Yesterday was my mom’s birthday, and I always think of it as the start of spring and the birthday season (she’s in March, I’m in April, Paul is in May.) I love to make a nice birthday dinner for her, and often seem to go with a menu featuring, as my friend Liz says, “old skool foodstuffs.” It’s true! London Broil and twice baked potatoes have made appearances on this menu in the past, and because it seems fresh and springy, almost always asparagus. And I do love a good lemony dessert. This year’s menu was: Orange Chicken Kiev, Rice Pilaf, and Asparagus.
The birthday cake was a spectacular roll up cake from my new cookbook, Vintage Cakes (upon receipt of this book for Christmas I declared that all special occasion cakes this year would come from this book.) Oh, and how do I know what the past year’s menus have been? Because I keep a menu journal, of course. It’s not only sentimental, but also very useful to have a nice record of what I’ve made for various holidays and birthdays each year. And I love reading really old fashioned menus and imagine that someday it will be fun to look back on these. And actually, I’ve already enjoyed trips down memory lane by looking through it. I mentioned the great recipe reorganization and clean-up, and that’s how the recipe for the chicken Kiev came to my notice. Buried and overlooked, but no more! I have no before picture of this area, so you just have to imagine that this was full of more binders, magazine holders, and assorted crap from around the kitchen (including boxes of Christmas candy?) shoved atop the books. Behold it now:
So, menu decided on and a happy day of cooking and preparing. The cake called for first making butterscotch. I made this at 7 in the morning and Clark and I had no problem taste testing it so early in the day and both of our eyes lit up with how good it was.
Then you make a lovely airy sponge cake. Then to make the filling you combine the butterscotch with cream and whip it all together until nice thick peaks form. Spread it across the cake and sprinkle with toasted almonds.
Then the cake gets divided into four shorter sections and you begin rolling, with the additional pieces wrapping around. Isn’t that an unusual and interesting presentation?
(Note, I didn’t have enough filling to spread around the outside as the recipe called for. I think that would be nice, or maybe powdered sugar so the outside doesn’t look so unfinished. But you definitely keep the top open to show off the spiral.)
Now, in all honesty, I found it harder to cut than a regular jellyroll, but who cares? The question is how did it taste? PHENOMENAL.
Oh my God, this cake was sooooooo good. Plate-lickin’ good, some would say.
So, happy birthday to Mom, who is a lovely mom and a wonderful Grandma! We had a wonderful time celebrating with her-presents, cake, board games, and good times.