Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Smashing Birthday!

It's the week between Christmas and New Year's - a time for thinking back on the year past and pondering the year ahead. It's a time for celebration, enjoying the warm holidays and ringing in the new year. In my world, along with all this, it's also creating two cakes for some friends' birthdays being celebrated this week.
The first was a Lego cake for some family friends whose sweet and dear 1-year old absolutely adores these fun building blocks. The birthday boy's mom, Carolyn, is a photographer with her own blog and business. Please check her page out, as she is extraordinarily talented! She photographed our family recently and I just adore every single picture she took! I will be posting some pics from our photoshoot very soon so check back for that.
The cake was a first for me in that it had to be egg-, dairy- and nut-free, not to mention I had never designed a Lego cake before.
I created a carrot cake recipe which used flax seed as a replacement for eggs. Flax seed meal is a great alternative to using eggs in baking. One heaping tablespoon of flax seed meal blended with 1/4 cup of cold water until it becomes the consistency of a beaten egg (about 2 to 3 minutes) is the way to use this substitution. My friend wanted a smash cake for her son - a mini-spin off of the larger cake. If you've never heard of smash cakes, they are mini cakes that are created, usually for 1st birthday parties, so the birthday boy or girl can enjoy his or her piece of cake without destroying the actual cake. Most often, they are mini, complementing versions of the larger cake.

This cake, while my toughest project yet, was still fun to make. I enjoyed determining the logistical assembly of the Lego man and the building blocks. The carrot cake tasted delicious, so I was happy to use it rather than the more standard vanilla or chocolate.
During this process, I confirmed without any hesitation that I am my toughest critic. The moments leading up to the presentation of your cake are always a bit stressful, in anticipation of everyone's reactions. All my worries were unfounded. When I revealed the cakes, they expressed such joy and excitement that clearly I had been overreacting.

I was so thrilled to have had made this sweet little boy's first birthday cakes and so honored that my friends wanted me to do it for them. Furthermore, I was elated to see the delight in my friends' faces when they saw and then ate the cake. This is why I do what I do. Happy 1st Birthday, Elliott! We love you.

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