Happy Fourth everyone!
When most people think of the fourth of July, they plan to light fireworks, barbecue burgers, and drink beer. When I think of the fourth of July, I think about celebrating my best friend, because today is my mom's birthday. (If I'm not mistaken, she is turning 39, again.)
I also think of flag cakes.
Almost every year of her childhood, someone made a rectangular birthday cake for my mom, smothered it in white frosting, and decorated it with strawberries and blueberries in the form of a flag. A few years ago, I decided to carry on this tradition. Each year, my cakes have become more attractive and elaborate. Last year I made one blue cake layer by pureeing blueberries and one red cake layer by pureeing strawberries. In between the cake layers and covering the cake was a thick layer of white whip cream, and the top displayed perfectly cut and placed berries to make it look just like our flag. It was truly a work of art.
This year, not so much. I'm trying to figure out the difference between last year and this year; why did I have so much more time last year?...
Well, for whatever reason, I wasn't quite as attentive to the cake this year, and I didn't coat the pan with enough cooking spray. So, of course, the cake stuck like it was glued. (This is a definite trend for me.) And, again, I ended up making trifle. Which, really, is all components of the cake that you would be eating, just not as neatly arranged. It is so simple that it hardly needs a recipe, but here it is anyway:
I used this cupcake recipe but poured the batter into cake pans instead, then cut (er, um, tore out of the pan) the cake into small chunks.
About 2 cups sliced strawberries and about 1 cup blueberries.
1 pint of heavy whipping cream
1 splash (tsp?) of vanilla
3 tbsp sugar
Whip the heavy whipping cream in a stand up mixer on high or with a hand-held beater until soft peaks are formed, then add vanilla and sugar and whip until hard peaks form.
To assemble: Place a layer of cake chunks into the bottom of a medium bowl. Cover with 1/3 of the whipped cream. Sprinkle about 1/3 cup blueberries and 1/3 of the strawberries over the whipped cream. Repeat with next layer. On the third layer, make a flag with the remaining berries.
Wear your sunscreen, be careful driving, don't light fireworks, drive, or operate a bbq after too much beer, and, of course: Enjoy.