Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cream Cheese, Mint, Chocolate....Yumm!

My beautiful 3 year old will be 4 tomorrow. However, how many kids would come to a birthday party on Father's Day? Yeah, I didn't think anyone would, either. We had a little get together for her today with a butterfly theme. Our tradition is for the birthday girl (the little man isn't big enough yet) to help make and decorate her cake. Isabella has made castle cakes for the last two years. Natalia wanted a castle cake, but only because of all of the candies we use to make it. Thoroughly bored with castle cakes, I convinced her to do something else with candy. Mark suggested a chocolate mint cake. I think he was joking, but it sounded kind of good to me. I'm often trying to make something look spectacular and this was a chance to make something super tasty.
I had made cream cheese mints for my bible study group several weeks ago. It was my inspiration for her cake. Mint frosting on a chocolate cake would be good, but mint cream cheese frosting...I'm resisting the urge to go get some more. I almost immediately stumbled upon a promising recipe at Epicurious. I didn't want to bake a sheet cake though. My vision had been a round cake with soft green icing and candy butterflies. I really didn't want a square/rectangle cake. So I opted for my grandmother's chocolate scratch cake and added 1 tsp of peppermint extract. It smelled so wonderful baking. I then used Epicurious' recipe for the frosting along with a few drops of "neon" blue and green food coloring. The result was a luscious minty cream cheese frosting.
Spreading on the cake was another story. Not fun. The frosting was too soft and runny, even now, hours after resting in the refrigerator, it is still very soft. Oh well, how pretty can a cake decorated by a 3 almost 4 year old be anyway? I had cut up pieces of black licorice for the body and used Jordan almonds for the top wings and Dutch mints for the bottom wings. Outside of the saggy frosting, it was just what I had pictured in my head. Purple being her favorite color, the butterflies were predominately purple. A pink butterfly for sister and some white ones for balance.
Mark made a homemade chocolate ice cream that tasted like a frozen hot chocolate (or at least what I would imagine a hot chocolate, that had been frozen, to taste like) It was the perfect balance to all that mintiness. Such a sweet daddy. Happy birthday beautiful! It's been wonderful watching you grow these last 4 years. I wish I could stop the clock and hang on to my precious little girl. I suppose the only thing holding me back is the desire to see what amazing things you will do with your life.