Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom Curtis!

We celebrated MIL Curtis’ 80th birthday yesterday. The evening turned out quite nice. All of the Curtis children and their spouses were able to make it as well as several grandchildren and great grandchildren. We went to a barbecue place that catered dinner for us. The food was good, but….........ok, I will just leave it at that. (I complain and criticize too much - that is my food snobbery rearing it's ugly head) Ralph and I had been asked to do the birthday cake. Instead of posting the whole recipe and process, I will post links and give basic instructions. If you need more help contact me. Here is a picture of a slice of this decadent goodness.  Unfortunately once we arrived at our venue - the cake could not be refrigerated so the cheesecake was a little soft.

***We made a New York style cheesecake (click for link)– I only spread the graham cracker crust mixture on the bottom, not up the sides, and I kept it thin.  I also did not use the sour cream topping.

***We made Aunt Vinnie’s Chocolate cake – Doubling her recipe and cooking it in 2-9in rounds made enough for two cakes. If you opt for Aunt Vinnie’s recipe – I would only 1½ her original recipe. Any standard cake recipe for a 9 x 13 or 2-9in rounds would work – just make sure it is a firm, dense cake.  (if you want Aunt Vinnie's recipe and don't have it - contact any of the Curtis Clan - they should have it.)

***The filling was dulce de leche which can be bought or made. To make it place a can of condensed milk (unopened) in a pot of water – make sure the can is covered with water throughout the whole process. Boil 2 to 3 hours depending on how dark you want your caramel.  We did three.  After it was cooked and cooled we mixed in coconut and walnuts. This was used in between the layers of cake. For two cakes we used 5 cans – probably could have gotten away with 4.

***Assembly- slice both cakes horizontally in half. Layer them – and frost with your favorite frosting. Cake needs to be kept chilled.

Things to note :
  • Make sure your cheesecake pan is the same size as your cake pans. You don’t want to have to trim edges to make them fit. Not that you couldn’t – just another process and waste of cake. 
  • If we make this again, I would put a layer of chocolate cake on the bottom and not use graham cracker crumbs at all on the cheesecake. 
  • Save Room For Dessert!!!
 Here is the birthday card I made for her. I really like how it turned out.

Stamps – Happiness Shared, French Script (retired) Warmest Regards

Paper – Always Artichoke, Sahara Sand, Whisper White, Always Artichoke DSP

Ink – Always Artichoke, Sahara Sand, Soft Suede, More Mustard, So Saffron

Accessories – Wheel Bella’s Border, blender pens, Kraft taffeta ribbon (retired), corner rounder punch, slot punch

Here is a picture of the inside. Ralph wrote a great letter to her that we put inside. He included several limmericks and a poem that I will probably post later with his permission. 

The family all pitched in and gave her a beautiful vase from OC tanner engraved with a Happy 80th birthday from her family.  I will have to get a picture of that and post it sometime as well. 

All in all - it was great to get together to celebrate someone so loved and accomplished.

Ta Ta for now


Nate & Sarah said...

ya that cake was AMAZING! i was already full from dinner but i still ate a whole piece because it was too good to save for later. no dessert could get better than cheesecake, coconut, caramel, and german chocolate! you guys are amazing cooks.

Wendybell said...

Ooooo man! That cheesecake looks like a slice of HEAVEN!! And I totally LOVE your card!! Happiness Shared??? How did I MISS that set?? I sooo want it now! Totally beautiful!! :)

Pam said...

love this card....great job!! I adore the way you used the ribbon... never seen that done before, but I know I will!!