Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Cake Disaster

I ought to tell you all about my most recent fiasco, since this blog is muchly about keepin' it real.

I decided to throw a baby shower for a friend of mine and I asked another friend to co-host it with me. And then we got our friend's godmother into the loop, so it ended up being a group effort. My part was the invitation and the cake.

I had, after all, taken a cake decorating class recently. Woot, woot! A chance to practice my new found cake craftiness! I was really looking forward to doing a cake.

Since we don't know whether our friend is having a boy baby or a girl baby, and since my cake skillz are still limited, I decided to do another Hydrangea cake, but to do this one with blue, pink, and pink/blue transitional flowers on it. I had visions of piping a tiny sleeping baby out of frosting and nestling him/her in amidst the flowers. It would be fabulous! It would be amazing!

It was not meant to be.

On Friday I was tired. That was the day to bake the cake. I thought I could make the cake and sit and rest while it was baking, and then go grocery shopping. I thought I had more energy than I did.

It's all my own fault really. I could blame my friend, C, who invited me to go to a midnight showing of the new Harry Potter movie on Thursday night/Friday morning. Perhaps I could blame JK Rowling, or Harry Potter himself. Or the evil Lord Voldemort. The movie outing was a blast, but boyoboyoboy have I been paying for it since! I got about six hours of sleep, which is what I pull on many bad nights, so I thought I'd be fine. Let me tell ya, midnight to six am is far better sleep than 3 am to nine am. But I digress.

So, what happened, is I'd planned this cake, and I wanted to do a ten inch layer with an eight inch layer on top...a tiered effect with hydrangea blossoms nestled all around and dripping down the sides-very elegant. But when it came time to get the cakes out of the oven, I was drifting off to sleep on the couch. My youngest daughter took the cakes out of the oven. I muttered something about getting them out of the pan myself in a few minutes (yeah, right!) which she did not hear and the bigger layer broke while she was removing it from the pan.

She was SOOOOO apologetic. So, she decided to make another cake. I, meanwhile, fell asleep on the couch.

I do NOT give good baking advice while I am sleeping. Apparently (I have no memory of this) A asked me if it's OK to just use regular milk rather than sour milk in the recipe. I told her yes. Wrongly, of course. I was probably drooling in my sleep at the time.

Secondly, Ariana overfilled the cake pan and batter spewed all over the oven. I awoke to stinky burning cake batter smells filling our home. Lovely.

So, eventually cake number two was done and it was also a disaster. It did not rise right and was sunk in the middle because the pan was over full.

But I still had that first 8 inch top layer and it was perfect.

Later that evening I went to remove the perfect 8 inch layer from the cooling rack and remembered why we weren't supposed to use cooling racks in our cake of course had gotten thoroughly stuck to the cake, and the removal process resulted in yet another broken cake layer.

Oh well, I would make another cake after AHG at 9 pm on Friday night, after being up most of the night the night before and while being so wobbly on my feet I could barely see straight. Yeah, that's the ticket!

And while there was crud in my oven?

10 pm came and went and found me in a heap of tears on the kitchen floor, sobbing my eyeballs out. It was the realization that I'd have to clean the oven before I could bake in it that finally did me in.

Because in between the cake drama we also had at least one adolescent aspie kid melt down in which I realized that someone around here needs more from me and from life than what I've been able to give. And I felt low, low, low.

So, as my husband told me on Friday night: "Don't they have bakeries for this sort of problem?" Why yes, yes they do!

I wish all my problems were that easy to solve.


elizabeth said...

oh dear. BIG HUG to you. yep, bakery is a good solution. hang in there. get some sleep too okay? love to you.

Matushka Anna said...

Oh my, I've had my share of cake disasters too! One VERY recently.

Bakeries are great!

Anonymous said...

Empathy all around, and a hanky to boot. Been there, done that. Cake drama, simple solution offered by sympathetic hubby. Meltdowns. And, I used to work night shifts with little daylight sleep hours between. Lemme tell 'ya. A body needs its beauty sleep. So do those aspies.

gemma said...

You have one swell guy for a husband. Guys get right to the solution don't they?