Recipe development is difficult. It takes time and patience, and it's no wonder that people want compensation in the form of cook book sales or TV show appearances. This post doesn't actually include a recipe, because I did not managed to develop one that met the requirements of a good birthday cake: delicious, beautiful, and transportable.
While this cake did look and taste the way I wanted it to, with a lemony sponge, raspberry Italian meringue buttercream and a light, tangy, lemon meringue pie inspired mousse, it was in no way transportable. In fact, it barely held up while on solid ground (or table). After this picture was taken, I cut the cake (no small feat, with the chocolate curls on the top and the many layers), served it up, and refrigerated the remainder. Unfortunately, the cake decided that its top and bottom halves no longer got along, and so the top promptly slid right off its base and into a pile.
Luckily, this cake was a practice cake, and not the actual birthday cake that I had planned on serving. It did teach me a lesson though: do not trust your cake to be kind to you. And either leave the recipe development to the pros, or give yourself enough wiggle room to fix a disaster if it does occur.
Thanks for listening.