My hubby, Jim, turns 37 tomorrow. His sister's birthday is today. We are celebrating both at their mom's house tonight.
I made this plain yellow cake for Jim. While the cake is plain, the icing and decorations are not. I like to bake like that: keep the cake/crust or "back bone" simple then embellish it with the finishing touches. It makes you look like a uber chef. The focus of this cake will be the sugary-spicy toasted pecans backed up by the lusciously smooth and sweet icing.
I must add that the cake stand is vintage white glass and I picked it up from my friend Marlene at her store, "Lene's Web Trash & Treasures". I love it. It puts a cake on display without distraction.
The icing is your basic 7 minute icing made with egg whites and sugar, beat over a simmering double boiler. It comes together perfectly and would make even a novice feel like a champ. The pecans were sugared yesterday and applied ever-so-carefully to the icing. The end result is a pretty cake that will make everyone stop and take notice.
Today my Lodge 6 quart enameled cast iron Dutch oven arrived along with Ina Garten's cookbook, "Back to Basics". I have a braising cookbook on the way next week which I plan to put to use with the Dutch oven. I'm going to work on learning good braising technique. If you're a frugal chef like me and you want to be able to use cheap cuts of meat to turn into tender dinners, you master the art of braising! It's going to be a tasty adventure.