It was my daughter Olivia’s fourth birthday on Friday, so this afternoon we had two sets of grandparents and my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and nephew round for tea and cake. As it was a special occasion, I thought I would make a little more effort than the standard cake fare.
Firstly, key lime pie, a firm favourite in my family since visits to the Florida Keys in the 1990s. Sometimes I remember the pie being essentially a regular lime meringue and sometimes it is more like this, a much simpler (but tastier) recipe with no baking needed whatsoever. There is a whole pint of extra thick double cream in this and a can of condensed milk so it tastes amazing, the juice and flesh of three limes balances the sweetness. Today’s addition was the meringue on top, a different type of meringue from the norm. The egg white and sugar was whisked over a bain-marie and then piped onto the top, with slight colour provided by a blow torch. The addition of the meringue really makes this key lime pie something special.
Secondly, a raspberry gateau. This is my tried-and-tested Black Forest gateau recipe from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course book (first published in 1978!) and like everything else in the book is 100% fool proof. I couldn’t get nice enough cherries so raspberries were substituted and the gateau amended. The chocolate cake tiers had raspberry syrup added, as did the whipped cream inside to give an intense raspberry flavour. Layers of raspberry jam (from Tiptree naturally) adorned each face of the chocolate cake tiers. I decided to further ‘pimp’ the gateau with a chocolate ganache topping. I loved this gateau and I think that three tiers make a cake special in a way that two just doesn't.
I think that Libby enjoyed her birthday and I am looking forward to another reason to make some special celebration cakes!