Happy Halloween, folks! As if that wasn't reason enough to throw a huge shindig, my assistant's Aunt Betty and Uncle Soph hosted yet another of their epic barbecues -- this time to celebrate the birthdays of good friends, Ryan and Mae. I always find myself having to fend off serious pangs of envy whenever my assistant excitedly makes her way to her aunt and uncle's gatherings -- gatherings brimming with great food and wine, fantastic company, but, alas, no invitations to imaginary folk like me. Well, one can live vicariously, and boy, were the butternut squash soup and coconut chicken curry tasty!
It's been awhile since my assistant and I whipped up a layer cake, as we've been sidetracked by a flurry of cupcake orders. In fact, the last layer cake we made was for Auntie Betty's birthday in August. The Sweet and Sassy Strawberry Shortcake is a hard one to top, but we were up for the challenge and ready to present not one, but two tabletop stunners.
For Ryan, we went with a decadent Chocolate Mousse Triple-Decker:
Three layers of rich chocolate cake filled with silky dark chocolate pudding, frosted with creamy chocolate mousse, and topped with fresh strawberry halves...
this is the making of a chocoholic's dream.
And for Mae, we really honed in on autumn's finest flavors for this Apple Pumpkin Spice Cake:
Two generously cinnamoned apple spice cake layers studded with raisins, filled and frosted with pumpkin cream cheese frosting, and topped with paper thin apple slices and a drizzle of pumpkin butter -- this cake is chock-full of the homey, spicy flavors that we relish this time of year.
Aunt Betty and Uncle Soph: Thanks for hosting yet another wonderful party! Ryan and Mae: We hope you both had very happy birthdays and enjoyed your cakes. And readers: Happy Halloween! Cheers to receiving more treats than tricks this year. That, and no admonishment from dentists or dietitians ;)