Monday, April 4, 2011

I've Been Got!

Like I said in my last post, there was a birthday at work. Richard turned 24 on Friday, and I was in the mood to bake something new.

I recently read somewhere about a cake with orange curd and strawberries. I can't remember where I saw it, and I didn't read through the recipe. But, I thought the flavor combination sounded great. I decided to create my own version.

First of all, I chose to use pound cake. For Christmas, I received Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Cake Bible, and in my opinion, her pound cake recipe is first rate. I then made a batch of orange curd. Though I've made lemon curd, this was my first attempt at orange curd. Because I'm still off sugar for Lent, I had to rely on my wife, Katie, that it tasted good.

To assemble the cake, I cut it horizontally into four layers and spread a layer of orange curd between each layer. This is where I started to have a bit of trouble as the cake started to do an impersonation of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. No matter how I tried to level the cake, the layers kept sliding. I had to think of something, and I had to do it quick.

First, I stabilized the layers of cake with various kitchen implements. This bought me some time to think what I could do to save the cake. I looked in the refrigerator and found some cream cheese. I decided to make a cream cheese frosting. Maybe that would hold the layers together.

Well, it did...sort of. And let me tell you, it was no easy feat to frost.

It still wasn't the prettiest thing, but I still had some really nice looking strawberries. I halved them, and stuck them into the frosting. This seemed to be the structural support the cake needed. It looked quite amazing considering that just minutes earlier I was considering tossing the thing out the window and stopping by Krispy Kreme Donuts on the way to work to pick a dozen glazed for Richard.

Not too shabby—don't you agree?
When we gathered up the coworkers and students to sing "Happy Birthday," the cake was met with unanimous ooohs and aaaahs. Richard was touched. As we were taking a group photograph to remember the occasion, Richard gave the following speech.

I would like to thank everyone for the birthday wishes, and I would especially like to thank Curtis for making this amazing looking cake for my birthday on April 1st even though it isn't really my birthday.

You mean to tell me that Richard has had me thinking his birthday was April 1 for over a month now, and it's not his birthday? His birthday is actually in December?

In today's vernacular, I was punk'd for April Fools Day.

Good one, Richard!

Happy April Fools Day, Richard! But, watch your back next year...
We all had a great laugh, and then I cut into the cake. This is when the Leaning Tower of Pisa finally fell over. The more pieces I cut, the bigger mess it became. However, everyone loved it. Some even said it was the best thing I've made yet.

I won't post the recipe for this tasty mess because I plan to do some more experimenting after Easter when I can actually enjoy a piece. I'm not sure if I will try something other than pound cake, or if I'll try to assemble it differently. So, check back in about a month to see what I've come up with.


  1. What a laugh! That Richard sounds great fun, abeit he'll have to watch with you next time ;-) He was SO lucky to get the most incredible "bday" cake like this. It looks stunning!
    Just discovered your blog. It's great :-)

  2. That is so cool for you to make him a cake even though you couldn't try it. I am also giving up sugar for lent, and it's still hard, even after all this time.


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