Monday, January 14, 2008
Well, the party was great. Everything worked out perfectly. Except for the cake, of course. I have finally accepted the fact that I make the worst cakes on the planet. Well, no, that's not really it - the cakes always taste amazing. It's the way they look that is the problem. I can do everything well up to the point where the cake comes out of the oven. I have a whole series of disaster cakes. There's the avalanche cake and the mudslide cake, depending on if it is white or chocolate. I have a volcano cake and an earthquake cake. The cakes stick, or they are uneven; one layer slides slowly off the other, or the cake splits in three parts and the icing runs into the middle. Oh, speaking of icing, it's my other problem. The first time I made buttercream frosting I was 13 years old, and I put in too much milk, causing the icing to run down the cake in rivulets. Now I err on the side of caution, and the icing is too thick to spread.
Aware of all my cake shortcomings, I decided to just go basic for the party, baking in a 9 x 13 pan, icing it with (thick) chocolate icing and tossing pink and white heart sprinkles all over the top. That actually worked out pretty well, but then, flush with success, I decided to make cupcakes. Not the big ones, the little, tiny ones. Usually I just spray the muffin tins with non-stick spray, but for some reason I thought it would be more "professional" to grease each little cup by hand. So I baked the cupcakes and only realized my mistake when I pulled them out of the oven. The over-filled cups mushroomed up, and because I hadn't gotten spray all over the top of the tin, the tops of the muffins stuck fast. I began scraping the edges of each with a spoon, to loosen them, and managed to get the tops off. Now they were in two parts and the tops looked dreadful. My husband rescued me by suggesting I cut the tops off neatly with a knife. Now what? I plopped a dollop of nice, thick icing on each muffin bottom and put it's top back on, creating "FrankenMuffin Surprise." They looked like they were aptly named, but tasted wonderful. The icing in the middle really was a nice surprise and they were the perfect size. They were a big hit at the party. Who knows, maybe I'll open a bakery some day with my horrible looking wonderful tasting treats.