When I was a kid, a birthday cake meant chiffon-type cake (vanilla or mocha) with butter icing, decorated with sugar flowers and personalized with a birthday message ÒwrittenÓ with brightly colored decorator icing. Many families still go for that type of birthday cake. These days, kidsÕ birthday cakes come with themes usually a cartoon characters. My daughters, now 12 and 11, have outgrown all of that. When the younger one turned 11 last month, we brought her to Red Ribbon Bakeshop to choose her birthday cake. ItÕs been our practice for the past couple of years–the birthday celebrant chooses her birthday cake. She chose chocolate mousse, definitely one of her favorites.
Red Ribbon is not a premiere cake shop. There are better ones like Gene GonzalezÕs The Smiling Chef (warning: quite expensive) along Wilson Street in Greenhills. It used to have a branch in Quezon City and we used to buy our cakes there. The Quezon City branch closed a couple of years ago and, after we moved to the suburb, Greenhills became just a bit too far to buy a birthday cake. So, itÕs been Red Ribbon for the past two or three years. IÕm not saying that Red Ribbon is inferior. Actually, it isnÕt un primera clase but still good. We prefer Red Ribbon cakes over GoldilocksÕ cakes which are more of what weÕd call ÒcommercialÓ. Cheaper but, you know, too much bread and too much extenders in the cream, chocoloate and everything else.