Friday, August 29, 2008

*pisa cake.

Confession: I adore birthdays. What's better than a whole day devoted entirely to your existence (or, in my case, my existence and that of the Big Bro)? As such, I insist they are a big deal. Don't believe me? Ask JLB. The F fam may have singlehandedly cured her of her birthday addiction through sheer overexposure. There was a "How does it feel to be 50???" shouting match on a crowded airplane that I believe she particularly enjoyed.

In this case, the Birthday Girl was turning 30, an equally exciting turning point although perhaps somewhat less rife for public ridicule. It is ideal, however, for chocolate consumption. So I made a cake! (Take a good gander at that photo, my friends. You'll find it bears less than a passing resemblance to the leaning tower I ended up with.)


Sugar, vanilla extract, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, vegetable oil, butter, and eggs—buttermilk was hanging out elsewhere, and no Fresca was harmed in the making of this sweet.

I also brewed some hot coffee.

What? Shut up. Filters are for losers. Or the chronically prepared. You're lucky I had paper towels on hand. No worries, though. I had a pantyhose backup plan.

Again, I must offer my apologies for the rank horror of these photographs. Why are they never in focus? Maybe the Woodside is over a fault line. Or it's the DTs. Hard to say.

I sifted the dry ...

and combined the wet ...

and whirled it all together in Coppertone. Then poured into cake pans, which is where my lack of Boy Scout readiness came into play.

I was out of parchment paper, so I buttered and floured the shit out of the pans and crossed my fingers.

Stupid, worthless fingers.

Vast, sticky, chocolatey swaths of cake glued themselves stubbornly to the bottoms of both pans, requiring de-spackling and jigsaw-puzzling.


I put the darn things in the refrigerator and retired huffily to the boudoir for some rest. I roused at the obscene hour of 6:00 am (people who choose to be awake at that time need some serious help) for icing construction.

Chocolate, butter, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, raw egg (ooh! kicky and poisonous!). It should be noted that I actually woke up at 4:00 am to put the egg out so it would be at room temperature when I needed it. DEDICATION. DEVOTION TO CRAFT. CRAZY ANAL-RETENTIVENESS.

Chocolate. Melted.

Sugar. Sifted.

Mixed together to make silky, buttery choco-love.

And asmeared. Then topped with strange and possibly offensive decorations.

Just tilt your computer a little to the left. Or wink. Or have a martini.


Ole Miss Mom says:
at: 3:11 PM said...

how did it taste?? mmmmm.....cake.

K. says:
at: 4:20 PM said...

i didn't taste any, unfortunately ... but i heard great things!

at: 4:39 PM said...

It was the best cake ever created. I know from whence I speak.

Jenny Walls Robb says:
at: 5:01 PM said...

I love birthdays!!! And your cake looks deliciously aligned--I have already had a glass of wine though...

at: 5:30 PM said...

It is true ... my birthday will never be the same again. For the first time in my life, I was officially birthdayed out! Bur for this cake ..... I might rethink that next year!!! YUMMM YUMMM

K. says:
at: 9:26 AM said...

anonymous: thank you. and excellent use of the word "whence."

jenny: keep drinking. it gets straighter!

jeannieb205: next year perhaps you will get cake. and a hard time about your age. seems like a safe bet!



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I am a work in progress. I perpetually need a hair cut. I'm totally devoted to my remarkable nieces and nephew. I am an elementary home cook and a magazine worker bee. (Please criticize my syntax and spelling in the comments.) I think my dog is hilarious. I like chicken and spicy things. I have difficulty being a grown-up. Left to my own devices, I will eat enormous amounts of cheese snacks of all kinds.