A Special Birthday Cake

This post is a day late, but yesterday my wonderful boyfriend and I celebrated our 4-year anniversary. We met during my early years of undergrad, began to date, fell in love and have grown stronger together since. He happened to have the day off, which was perfect since I am on my spring break from work; we rejoiced by indulging in a movie date in pajamas on the couch, paninis for lunch, and a delightful dinner alla sushi (lots of it). Glamorous and fancy? Not really…but ideal for making the most of what we enjoy best– each other’s company. :)

To satisfy our sweet cravings and provide another form of celebration, I baked a special cake! It consisted of a layer white chocolate and lemon ganache swirled into creamy mascarpone between two layers of light and spongy lemon olive oil cake, and a generous exterior coating of fluffy and delicate, yet rich, vanilla mousse (I decided on vanilla to balance the richness of the center filling).

After baking and assembling it with love, I gleefully decorated it with a rainbow of sprinkles and festive candles that spelled out “Happy Birthday US!” with a big “4”. I felt like a huge cheese ball of a dork, but I was so smitten with the result!

I adapted the cake layer from here and the mousse recipe from here. Below is the recipe I developed for the center filling and instructions on how I assembled the cake:

White Chocolate-Lemon Ganache with Mascarpone Cream

1 cup heavy cream

10 oz. white chocolate, roughly chopped

2/3 cup lemon curd

1 tsp lemon zest

8 oz. mascarpone cheese

1. Melt the white chocolate over a double broiler over simmering water and then set aside. Allow it to cool. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream into soft peaks.

2. Beat the melted white chocolate, lemon curd, lemon zest, and mascarpone cheese together in a large bowl until the mixture is smooth and glossy (this should take under a minute). Fold the mixture into the whipped cream in two batches just until it is combined.

*Assembling the cake:

1. Bake the lemon olive oil cake according to the recipe instructions. Allow it to cool completely and then cut it in half through the middle side of the round to attain two layers of cake. Place the bottom half on top of the seam of two overlapping pieces of parchment paper (remove with ease after the decorating is complete to make a clean presentation; just gently pull each piece of paper away).

2.Top the layer of cake with the white chocolate-lemon ganache and mascarpone cream; spread it evenly over the cake to create a layer that is about 1-inch thick. Put the top half of the sliced cake, cut side up, over the cream filling.

3. Allow the un-frosted cake to chill in the fridge for about 45 minutes before topping and coating with the vanilla mousse. After completely frosting and decorating, place the cake in the refrigerator and allow it to chill for at least 4 hours prior to serving.

Oh, and thank you, Restoration Hardware. Although I cannot afford to purchase  your ridiculously good-looking furniture, I can put your catalog to great use.

Happy 4th Birthday to US! :) Cheese!

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About Amanda

Hi, there! I am a twenty something year old girl who is 4th/5th grade teacher. Working and shaping the lives of children is one of my greatest loves. However, my love affair with cooking, baking, and the inner workings of the kitchen is hard to keep a secret. Just as teaching brings joy to my life, I love to create delicious and healthy food that delivers warm fuzzies to others. Enjoy! :)
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