While you never stop learning in life (and boy some of the lessons are fun, aren’t they?), you do pick up a few tips as you muddle through.
1. Play to your strengths. In other words, avoid your weak areas. Run from them. After over a year of seeing my how my interpretations stack up against a host of others’, I think we can all agree that my decorating/construction skills are lacking at best. There was the leaning tower of tiramisu cake and who can forget the saddest little jack-o-lanterns ever? Considering those masterpieces, I wasn’t about to attempt to slice a cake this thin in half. Fool me 837 times and I finally get it. We enjoyed a two-tiered cake.
As for layering frosting and jam? Yeah, right. You let me know when mangled goo looks appetizing and I’ll try the layering. Fresh blueberries all the way.
2. Know your audience. It was Patty’s birthday and Patty…LOVES whipped cream. Really loves it. This gave me the perfect excuse to skip buttercream which 1) is complicated and 2) is not my favorite. Despite the pounds I rip through baking, I don’t really love the taste of butter. But we’ll tackle that paradox another time. I tried to make a chocolate whipped cream to account for the glaring lack of chocolate in Patty’s birthday cake. I didn’t have the 4+ hours to tackle the version in the back of BFMHTY so I opted for a Maida Heatter version. It was good but decidedly not very chocolatey.
Overall, I liked this cake. I taste tested the batter (natch) and it was better than I expected. I went with lime zest because I thought it would go well with the blueberries. In the end, however, it was still white cake, which will never make my heart sing. I offered a small layer of white at our wedding for the purists but I didn’t go anywhere near it. I suppose there are occasions where this would be the perfect cake but those occasions probably call for elegant cakes. If there is one thing my cakes aren’t, it is elegant.
My “helper.” He is only in it for the sink “concoctions.”
The full recipe is at mix, mix…stir, stir by Carol.
Next week: Brownies! I don’t want to jinx it but I haven’t been disappointed by a Dorie brownie yet…