Sunday, May 2, 2010
Birthday Baking FAIL
As you may know, things have been kind of stressful and grim for us these past few months. So for Z's upcoming birthday, I wanted to do something completely frivolous and fun. A few years ago I saw a blog post for this Supertall Amazing Rainbow Cake and I knew that would be just the thing. It was gonna be AMAZING! And a surprise.
Zack went to visit some friends Friday night, so I got to baking. Flour, egg whites and sugar flew. The mess was epic. The cake was a coconut cake from a recipe I found on about.com. I separated the batter into different bowls and added the food coloring. I didn't know how much to add, so I just sort of dropped the coloring in and mixed until it looked nice. Then I poured it into the cake pans and baked it according to the instructions. Simple enough.
Now, lets talk frosting. And egg whites - evil, evil egg whites. The icing was going to be a nice, fluffy and supposedly simple egg white and sugar mix. I threw out two batches. The egg whites would not turn into fluffy peaks no matter how long my Kitchen Aid abused them. My last attempt finally yielded something fluffy and yummy.
I stacked the layers, adding frosting and shredded coconut in between them. Then I frosted the exterior and dusted it with the remaining coconut. Voila! A giant Baked Alaska. Wait, what?
A few things: I should have made a double recipe so that layers would be nice and thick, to contribute to the whole "Supertall" aspect of the cake. But time was short and I was out of eggs! Baking tip #1, be prepared. That means have extra in case you eff it up the first time! Also, the cake pans I used weren't exactly the same size. For this recipe you either need a ridiculous number of cake pans, or time enough to bake everything in separate batches. Our neighbors graciously let me borrow a few of theirs so I could bake the cake all at once. Despite the slight roundness of the cake, I was still pretty dang proud...
...That is until the next morning. When this is what I find. All of the lovely, fluffy icing had disappeared into a cobwebby vestige of its former glory. Cursing ensued. Lots and lots of cursing. But I was determined that 3 hours of baking would not go in vain.
We were brave and tried a slice. It actually tasted pretty good. Nice and coco-nutty. The frosting had been absorbed by the cake, so it was very moist. And it looked pretty on the plate, even without frosting.
Next year, I'll be keeping it simple. Patti, I hear you have a cheesecake recipe?