Thursday, January 29, 2009

In which I offer proof that Laura Brown is a better cook than I am

The cake is less than she hoped it would be. She tries not to mind. It is only a cake, she tells herself. It is only a cake. ...

According to the clock on the wall, it is barely ten-thirty. She has plenty of time to make another cake. This time, she will prevent crumbs from getting caught in the icing. This time, she will trace the letters with a toothpick, so they'll be centered, and she'll leave the roses for last.

- Michael Cunningham, The Hours

Exhibit A:
On the left, you'll see the dregs of cake #1, which was an attempt at a double-laayered chocolate cake, aborted when both cakes stuck to the bottom of the pans they baked in, despite my having "lightly greased" each pan per the directions. Cake #2 had the opposite problem. While this time I greased and floured the pan, it was a bundt pan and the cake came out fairly quickly ... too quickly, in fact, as it practically fell apart as I turned it onto the plate. I ran out of time to make a third cake, before I went to pick up the person who said, "There will be cake on my birthday."

Unlike Laura Brown, however, I love my spouse immensely. So I resisted the urge to read Mrs. Dalloway (again) and go for a long drive.

Ah yes, and happy birthday, belovéd. I love you, clearly more than the cake loves me.


jenny said...

a circle of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan prevents both problems. turn the cake out gently, allow to cool, and slowly peel the paper off cake. viola!

(and happy birthday to angela!)

adadak said...

(and we actually have parchment paper in the kitchen just for that reason .....)

the cake is delicious, and the story of your efforts is going to be so much more memorable than a perfect cake would have been!

Maybe I'll make the cake next year and you and Xan can decorate it?