This little cycling story has a happy beginning and a happy ending. It’s the middle that was less than a cakewalk.
Recently, I rode my bicycle to Veniero’s in Manhattan to pick up a strawberry cake — a family favorite — for a birthday party. The cake box fit perfectly into my basket (above), and pedaling home, gingerly, took less than 10 minutes. Nevertheless, this was the sad sight that greeted me when I lifted the box lid:
Cakes, at least the kind that are well-mortared with thick icing, usually travel well in a bike basket, if one rides slowly and avoids bumpy roads and cobbles. A jacket or towel folded beneath the box for padding helps, too. I blame the cake collapse on the delicate airiness of the whipped cream between layers.
With no time to ride back to the bakery for a replacement, I spooned individual servings into martini glasses and topped them with the fresh strawberries (below). The birthday boy got a candle. That’s how a culinary catastrophe was transformed into a…trifle.