The three month long family birthday season has come to an end. I didn't make Monkey Boy's 13th birthday cake--I left that to the good folks at New Seasons given that it had to serve 50 people at his bar mitzvah party. The Dark Lord got a classic chocolate layer cake which was notable in that it was devoured in under 10 minutes by a herd of teenage boys, some of whom had never, or so they told me, had a home baked cake before. I this possible? How sad. I've already promised one of them that I'd bake his birthday cake next year.
The Princess turned six last week and we celebrated with a beach trip. Relatives from both sides of the family joined us at Neskowin where the weather simply refused to cooperate. In short stretch of time the weather went from cool and misty to downright wet and rainy. Our potato chips grew soggy, sand stuck to everything, and we were all shivering by the time we packed it in and headed to my parents' hotel room.
But here's what went right: the birthday cake. I knew I couldn't schlep an iced, layered cake to the beach with any success but the birthday girl had asked from something of a chocolate-orange variety. What to do? Happily, Nigella saved the day with the Pantry Shelf Chocolate-Orange cake.
This cake is admittedly sturdy, but it's also delicious. There's an entire jar of marmalade stirred into the batter making for a cake that's slightly tart and chewy. I added a bit of extra sugar knowing that a 6 year old has slightly different tastes than us old folks, but it still wasn't too sweet.
I suppose one could frost this cake but it's not necessary. A simple dusting of powdered sugar did the trick this time around.
You'll find the recipe here. I hope you give it a try because it's very tasty.