There’s nothing like a minor cake freak-out to make you feel like a jerk.
The situation was thus: I had a fairly busy day scheduled, and everything was running behind. I didn’t get up early enough, so my gym trip ran behind, so I got home later than planned and had only a few minutes to finish assembling and photographing this cake before running off to an appointment and a full afternoon of errands. I was literally rushing around my apartment like crazy, totally frantic, spilling things and making a mess and feeling extremely anxious to get it all done in time.
Somewhere in between dropping a bowl of chocolate cake crumbs on my kitchen floor, staving off hyperventilation, and taking the world’s fastest shower (fact!), I had a glimmer of just how crazy I am sometimes. Crazy, and ungrateful, and totally short-sighted. If the biggest stressor in my day is photographing a cake, made for no occasion in particular, so I could post it on my personal blog in time for a self-imposed deadline, well, I guess life’s not so bad, is it?
Ever lose perspective like that? It’s okay, I do it all the time. Here, have a piece of cake.
This week’s cake was good, but certainly not worth an anxiety attack. Three layers of devil’s food cake sandwiched a fluffy marshmallow frosting. A fourth layer is crumbled and used to coat the sides and top of the cake, unless you’re like me and decide that seems too easy and time-efficient, in which case you should painstakingly smooth out the top of the cake and try drawing several different designs on it and scraping them off, only to finally give up once the frosting is on the verge of disintegration. I’d made this frosting recipe before, with another cake, so I was looking forward to reuniting it with its original mate, the ultra-chocolatey devil’s food cake.
…but. Well…maybe they’re not meant to be together, is all I’m saying. The trouble started when I tried to layer the cake. (I used one 3″ high pan, instead of two smaller ones.) I needed to get four layers out of it, but the chocolate chunks in the batter, and the texture of the cake itself, made it really hard to cut. Helloooo, more unintential crumbs!
And then, once assembled, the cake and frosting combo just didn’t do it for me. The cake was so dense, almost like a brownie, and the frosting was so light. I kept wishing the cake was a little lighter, maybe a chocolate chiffon cake, so the frosting wasn’t so overwhelmed. Or that I’d added some butter to give the frosting some heft. Either way, I got a lot of this squirting action when I tried to eat it:
Waaah-waaaaah. BUT, in keeping with my new philosophy of keeping everything in perspective, I will simply say that everything tasted great, and I am feel extremely blessed to have the free time and resources to make unnecessary baked goods that I later complain about. Life is good!
[Belated props to MacDuff, whose post about grace in small things keeps simmering in the back of my head, makin’ me feel all grateful and stuff on a regular basis. A big virtual slice of cake to you!]