A few months ago, I received an email from BBC Good Food to say they were celebrating their sixth anniversary in the Middle East. Would I like to be a part of it by baking my version of a childhood cake? I'm always game when cake is involved.
Then I went back a few years and realised that whenever birthdays came and went, my mom always wanted it to be extra special, a day out of the ordinary, a cake extraordinary to match. I remember when I was 6 or so, I had a Barbie cake. A real Barbie cake. The doll was a centrepiece with a beautiful pink cake around her. There was also a chocolate buttercream teddy bear cake I had when I turned 10 or so. All fluffy to emulate fur. And then when I was in my teens, she organised a surprise birthday for me at home. With a special cake to follow. That had to be one of the best birthdays ever.
What all these cakes had in common, besides being utterly delicious, were that they weren't homemade. My mom never ever ever ordered in food from outside. Everything was made from scratch. Even french fries. Except birthday cakes. Those were meant to be memorable, showstoppers. So that even twenty years on, you would still remember them as I still do today.
Now I certainly wouldn't have been able to recreate any of those fancy cakes, I chose this cake instead. Eating pancakes on a Saturday are a longstanding ritual in our family. Since Maryam is such a pro at making pancakes, I thought a pancake cake would be appropriate for my birthday last year since she was keen to help me. One that she wouldn't mind having for breakfast every Saturday might I add.