I'm sure you're all curious to see what Hector made for his special birthday celebration. I think the results are stunning! I just couldn't resist offering Hector a recipe from the wedding cake chapter of my upcoming book because it was so appropriate to his location. I asked Hector to write this posting so he could describe the process and results! Hector Hawaii 4-0 Be careful what you ask for as you may get it, and there hasn't been one thing Rose hasn't delivered for me! Months ago, while working on the youtube project, I shouted to get paid: "Rose, can you make my 40th birthday cake?" She almost said yes, except knowing that it will need to be done far apart and on the same day after her return trip from Paris, instead she gave me one of her new cake recipes: The Tropical Wedding Cake for Hector. When I reviewed the recipe at first sight, i was not excited. Tropical fruits was something I hardly specialized in. You know, it is true we always think the grass is greener at the other side of your town (yellow in my case). But as one matures with time, like love, I now feel the "local chef celebrity status in Hawaii." This cake has gained more attention than any of my previous cakes have, locally. The macadamia nuts came from Lions Gate Farm in Kona http://www.coffeeofkona.com. Suzanne Shriner harvested the most perfectly fresh nuts and carefully packed the precious cargo with layers of bubble wrap; per my paranoid request of a food stylist! Whole mac nuts are worth their price in gold, so here they are for your enjoyment! The vanilla came from Huahua Farm, also in Kona http://www.huahuafarm.com. Clare Wilson grows the vanilla beans herself; hers are so nature perfect that one day I envision making a cake covered with whole vanilla bean twigs. This is a banana cake with passion fruit mousseline. The nuts were removed prior to slicing the cake, and later added back on to each serving plate. My dearest friend Deanna and her children Jade and Wilson, were uttermost supportive (needless to say, they attended each of my month long birthday parties!). Wilson is such well behaved child, he was hired to remove all the nuts during cake cutting, and he did so without snacking! I love the picture with the ocean and being tossed a prize medal. Children tell the true story without words: Jade shared her judo medal with me! Everyone made comments that Rose's banana cake was the best in the world. It was truthful bananas delicious, fragrant without using banana essence (which most bakeries use giving it an artificial flavor), the dark tan color and the speckles were appetizing, but most of all is the characteristic melt in the mouth texture Rose's butter cakes mixing method have. I confess to always mixing an extra minute or two whenever using Rose's butter cakes mixing method, to guarantee achieving "developing cake structure" a concept I find so hard to explain in writing... so perhaps I will make a short video and youtube it!. I do notice Rose adds an incredible amount of salt, and kindly whispered asking if anyone thought this cake was salty? Nobody said so...... Salt is sweets’ and desserts’ best flavor enhancer. My mother always used sugar to enhance the flavor of salty dishes, or salt to enhance the flavor of sweet dishes!
The photo shoot was ultra fun. The location was truly at the end of the world: it was in Lagoon Drive near the airport runway! 10 plus friends showed up and felt awed we were doing this--it really was an odd place, but now we know better that Hector will bring one ultimately to the end of the world for cake! We made the evening a potluck on location and definitely will do it again. Parking was an issue because due to tsa, you can't leave your car on the side of the street so near the airport, so 'we had to' park at the fedex parking lot which was so excellent specially after the fedex security guard was bought with food and cake! Shall I ask next time for fedex to ship my cakes? I am mailing 8 packages out by ups on tuesday: 5 high school classmates who also turned 40 this year, my long time computer analyst who just now I found out he has the same birthday as I, John from hello direct, and you! The next night was the grand finale Hector Hawaii 4-0: dinner at Sabrina's Restaurant in Honolulu. Sabrina is so supportive of my work, she always snatches my cakes as soon as I walk into her restaurant and rushes to the kitchen to show her chef husband, Stephano. Her food is true home style traditional Italian, uncomplicated, and wholesome tasty. You can google her for the most funny reviews, just be aware that this is a restaurant you go for food, and not for anything else other than food, as her slow table service and byob service are truly exceptional for a restaurant in the United States. Sabrina has an incredible and loyal following, the restaurant is small an each day of the week is just as busy! and YES, like in Rome, she never kicks you out of the restaurant nor present you with the tab till you ask for...the average dinner experience at Sabrina's is 3 to 4 hours... Aloha 'Oe . . . p.s. Hector Hawaii 4-0, two-tier tropical wedding cake, feeds 110 small portions. passion fruit harvested by Hector and Luca from the side of the road in Hilo. Passion curd made fresh. Hawaiian apple bananas ripened till the skin turns black and shrivels. Macadamia nuts toasted fresh (but no, i did not crack the nuts open myself!). Backdrop is my new bath shower curtain.