Who can be bothered to do anything properly in summer? But birthday parties are ceaseless and will and do occur in summer, and it would be cruelty beyond measure not to provide the birthday boy or girl with a proper cake. But proper can take many forms, and the brightness of the sun and the wideness of the sky encourage the fruiting of big ideas – why should these big ideas not happen in the kitchen? Summer is the perfect time for outlandish and innovative deserts; don’t reign in your imagination, though if it needs a little kick start, here are some ideas:
There is no one who can resist jelly. It makes children excited and makes adults into excited children. There is something irresistibly hedonic about a food that requires no chewing; the ultimate lazy treat. Allow it’s not a cake, who could disagree with a mountain of jelly? Or, try using tupperware containers of different shapes and sizes and (delicately) assemble them together in the shape of a sand castle! If you get bored of eating it, which you won’t, try racing it with your friends – put a blob on a plate and jiggle the plate at an angle so the jelly slowly makes its way down. Whoever has their jelly cascade onto the table or floor first… needs more jelly.
It’s All In the Details
Cannoli; one of Italy’s many ingenious inventions. It would be a lovely sight: a cannoli tepee of delicious crispy shells filled with ricotta, marscapone, or, indeed ice cream. An excellent grown up alternative to cake.
Scooped, Not Stirred
Another good grown up alternative along the individual-serving route is marbles of sorbet in martini glasses. Make use of that melon-baller in the bottom drawer and get sorbets or various colours and flavours in the bottom of the glass and piles of fresh summer fruit and berries on top, raspberries, lychees and mangoes and whatever else is gleamingly in season.
Cake + Ice-cream = Happiness
There is never a time and place where ice cream is not appropriate, though it really does come into its own during summer. An ice cream cake is an exquisite fusion of two good things, forming a great thing. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cakes are quite possibly the apogee of ice cream cake. Ben and Jerry have a variety of different styles and flavours of ice cream cakes; one is hard pressed to choose between the dreamy ‘Fluffy Clouds’ and the sinisterly named ‘Little Screamers’ (individual flat-bottomed ice cream cones), although perhaps it is accurate rather than sinister, given the reaction of children when these are brought out.
You can also pick you own two favourite ice cream flavours which are then wedged between two layers of fudgy brownies, or cookies, with whipped cream on top and your own personal message on top written in fudge. It is necessary to agree with any statement written it fudge, and if that message is ‘Happy birthday’ it is also necessarily accurate; it’s a happy birthday if you have such an ice cream cake.
Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cakes. They have such wonderful ice cream; yummy and fun creations.