my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

November 9, 2010

cakes ahoy

i was industrious on sunday. more industrious then i probably should have been, considering that it was day light savings time, a concept that fishie didn't quite grasp. so instead of embracing the fact that we should have gained an extra hour of sleep, she decided to get up when she always does, only instead of the clock saying it was 7am, it said that it was 6am. i try and i try to explain important things like the wonders of sleeping in on a sunday to her, but i think it's beyond her comprehension.

anyway, sunday was also my lovely stepmommy's birthday. and as is my lot, it fell to me to make the cake. or cakes, as i volunteered to make two different kinds. seriously, what is wrong with me and the amount of baked goods i've been producing in my crappy little kitchen? and i keep volunteering for this stuff, nobody's twisting my arm or anything. i think it's a sign that i've lost my mind. or that i really like sugar. either way, i made two cakes and a huge mess of my kitchen.

the first cake i tackled was a tres leches cake. it was from a recipe i found a month or so ago here, and ever since i saw that recipe, it's been in the back of my mind that i just had to make it. maybe it's because i like things with a mexican flair. or maybe it's because i really have a thing for sweetened condensed milk. whatever the case, i had my excuse to try it on sunday, because the birthday dinner theme was mexican fiesta. yeah, i'm realizing that my family likes to plan theme parties a lot, but it's how we roll, so you'll just have to deal with it.

anyway, the cake came out pretty well. or as well as i could make it. it was a basic chiffon or sponge cake, soaking it with all the dairy goodness is what made it truly special and delicious. the fact that i've never actually had tres leches cake might be the reason i can't say if this was a really great version or not. my only real complaint is not so much with the cake as with the fact that if i make it again, i need a better way of transporting it. my lovely hubby held it on his lap for the ride to my mommy's house, and some of the liquid that wasn't absorbed kind of ended up on his pants. but now we've learned our lesson and know we need a platter with a higher lip for just in case of leakage. go science!

the second cake i made was a carrot cake. something i've made tons of times before. it's one i know is a favorite of the birthday girl. still, it didn't end up being a normal cake either. no, because i like to make things as difficult for myself as possible, i decided to try out a cake pan that i've never used as a cake pan before, just to see what would happen. well ok, that's not strickly true.

the pan in question is little individual train cars, and it's made of flexible oven safe material. i have used it as a jello mold before, but i've never tried to bake in it. the reason i needed to try it out is that bumble has to make a cake for a boy scout fundraiser, and the theme is "under the big top." so he wants to make a circus train cake. or maybe i've steered him in that direction because my hubby is the den parent and he is the one that is supposed to help bumble make this cake. at this point bumble has more experience baking than his daddy does, so i figured that if this special cake pan works out, then it'll be a snap to make a train shaped cake. all they'll need is some icing and some animal crackers and instant circus train cake here they come. and huzzah the cake pan did work out just beautifully.

so on sunday we had some lovely little carrot cakes in the shape of train cars. and some yummy tres leches cake, which was the best tres leches cake anybody ever had. mostly because i think it was the only tres leches cake anybody ever had, but still, i'll take my compliments where i can get them. the only down side is that i actually whisked up the whipped cream topping for the tres leches cake by hand, and days later my wrist still hurts. yeah i know, it would have been easier to just wash the beaters for my mixer, all of which i had dirtied in the process of making all these cakes on sunday. but i'd like to blame my lapse in judgement on lack of sleep. and the fact that i like to do things the hard way. and maybe i just wanted to see if i could still whip cream with the best of them. and i can. it's just not something i recommend trying.

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