Monday, April 19, 2010

Cake of the Week: The Blue Cake - oh man.

Ok, let me explain.I did not intent to make a Smurf cake, or anything reminiscent of Dr. Suess, or a Dali-esque melting cake...But in baking you don't always get what you expect. And once I step into the kitchen, anything goes.It all started because I owed one of my roommates a cake of her choice. She immediately requested a repeat of the glorious Africa Cake, and I was happy to oblige. So I planned another Africa cake, inspired by a different swath of fabric from Niger (for those of you who have no idea what I'm taking about, it's a red velvet cake, catch up here).I made the layers and froze them (which makes the frosting process easier). It's supposed to be a purple velvet cake, but it turns out I'm not willing to use the quantity of food coloring necessary to make a red velvet cake anything but brown-ish. Oh well. (Click here for the recipe.)Photoman joined me in the kitchen to document this cakesplosion, and a cakesplosion it certainly was! Luckily (for me) this is not a video blog...though you would probably be amused. 
Anywho, back to the process:
I took the layers out of the freezer and cut them in half. So far, so good. (Why make a 2-layer cake when you could make it 4, right???)
Then I made the frosting, and things just went downhill from there (things I struggle with: frosting. Always.) I started with a stick of butter and two packages of cream cheese. Then I added some milk. And some powdered sugar. (But retrospectively it was too much milk...but you know what they say about hindsight being 20:20. Dun dun dun. That was some indiscreet foreshadowing for you.)I blended to the click of Photman's camera. Work it! Beautiful! Fabulous! Hold that pose! 

I was concerned with the consistency (too runny)...but I didn't want to keep adding powdered sugar because then the frosting becomes a sugar-paste, which is just not that yummy. So I thought that *maybe* it would firm up. Boy was I wrong!

I scooped out some of the frosting and set it aside for later before I mixed in the blue food coloring.
To quote Photoman: You know what would be funny? A complete cake disaster! That would be hilarious!

Yep. He jinxed it. If he didn't take such fabulous pictures I would almost be annoyed!
But once you start you can't just stop mid-cake. So I went for it and frosted away, still hoping beyond hope that it would turn out ok, praying that the too-runny frosting would firm up a bit as it dried. Nope. My mumblings (which, thanks to Photoman, do not qualify as me talking to myself) went from Oh, maybe it will work... to Please work cake! Please? to Ohnoohnoohnoohno it's melting ohmygosh it's melting! My profanity increases in direct proportion to the stressfullness of the baking situation, and to Photoman's picture-snapping hilarity. But I will spare you a quote. Let's keep this blog PG kids!

Arrrgggghhhh! What am I going to do?!? I cried in dismay as I finished applying the smurf-like blue frosting to the outside of the cake. 

My immediate solution: Freezer. STAT. 

Sidenote: Again, thank God this blog doesn't include video...though all you readers would probably get a kick out my my cake-induced shrieking. 

Anywho, I whisked the cake to the freezer.  Ohmygod it's not going to fit! Ah! What am I going to do? What am I going to do? 

(Remember, Photoman is laughing hysterically and snapping pictures throughout my colorful cake conflict.)

 Frosting on my freezer cieling. Ok, I guess the fridge will have to do.Phew. Crisis averted for the moment. Though more like it's just hidden in my fridge. 

While my cake thought about what it has done, I mixed up the yellow frosting. I had resigned myself to the lost-ness of this cause, and just hoped that the end product would at least kind of resemble a cake. 
Well, at least we know it will taste good, right? Photoman tried to console me.I guess...