Thursday, February 18, 2010


I have a friend. She has been my friend for a very long time. Nearly 30 years. We will have been friends for EXACTLY 30 years on my birthday, but this isn't about my birthday. It is about her's...her surprise 30th birthday party. And what a surprise it was too! This sweet friend of mine was so involved in preparations for her sister's upcoming wedding and studying for law school that she assumed her birthday would pass unnoticed this year. We were not going to allow that of course, but it made for excellent cover, especially since she gave up this weekend nearest to her big birthday to her sister's bachelorette weekend (I baked for that too, but forgot pictures, so I'll recreate and share later) so we planned for the Saturday before her birthday. And there was no way she was going to turn 30 without a big birthday cake from me. Which is really what this post is supposed to be all about, so forgive me if I ramble on about my friend :)
 Now I happen to know that her favorite cake combination is a rich, moist chocolate cake with barely sweet cream cheese frosting (great minds think alike I must say), and I also know she has a fondness for hazelnuts.

Since I intended this to be a BIG cake with two tiers, I did chocolate on the bottom and a lovely Hazelnut Brown Butter cake with ganache for the top.

As for decorating, I let her personality and interests inspire me. She is a fashionable gal who spent a semester studying in Paris during college (we tried to study French together, but my language skills...well lets just say its a good thing she was the one in France) so I decided to start with a hat box cake....two hat boxes.
 The bottom one was inspired by limoges  jewelry boxes and piped and brushed accordingly.

The top one was quilted blue with pearls and a hand painted 30 popping out.

 Then I sculpted a ballet slipper in honor of her years as a fabulous dancer...and mine of watching her (I gave up after getting my foot stuck on the bar at age 7).

She graduated from USC so of course I included her Alma Mater on there.

 And as a tribute to her stint as an actress (I won't tell you which film because she might never speak to me again, but she was great!) I draped it with a bit of Hollywood film.

I finished it off with her current school University of San Diego where she is busy studying law.

The best part about this cake?

When she called to talk about the bridal shower for her sister and found out I was baking a cake "for a birthday this weekend" and she got jealous of the person getting the chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting because "I want a birthday cake". How many times will I get to make someone jealous of their own surprise?  Happy Birthday Jodi!