Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Tale of Two Birthdays

I have a backlog of things to blog about this week, because I have been frantically trying to write a speech for a conference that I am speaking at in less than two weeks. However, I have continued to bake and cook, and will post the remaining items over the course of the coming weekend.

However, given that once again it is baking Friday, in keeping with the Dickensian theme of tales that come in twos, I thought that I would blog about the two very different birthday cakes that I made this week for work colleagues.

The first cake, which I made on Monday night, was for a lovely lady in our finance section. It is a lemon blueberry yoghurt cake, which I found some time ago on Niki's blog, Esurientes. The recipe is here. This cake is light, delicate and flavoursome, and instead of icing, is coated with a lemon glaze. It is also rather a pretty cake, for those who insist on their food being aesthetically appealing. Here is my version:

I also believe that it is relatively low in fat. I echo Niki's comments about the fragility of this cake - the first time I ever made it, I made it in a loaf tin, and it was in grave danger of cracking in two. Accordingly, you cannot be careful enough when turning it out of the cake pan to cool. However, it is well worth the effort - everyone at work commented on how much they liked this cake, despite it not being a traditional birthday cake.

The second cake, which I made tonight, is eons apart in every respect. It is a chocolate date cake, which I made for a gentleman in our finance section. This gentleman has endured for months while everyone else indulged in sweet treats, which he cannot have because he is on a low cholesterol diet. Accordingly, I looked on the Web for a cake that I could make for this gentleman's birthday which met the low cholesterol criteria. My efforts resulted in the following:

Now this is definitely not a pretty cake, and I have no idea how it will taste. It is dead easy to make, with nearly everything being done in a food processor. Under the unusual icing, which consists solely of dates, cocoa and water, one side of the cake went a little tipsy, rising much more than the other side and cracking a little.
The recipe for this cake can be found here. You will see that my cake is not half as pretty as the one on the website. However, it is totally dairy free, and the chocolate taste comes solely from cocoa. The website promises that this is "a tasty cake". I hope that it lives up to that promise, despite its unusual ingredients and appearance!
Postscript: This cake was a hit, not only for the gentleman concerned, but also for some others, who loved the fact that it was sweet and chocolatey while being relatively good for you!

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