Happy Birthday Dawn

August 2010

Just 3 weeks after ordering a birthday cake for her daughter, my co-worker Dawn asked me to make a birthday cake for her own birthday which is today! Dawn asked for chocolate cake, and again asked for “less sweet”.

I made a 6″ round chocolate cake with my go-to recipe from Hershey’s. And for the icing, I went with the adapted Swiss meringue buttercream (SMBC). I know for sure that this icing is less sweet than American buttercream.

I’ve made SMBC about a half dozen times and I’ve messed it up about half of those times. So naturally, the normal SMBC stress ensued. Would it curdle? Would it be soupy? Would it thicken up? Would my digital meat thermometer work in place of my recently ruined candy thermometer? (Yes!) So after successfully whipping up this icing, it was time to ice the cake. I’d never used this icing for a cake before. I’d only used it for a filling or for cupcakes. I was very pleased with how it worked on a cake!! It has a beautiful sheen and it was relatively easy to smooth. (Please excuse the bad picture – the lighting is even worse than usual at 11pm!)

As is often the case for me, I decided on the decoration at the very last minute. I piped a shell border and decorated it with multi-colored nonpareils. Those tiny little things bounced all over my kitchen, but I thought it made for a nice festive birthday cake. Oh and I used some orange icing I had leftover from Nancy’s cake to write the inscription. I think my writing skills are improving – very, very slowly!

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