Sunday, August 24, 2008

Birthday Cakes

My birthday is coming up thick and fast. I am always happy around about my birthday and this year I am going to feel especially extra fabulously happy. I just know it. I feel it simmering inside of me, this excitement of entering autumn with the proverbial new lease of life in my cords. It feels amazing. If I were in London, or if I were to go to London, I know what I’d have; a full cake from the Patisserie Valerie and then some macaroons from Ladurée to take home. But I am not going to London (no, I am going to my local IMAX for my third Dark Knight thank you very much) and so I need to make do with whatever cakes I can find around here. Which depresses me slightly because I cannot stand cakes covered in royal icing. I also cannot stand cakes that do not look like cakes at all, cakes that look like plastic castles or play-doh shoes or rubber handbags. Gah, just thinking about sinking my teeth into one of those makes me gag. I love cakes to look like cakes, no matter their simplicity (a chocolate covered Madeira cake for example or a Boston pie) or their elaborate look (a croque en bouche, even better if made of macaroons, even though we cannot define it strictly as a cake).

And so the choice always falls around the same places, with Waitrose struck off the list after I wasted funds in an abysmal chocolate cake a couple of years back and Marks and Spencer which, quite frankly, makes the very best desserts outside of a standard patisserie. Or... or, of course, I could always bake my own. I know this is beyond sad. Who bakes her own birthday cake? But then, if what you bake is so excellent (modesty, modesty, modesty, I know), why spending money on something that will be below-par? I doubt Marks uses Valhrona chocolate. I do and that’s why my brownies are so incredible. Should I go for something like this?

Or this?

Or perhaps this?


I am gonna have to decide soon; as a Virgo I love to forward-plan and when it comes to cakes, it pays in spades to be prepared.
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