It's been a whirlwind of a long weekend. Back to Melbourne on Saturday for my dad and bro-in-law Alex's birthdays, one of my good friends came down to stay with us on the island on Sunday and Monday brought a visit from my oldest sister and (her son) the kid's cousin Nick. On top of all this fun and festivity, little Turi is battling a horrid cold and will not sleep. As any parent knows, babies have an issue with mouth breathing so a stuffy nose is disproportionately distressing for the whole family. I am currently averaging about four hours sleep per night (and not in one block), so if this post makes very little sense and lacks wit and insight that is my excuse.
Onto more interesting topics, of the cake variety...
My dad seemed quite excited by my first ice-cream cake adventure so I decided to surprise him with one for his birthday. I had to restrain my natural tendency to go a little over the top with flavour intensity (more is more is generally my motto) as mum had advised me to keep things classic. So I went with a layer of chocolate and a layer of vanilla ice-cream topped with chocolate ganache. Both ice-cream recipes were from David Lebovitz's 'The Perfect Scoop' (oh how I love this book!). If you want more detailed instructions on how to make an ice-cream cake I've written about it here. I won't repeat myself again lest I bore you all.
For decoration I stencilled the letter E (because E is for excellent and incidentally also my dad's initial) on the top with icing sugar. Stencilling is one of my favourite ways to decorate a cake. I think it adds a sophisticated touch. To do this you basically just draw or print out your design (I used Renaissance font) and then use a craft knife to cut out all the black sections. It is probably a good idea to make the stencil out of something sturdier than regular printer paper if the design is more complex. Lay the stencil on the cake and dust icing sugar with a fine sieve. Carefully remove the stencil. If you get some runaway icing sugar flecks you can attempt to brush them off with a pastry brush. I'll share with you another cake stencilling idea tomorrow.
Happy birthday dad and Alex! I hope you enjoyed the cake!