Sunday, June 14, 2009

To the Birthday Boy, Who's as Cute as Apple Pie (er... Tart?)

This is going to be a double post today. Not only must I talk about the delicious French Apple Tart I made for this week's Baking Beauties challenge, but also the completion of Avery's birthday cake.

Let's start with the French Apple Tart. The crust for this tart is made with only vegetable shortening and produces a beautifully flaky crust. While I loved the texture, I thought it was missing that richness in flavour you get in a crust made with butter. The filling for this tart is made with roasted apples, mixed with sugar, cinnamon and breadcrumbs. I didn't have enough of the required crumbs, so I made my own using dried cake scraps. YUM! The tart is then topped with thinly sliced apples, fanned ever so attractively across the filling.
I really enjoyed this tart, as did my parents (whom I served it to during their weekly visit). I even enjoyed it, dare I say, more than apple pie?! I honestly could eat the filling on it's own! This will definitely be a recipe I will make again and again and again.

Avery's 1st birthday party was a hit. And, I am happy to note that I pulled it all off (with some help from the hubby and friends) with no stress... well, just a little bit of stress, but that's normal, right?
I was pleased with the spread: BL-Tea sandwiches, grilled vegetable canapes, prosciutto & fig/port sandwiches, various cheeses, crudites, fruit plates and the birthday cake.

The idea for Avery's cake came from an ice cream I made back in February called cereal milk ice cream. I have always loved the flavour of the milk left in bowl after I eat cereal. I wanted to see if that flavour could be captured elsewhere. For the cake, I took it one step further and based the cake on the flavour of Lucky Charms. I used my no fail white cake recipe, and in place of the milk, I used milk which I had steeped with toasted Corn Flakes. The mousseline buttercream was flavoured simply with vanilla beans. Lastly, the fondant was made with marshmallows. Combined, the flavour was reminiscent of our childhood favourite sugary breakfast cereal.
Avery enjoyed his first slice of cake immensely, as did all the other guests at his party. I have a sinking suspicion he has acquired his father's sweet tooth! Anyways, it was a labour of love completing this cake for my baby, who I guess isn't really a baby anymore. Happy 1st Birthday Avery!

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