today.  Finally time to taste!
Rachel wanted to make a New York cheese cake and a dark-chocolate cake with ganache frosting from scratch for Bill's 52nd birthday.  She found recipes on Martha Stuart's website she wanted to try.  Since everything including the hand mixer, spring-form pans, and every ingredient had to be purchased at Hawaii prices, we figured this would be Bill’s most expensive birthday cakes ever.  I tried to talk Rachel into going out for dinner and buying a cake, because it would have been cheaper, but she wouldn't bite.  We bought most the ingredients at Wal-Mart and the hand mixer and spring-form cake pans at Target. 

Rachel made this classic cheese cake recipe, and we laughed that it looked like birthday mashed potatoes. 
Being frugal, instead of getting two additional pans for the chocolate cake, we just purchased a second spring-form pan. She made the cheese cake first. The cheese cake takes a day in the fridge to set up, and she needed the pan to bake the cake. So what looks like mashed potatoes is a huge plate of delicious cheese cake.

Potatoes are expensive here, both at the store and the farmers' market, so we haven't purchased any yet. I told Rachel, we should learn to love papayas which were 9 for $2 at the farmers market! Eat what is local and in season, but we don't really like papayas. My favorite produce comes from the small family farms.  They have an unmanned table by their gate with fresh produce and the price. You take what you want and leave the cash. Prices are better, and all the money goes to the farmer. 

While it looks like the booths in the farmers markets purchase from local farmers and from big produce suppliers. One time we bought mushrooms at the farmers market, they came from a packer/distributor in Canada who was selling mushrooms grown in the state of Washington.  They were good mushrooms, but probably the same ones we could have purchased at the grocery store here or in Texas.  The farmers market  seem to try to have everything to keep buyers from having to go to the store.  

We had a slice of chocolate birthday cake for breakfast, and headed out for the day.  We went to Pebble Beach, Black Sands Beach, and the most southern point in the United States.