Last week was my boyfriend’s birthday. He’s not a big f an of birthdays, or birthday cake.I have a determined birthday spirit though, and no cake challenge is too great. I always want him to have a good, if low key, birthday.
I think this is the heart of thoughtful food. I am always tempted to make an extravagant cake, but for him, I knew that would not be quite right. He’s a man of simple pleasures.
So I asked myself:
What is his favourite dessert? Vanilla icecream
What is his favourite chocolate? Plain dairy-milk or similar, cold in the fridge or freezer
What is his favourite biscuit? Chocolate chip
What other chocolate does he like? Caramel centered, like Mars Pods or similar.
Armed with this information, I put a plan together. I went to the supermarket, and came back with..
And I also whipped up..
And I started assembling it, layer by layer – for a birthday not-cake extravaganza.
Start with a medium sized bowl, lined with cling film. Add a layer of icecream (about 500mL), followed by a layer of choc melts (or any thing that you like), and a layer of caramel (or anything that you like). Place an additional layer of cling film over cake and place a smaller bowl inside, to keep the shape. Freeze for a couple of hours before removing bowl and glad wrap and adding the rest of the ice cream and chocolate.
This is basically just a way of combining all of the flavours that someone might like. The only thing to be aware of is flavours that overpower the rest. Other than that, go crazy freezing layer upon layer of delicious ingredients.
You can make your own icecream, make your own caramel and melt the chocolate to perfectly cover the whole dome of cake. However, I knew that my boyfriend would be happy just as it is.
You can also buy biscuits, instead of making them, and grind them in a food processor into a rough crumb, and add melted butter until it comes together. You can press this mixture of biscuit into the bowl on top of the ice cream, and re-freeze. Think about Marie biscuits for a classic base, ginger snaps are good for a very sweet ice cream mix, mint chocolate biscuits…
Flip it out onto a plate, or board and admire your fancy work.
The key to this idea is that the person can enjoy not just another birthday cake, but a surprise mix of thoughtful remembrances that say “I love you”.Perfecting the details of the recipe is not the most important thing – you can use their favourite cake/biscuit/ice cream/custard/pastry, and layers of whatever they desire. Sounds like a happy birthday, looks like a happy birthday, and tastes like a happy birthday to me.