I’ve tried decorating the sides of my cakes with nuts a number of times using a range of different methods. I would usually start by toasting the nuts and chopping them up. After which, it is up to my imagination to get them to stick.
On some days, I would try to grab as much chopped nuts as possible and moving quickly, try to press them onto the cake. But usually, no matter how fast I am, the nuts would slip off my hands before they go on the cake and I would end up touching the icing. On other days, I would use the “throwing” method where I would “throw” the nuts onto the sides of the cake. Unfortunately, it would usually lead to uneven sides and nuts all over the table.
Last week, my mom asked me to bake a hummingbird cake for a birthday and I decided that I would, for once, spend some time and get the nuts right. Mustering up all the energy I had left, I decided to…lay the almonds one by one. I got down on my knees so that I would be on the same level as the cake on the table, put all the toasted sliced almonds next to me, and working as quickly as I could, I started from the top and laid the almonds one by one.
To me, birthday cakes are an integral part to any birthday celebration. I am quite sticky about this, and maybe a tad too opinionated. I always feel that no matter how great a birthday celebration is, something is always missing when there is no birthday cake.
Just as I am thinking a little more about why I feel this way, I guess what makes a birthday really special is during that couple minutes where the whole group, as one, dedicates a birthday song to that person. It is really that couple of minutes that everyone comes as one, and focuses on wanting to give joy to someone else. In a society where we many a time take things for granted and move too quickly, stopping for a couple of minutes to appreciate someone’s life really makes a difference.
Sometimes, I enjoy the challenge of making large, towering, gravity defying cakes. At other times, I enjoy using interesting ingredients to making sophisticated cakes with delicate flavors. Not to forget, there are other times where I’m looking for a simple yet satisfying cake. For me, that cake is none other than david lebovitz’s chocolate pavé.
I crave chocolate…a lot.
Many people tend to stay away from chocolate desserts at restaurants. As for me, I’ll choose a chocolate dessert 9 out of 10 times for the simple fact that… I LOVE chocolate. (that’s an understatement by the way)
I like chocolate on its own. It is nice to have some other simple ingredients complement chocolate BUT, I really just like chocolate, chocolate. Hence, David Lebovitz’s devil’s food cake is one of my favorites because its just… chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. (I just realized that I’ve used the word “chocolate” 11 times :P)