My just-turned eleven old daughter had her third 11th birthday party.
That’s right. Third one. LOL
And, with the stuff that’s been going on our family life, I decided to try and make a “classic white double-layer birthday cake with raspberry filling and butter cream frosting” for her – from scratch.
Key word: “try”.
And dang, that’s long name for a cake, isn’t it? Mary Poppins would be pleased.
This ol’ mechanic thought he could throw this cake together easily… You know, like if I was Major Nelson with Jeannie at his side.
And I wish I did have Jeannie. Only for her blinks, of course.
I followed the recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. Its recipes are proven battle plans for old mechanics that are easy to follow with predictable results.
But they forgot to consider my age and my (poorly) man-equipped kitchen this time. Unthinkable.
This time, two (and a half) things went wrong while making the cake:
1. As I didn’t have a flat beater for my KitchenAid stand mixer, the cake flour/butter mixture couldn’t get “crumbly” enough. I believe this kept the cake from properly rising while baking. (Well, there were three things that went wrong: it was overbaked by a couple of minutes.)
2. I over-whipped the frosting, making it REAL tough to spread… It was worse than cold peanut butter. But it tasted just fine.
And while no fault of the recipe, I ran out of frosting; because the cakes had domed too much, there was a gap around the circumference my belly could have sneaked through. I ended up shoving a LOT of frosting in to fill the gap.
Since Brooke has gotten hooked on “Cake Boss” (darn fake reality shows), she has become an eleven year old expert on how to frost and decorate cakes. She was “lovingly critical” on how the frosting was being put on…a little after midnight. “Pa-paaah! I told you. You should have cut off the domes. It’s too high now so you’ve got a HUGE gap!” (My oldest, Robyn, is probably snickering to herself, “Haha. Now you know what its like!)
You have no idea how close I was to being fired by the household Cake Boss, let me tell you. But since it was after midnight (yes, she was still up), I would have received double-time.
For a cake stand, I had to improvise. The cake was first placed onto the bottom of a 9″ springform pan. Then that bottom was placed on top of a 9” Pyrex pie dish which was atop a mixing bowl. Complicated. Pain to use. But I did it. Frustratingly. With the Cake Boss still cracking orders to boot.
Anyways, the girls ate it. They said it was good. I made sure they said that.
Below, you can see the HUGE gap between the layers I was nearly fired over. Admittedly, the gap (all the way around the cake) measured about an inch:
So now I know better next time. And I did order the right flat beater and a revolving cake stand.
But the 11 year old Cake Boss is still here.
I have a great idea.
I should join the baker’s union.
They would keep me from being fired.