I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Birthday turrets

I offered to make my friend Paula a birthday cake, and asked what kind of cake she would like. "Bananas are nice", she said. "Pooh!" I said, "that's not very festive!" So having told her what she didn't want, after asking her what she did want, this is what we made. Unfortunately, it suffered a minor collapse during the afternoon, and you can see it's had to be pushed back up, but it was truly spectacular, all the same.

It was a classic joint enterprise. I used 15 egg whites, half a kilo of ground hazlenuts and four cake tins of three different sizes, and melted the chocolate, and mixed up the coffee-flavoured and sweetened cream, and sliced the strawberries, and then Paul assembled the layers of meringue, brushed them with (organic, free-trade, 70%) chocolate, and sandwiched them together with fruit and cream, in this wonderfully asymmetrical fantasy cake. It's a version of the recipe we associate with Christmas and birthdays in my family, but I've never seen it put together like this! And yes, there were bananas in some of the layers, too. I was the classic nay-sayer, when Paul started talking about turrets, but in fact, the highest point of the cake on the left, was the most successful: layers and layers of meringue and cream and chocolate.

We sat Paula behind the cake, on her red couch with the red wall behind her, and voilĂ ! the beauteous vision in the photo. Happy birthday, dear friend!


Pavlov's Cat said...

Love the blueberries and parasols. And I particularly love all the little oojahs round the bottom edge.

Suse said...

That is truly a magnificent cake. Bravo!

I particularly like the blueberries which look like little black pearls.

Jeffrey J. Cohen said...

A sad fact: I could eat that entire cake (work of art that it is) in a single sitting.

Stephanie Trigg said...

I don't know, Jeffrey: can all that albumen really be good for you? (I take for granted the obvious nutritional benefits of cream and sugar...)