Wednesday, August 5, 2009

cake stories

When I need a laugh, I go to I myself have created cake wrecks, so I can appreciate it.

As I posted yesterday, it was my friend Tracy's birthday yesterday-rather a milestone one. So I pulled out my trusty Martha Stewart cookbook, and picked out a very special cake to create for her.

I LOVE to bake, when I have the time, and can really focus on what I am doing. As my mother always tells me, I am the world's messiest cook, so I need to be able to have the kitchen to myself for a day, with no distractions.

I made a trip to purchase all of the ingredients. The two dozen eggs came to room temperature on the countertop, along with the two pounds of unsalted butter. I diligently zested nearly two dozen lemons, and then juiced them all, to create the most amazing lemon curd possible. While it was cooling in the fridge, I patiently lined the buttered cake pans with parchment, and babysat the layers as they baked up in the oven. I whipped egg whites and sugar into a warm concoction in my double boiler, and adding the butter a tablespoon at a time, created the most divine buttercream frosting.

I followed all of the rules and tricks, carefully slicing the two layers horizontally to create four layers. I carefully spread them with the lemon curd. I balanced the cake so I could cover it with a thin layer of buttercream, and then refrigerated it, so I could more easily frost it.

The frosting was a fluffy concoction that spread like, well, butter. I tasted it off the beaters, truly transcendent.

I went into my herb garden and picked fresh nasturtiums to decorate the top, knowing how much Tracy loved seeing them as she walked by my house each day.

I perched the cake atop my antique cake plate, and Mike insisted on taking this photo.

I slowly walked to the car, he helped me in while I balanced it carefully on my lap for the one block drive to Tracy's house. I ascended her steps, mindful of every move I made. Mike followed me, as I opened the door to her house, calling out, "surprise!"

The surprise was mine as the cake slid off the plate and into the door frame.

Heather, I know you are laughing your head off right now. (I have a family history of cake catastrophes....)

Heart pounding, hands shakingm, I begged Tracy not to come over to the door, and asked for a towel, and a knife. I had caught it just in time, before it completely fell off, and was able to put things back together into a semblance of something resembling a cake. But it's initial glory was ruined.

But Tracy, being Tracy, had a good laugh with me, and gave me a big hug, and ate it with relish and delight. Another reason she is such a very good friend.


  1. That was the most beautiful and delicious cake ever. The little mishap just made things more interesting!!! Thank you, thank you, dear Kristi for such a memorable and wonderful birthday surprise.

  2. I'm sorry. I had to laugh, just a little bit. The cake saga continues. It's good that you had a before picture. I'm sure it was awesome. On a lighter note, Cake Wrecks has a book coming out in November!

  3. OMG that is GORGEOUS!!!! Tracy rocks and I am sure enjoyed her surprise very much. You are an amazing lady!

  4. Wow~ beautiful cake! Tragic ending. But sounds like... it ended up okay after all. What a nice friend are you!

  5. Gorgeous cake... so happy Mike insisted on the photo! I'm sure it was fully enjoyed in spite of the mishap!! :o) P.S. Need the recipe.


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