Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's the thought that counts and only taste matters.

To be honest, this year's birthday cake wasn't as bad a fiasco as last year's. I didn't have to make another cake, so that was good, but the cake I did make had to be royally salvaged.

I greased the pans really well, promise I did! Anyway, maybe I didn't wait long enough for them to cool or maybe I should have put flour over the butter, but when I inverted the damn things, half the cake crumbled out while the other half stayed firmly lodged in the pan.

The cake tasted pretty good, so I thought I'd just cool them and see if I could fix it with filling and icing.

This is my completely professional birthday layer cake. Prepare to take notes! Since my layering technique is so advanced, I've prepared a diagram to help explain.
I used the one and only cake stand I have which I immediately discovered is not flat. It bows down in the middle like a really tiny bowl. So when I started putting the filling on the worse of the two cake layers, I broke it in half when I pushed down into the divet to spread on the banana layer. Le sigh. To fix this problem, I broke up some cake pieces and wedged them under like a piece of folded paper under a wobbly table leg. What I lack in skills I make up for in ingenuity. That explains my shim layer. I needed another layer between the banana cream pie fillings for the pineapple, so with cake crumbs, I covered over the first banana layer as best I could before slathering on the pineapple. The peeled off bottom crust layer came from the bottom of the better looking cake since I actually managed to get that out of the pan in one whole piece. So even though it lacked any real substance, it made a very good division between the pineapple and banana. You'll notice that the second banana pie layer is a whole lot thicker than the first one. Well, instead of dividing up my filling so that each layer was equal, I just put it on until I thought it was enough. When I got to the second layer and had put on "enough", I realized I still had about 2 or more tablespoons of filling left and I didn't want to put that small amount back in the fridge, so I kept on spreading.  The rest is pretty self explanatory. The only thing left is the crust of coconut I expertly squished on top of the icing, spilling most of it on the counter and floor in the process.  It's still not quite stuck on, either. Idle Husband pointed out last night that we can't do anything with that cake without making a huge coconut mess everywhere. Right.
I'll give you an honest view of the whole thing. It's flawed, sure, but given what I had to work with, it was very pretty and presentable, despite being a little lopsided.

The taste is absolutely delicious! I could have put a larger pineapple layer, but at the time I was thinking it would be too tart and I really wished I'd added some sugar. After it had sat for a while and with the combination of the other sweet things, the pineapple layer is really nice and not tart at all. We still have half the cake left and we've been snacking on it since Tuesday. I think we're both trying to make it last as long as possible.

That day, though, was like a disaster a minute! I started to make a card for IH (I had this cute connect-the-dots idea), but when I went to erase my pencil outline, it wouldn't and the pencil smeared all over my perfect cardstock. I went downstairs to find another eraser (I'm sure I have a bag of them) but I couldn't find them. Instead, I found these iron-on crayons T gave me a million years ago. Well, honestly, I'd never used them and since everything had become this nightmare for me, I felt like that day was a good day to try something new I'd never tested before ever.
So I drew a picture of a monkey (my pet name for IH) -- well, several monkey pictures until I decided it looked more like a bear and I had to go to the internet to see what a cartoon monkey should look like. And then, after writing "monkey" forwards only to realize it should be backwards, I had to cut that part off my cute monkey picture and intently rewrite it backwards (though I notice the 'Y' is still wrong). Then I chose a black shirt and went downstairs to iron it on, only to realize that the black wouldn't show up. Sigh again. I ended up ironing it on a white tank top basically ensuring that if things went wrong, he'd NEVER wear it out of the house. I didn't know how long I was supposed to hold the iron on and I wanted to keep it on longer, but the image slipped so that's when the ironing process stopped. It worked perfectly albeit a little faded, though I've decided that really works for the tank top. Ah, yup. Perfection.
Oh, but it doesn't stop there. I also bought some of those cute candles shaped like letters. We never do candles, but how could I pass them up? They were so cute! I made him wait while I arranged them on the cake and started to light them. These candles are seriously hard to light and once on fire, I realized that they melt down really quickly. Panicking, I quickly got them lighted and for whatever stupid reason, I wanted to move the cake into the dining room. I think because it was darker in there and I thought it would give a nice effect all candles in the dark. So while the candles were lit, I started moving the cake and pretty immediately, most of them went out before I managed to even get halfway there. So while some were still melting away (stupid D), I had to grab the lighter and start relighting. Anyway, they refused to stay lit and some of the ones that had stayed lighted during movement, had started going out, so I abandonded the idea completely and called him over to blow out the four remaining lighted candles. I think I phrased it like this, would you just come blow out your damn candles already, this isn't working at all. Oh, yeah make a wish.

And so ended another IH birthday celebration. To imagine that I was actually thinking of having a party with guests this year. Me. Arranging a party. With other people. Who would have had to view my lopsided cake and candle disaster. I shudder at the thought.

No comments: