The cake is cooling as I write this. You can’t put icing on when the cake is warm or it melts it.
You are probably surprised that I, Xeonio (Wil) have baked a cake. I haven’t tasted it yet but it does look scrum-diddly-umptious.
Betsy’s mom makes it once a year, at X-Mas and it’s absolutely divine. I started looking over her recipe and I was kind of losing my shit. All sorts of things I didn’t completely comprehend so I had to ask her questions and add some notes to the paper. She also lent me the 3 pans I needed plus the mixer. She laughed at me when I asked if I could just beat my egg whites to stiff peaks with a whisk.
Anyway, I started putting stuff together and realized it was going to take me 3 bowls just to separate the dam eggs. One bowl to break them over, one bowl to hold the egg whites, and the big’ish medium bowl for the yolks. Betsy said, “You can’t get stiff peaks if the whites have any yolk or water so pay attention.” She said something after that but I spotted a butterfly and zoned out. I mixer’d up the initial ingredients and I’m not completely sure I got to a fluffy texture.
I like to taste most of my ingredients so I can try to have a better understand of how they will effect the dish. I figured the vanilla extract would be like a vanilla bean ice cream explosion in my mouth. I’m pretty sure they mislabeled the liquefied hamster as vanilla extract. Then the buttermilk came out.
I remember my grand parents drinking this stuff with their cornbread in it when I was little (they still do /shudder). I thought, I can do this… I tasted puree’d rodent after all. I held a small cup of it to my mouth and gag’d from the smell. WTF is this stuff made of? I think the cow was dead when they milked it.
I shrugged and added it to the mixture.
This is also where the first misstep took place. I quickly called Betsy and asked if she had some baking soda cuz I sure as hell didn’t. She did, asked how much I needed and I told her a tablespoon. Did you notice the LITTLE t in the recipe for baking soda? I did (after they were baking). She said they would probably turn out okay in flavor. They just might look like missile testing grounds.
I got all that mostly mixer’d up when I added my special ingredient… gnat. It was suicidal, flew right into the mixer blade thingies. I never saw him again. I know he’s somewhere in there now but I just keep telling myself he was a ninja gnat and flew through the blades to some paradise on the far side. Oh well, the consistency of the batter was velvety and delicious… I was feeling proud.
My measuring cup was too wide for my flour bag which turned into a nice dusting on the counter. I only mildly understand sifting. It adds air to the flour so that you end up with fluffy cake instead of brick cake (remember that Betsy?). I started to get into trouble here as my big-medium bowl was super full. I only ended up with about 10% of the total batter on the counter / clothes / floor / microwave / Pickles (my cat, which was chased around by Dutch trying to eat her). Once it was all mixed together though I busted out the pans.
I was NOT going to chance them sticking to the round pasn so I created butter forcefields. Then you have to, “flour the pan so that the cake can climb up it”. I argued that the cake is dead and if I find it climbing anything I’ll be stabbing it to death with my cheffy-choppy knife.
I put them in the oven and set my timer for 25 mins. I didn’t want to chance burning them so I stayed in the kitchen and figured I’d just go ahead and make the frosting within eye-shot of the front of the stove. I forgot to take the stick of butter out to soften for the icing so I put the cold stick next to the vent on the top of the stove that sends out searing heat. This promptly turned into liquid butter before I knew WTF was going on.
At this point all of my stuff is dirty… mixer blades, measuring cups / spoons, my one big bowl. My sink had been having some clogging issues but you add in cake batter with nuts and coconut and you have more of a big bucket then a draining sink. I needed my stuff clean though… off to the shower I went! Srsly, I just washed ’em in the shower. It’s probably cleaner than my sink at this point.
elapse 25’ish mins
Guess who doesn’t have a toothpick to test to see if the cake is done? If you guessed your mom, you were wrong. It was me. I’m a master improviser though (remember the mincing of the lemon peel rind for zesting… ignore that it didn’t work). I had one of those wooden sticks you use to stir paint (this one didn’t have paint on it) and used my flathead screwdriver to break off some small splinters that I could use. I tested the cake and bam they were done!
I took them out, took a picture, and got horrified as they began to deflate. I noticed the centers looked a bit gooey and the light bulb came on. I didn’t test the center for done-ness, I tested the outside. I plunged in my wooden shard and it was still batter! I cranked the oven back up and threw those bitches back in.
I finished up the icing which was remarkably easy while I gave the cake tiers another 7 mins in the oven. They were getting a very golden (read: scorched on the edges) so I took them out. The improvised toothpicks told me it was done.
I’ll be right back… they’ve been cooling for awhile now so I should be able to ice them. Pray!
It is now complete.
Ya know those cool knives they use to ice cakes? I used the back of a plastic spoon.
What this image doesn’t show you is that on the opposite side there is about a 2 inch span missing icing. Why didn’t I have enough icing you ask? Because the 3 tiers kind of have craters in the center of them from where they sunk. I used the icing to fill in the extra depth but the weight of the upper tiers just squished it down anyway. I put all the pulverized nut garnish in the center so that way when you are standing next to it you don’t notice that it’s about to turn into a Guatemalan sinkhole.
It didn’t help that the top tier also lost a chunk of its center on the bottom. The other two layers came out of the cake pans mostly unscathed (read: I had to hack off a few burn marks on the outside). The cake pieces I got to eat out of the cake pan from the top tier were pretty good though so I think I might have pulled this off. Gonna be eating this tomorrow night at Den and Betsy’s so I’ll let ya know how it turns out!
Edit: I just realized this is the first thing I’ve ever baked. If it’s somewhat edible I’ll consider it a HUGE victory. Wait, I made that Bread Pudding… dam. Oh well, this is still amazing!
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