Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It's That Time Again

Time for me to prove that there are many many things I am terrible at.

Most, I avoid, like shark skiing, to the betterment of mankind. But once a year, I trundle off to the kitchen armed with a cookbook, bag of flour and harpoon to hammer out a birthday cake for my husband.

We must begin this journey by taking a trip through the past, reveling in past and paster mistakes.

As some, or probably none of you know, each year on the most Holy of David Bowie days I attempt to make my husband a banana cake from scratch because you don't find a lot of boxed banana cakes. There's an entire gaping banana industry crying out for cake and brownie mixes and Big Baking refuses to collect the charges.

So sad.

Anyway, this madness, this odd tradition of my wallowing in incompetence began years ago with this cake:
Truly it is a modern expression in the play of black against blue then held down and forced to swallow yellow play-dough. Oh and then a few sprinkles for funsies. She is the cake we must never forget or it'll break into your house and steal your furniture.

This is such a bad cake it was put on the no fly list - twice.

The next year, despite all common sense I actually tried with piping bags and everything:
Adorable baby sea turtle sprinkles covers all shame. I wish I could explain the ectoplasm ringing the sides but I assume I had to fight a giant portrait of a member of a hair metal band that was looking for a baby and had to run.

Last year I went avant garde, post-modern, and other fancy sounding terms that means I meant for it to look like that and you can't prove I didn't.
Why is the cake a teal color? Who knows. Why does it seem to be constantly oozing over the side? Because I want it to. Why does it...? That's enough questions now Mr. Nosey, nosey pants.

Last year I went ambitious on the cake aspect and less so on the covering in frosting approximating something like decorations.

I broke from the typical banana cake mold (which I'd only spice up on occasion) to make one of Celebration Generation's Banana's Foster cake. I did a few things differently.

1. I added a banana back to the batter along with a bit of creme de banana for that super yellow fruit kick.

2. I completely forgot to add the pudding until I had the batter sitting in the pans waiting for the oven. This then lead to a lot of cursing, repouring into the bowl, remixing, repouring into the pans and a good 10 minutes into baking when I remembered "Oh shit, I didn't re-grease the pans."

So, naturally, the cake was less than forgiving about exiting from said pans and while one layer only had a crack here and there the other was condemned after an 8.9 earthquake crumbled its foundation.

The sides held in tact only through willpower and a heavy dose of duct tape while the middle bottomed out. Once it finished cooling over night I, with the help of an excavation team, moved that crumbling mess to the cake stand and swore it would never move again.

Then came the filling, that was done mostly the same, but due to structural problems (as within there was none) I didn't torte anything in favor of digging a bit into the cake and then dumping in all of the banana and brown sugar into the middle and sealing its banana tomb with the second cake.

Frosting, oh yes frosting. This was luckily my second attempt at making my own buttercream frosting, and despite the fact I own neither double boiler or stand mixer I manage to make some nice tasting spackle. Is it supposed to be that consistency? I have no idea but its edible and it clings to things, it's doing far better than most previous attempts.

Here she is, my husband's Birthday Banana's Foster Cake:
You'll note the dedication to piling all of the frosting on with a spoon and then swiping at it as a bear does intruding camera crews. A swipe here, a swipe there, eh I'm tired, let's go see what's at the dump.

Here are the guts of the cake, you'll note the single banana layer tucked away waiting patiently for the signal to kill.

This year I went my version of old school, simple banana cake which I added some nutmeg, cinnamon and a whole lot of rum to.

And for the frosting even lazier, a cream cheese to which I poured in a capfull of banana liquor and then accidentally dumped a good ounce worth of rum.

But you're here for the picture.
If you're wondering why the cake is a strange green/salmoney color there's a perfectly logical explanation for that.



........Look over there!

I also didn't cover the sides because I ran out of frosting. I could have made more frosting but then it wouldn't look like a dirt clod half dug out of the grass. You know, a traditional birthday cake.

As they always say the most important thing is what it tastes like, but those people lie because none of you will be eating it.

So come and laugh at my horrific decoration inabilities for, much like Halloween is for embracing the dead and March 18th is for Leprechauns to try AA again, today is the day I celebrate my awkward, one armed, half blind, totally deaf approach to frosting a cake.


Leslie said...

Is this his preview? Will he see this before he eats it? You are definitely getting better. We need to get together. Want to meet for a quick bite to eat while I'm on my way out of town tomorrow night? I get done with class at 5ish.

Leslie said...
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