Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A birthday cake

Yellow cake with chocolate frosting. A classic. Kind of like me, but sweeter.

Today is my birthday. Another fun fact about today? It's the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. More time to celebrate my birth, you lucky ducks! Another fun fact? It's also Prince William's birthday. Unfortunately we have not yet been able to exchange presents just yet, but soon. Very soon.

Birthdays are kind of weird. You didn't really do anything to earn and frankly, your parents should be commended for bringing you into the world and letting you stick around. But really, birthdays should be celebrated for one reason and one reason alone.


Now, I'm not one to wait around all year for a delicious slice of sugary goodness. That's a regular occurrence in the Cupcake household. But birthdays deserve something a little extra special, dontcha think?

I got this recipe here, but I'm fairly certain it was stolen from Cook's Illustrated. What up, Chris Kimball? Dude knows his food.

Start by oiling and flouring some 9 inch pans. Really get in there with the oil. One of my cakes may have broken and may have been smushed back together. I can neither confirm nor deny these allegations.

Mix your dry ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk them up. Combine the wet ingredients and whisk them, too.

Then you should whip up some eggwhites. Set them aside.

Dump your flour and leavening into the empty bowl. Don't wash it out first. That's a waste of time.

Slowly mix your wet ingredients into your dry.

Then gently- I said gently!- fold in those egg whites. The whipped eggwhite is a delicate thing and needs some TLC.

Measure out your batter evenly into your prepared pans. Bake until done. Cool beside an open window if you're like me and don't have air conditioning. Or cable. Or 200 amp electrical service. I'm practically Amish!

While your cakes are cooling, you can wash dishes and clean up the flour bomb you made in your kitchen. Then, you ought to get your frosting on.

I'd never chocolate buttercream frosting before today. It was pretty darn simple. Get some cocoa.

Melt some butter.

Put the cocoa in your KitchenAid and aid the melted butter.

Mix it up.

Add approximately one ton of powdered sugar and drip of milk.

And beat the everloving fudge out of it.

Now comes the fun part. Dig out your cake stand. Mine lives in the basement on a shelf underneath the giant fake spider we use on Halloween. What? You don't keep yours next to arachnids?? Weird.

Put one layer of cake, maybe the "broken" one on the cake stand and slather on some frosting. Really give it a good coating.

Add the 2nd layer and admire.

Pour out the rest of the frosting on top. Wonder quietly to yourself if there is such a thing as too much frosting. Quickly dismiss the ridiculous notion and spread all over with an offset spatula.

I decorated mine with some swirlies and gold sprinkles in honor of the Bruins- go, go Black and Gold!

Then you can take your cake on a field trip. Oh the places this cake has been!

The great state of Texas (or just my Texas flag picnic table).

It lounged in the sun on the adirondack chair.

It even visited Kevin the garden gnome. Check out that kale! Kevin's been whispering sweet nothings to my veggies this year and they are growing like gangbusters!

Once the tour de garden is over, take the cake to your inlaws. Carefully balance it on the front seat of your SMART car, hold with one hand, drive with the other, and try to convince your 90 pound labradoodle not to knock it over as he's wedged in the trunk.

Conduct the ritual singing of "Happy Birthday".

Make a wish.

Eat a large slice and share a few others! 27 is going to be a good year.

1 comment: