Baking the birthday cake

The second the recipe starts with separating eggs, beating stiff peaks and fluffy yolks I’m done. I run in the opposite direction. Not literally, as I am not a running person, but leisurely walk away. I attempt less complicated desserts, such as muffins. Mix all together and bake is my limit. But somehow I am my Mother’s daughter and she managed to bake all of my birthday cakes, no matter what elaborate shape or size I had in mind. One year she made me a cake in the shape of an Oscar. It’s with a fair amount of certainty the only one I’ll ever get and I ate it. Darn. But since Emma Thompson keeps hers in the bathroom and Russel Crowe in the chicken coop on his ranch I think I got a better deal.

So, thanks Mom for a great example! Now I find I too have to do my motherly duty and attempt to bake a birthday cake or my kids will be eternally damaged. Last year I manged to find a no bake yogurt cake, which was appropriately called Stella Stracatella. I saw it as a sign. Still I managed to mess it up. Nonetheless we eat it and she was happy, but then again she was only turning three.

This year I got a list of orders and wishes what the cake should look like and I was too embarrassed to admit I’d only be able to make it round, and that too was questionable. If it wasn’t for my colleague giving me a no fail recipe and pep talk throughout the week I’d probably cave in under the pressure and just order one. As my hubbs pointed out I really have no experience in baking a cake and should I truly be practicing on such a special occasion. I mean, imagine Saturday morning hours away from the celebrations we had planned and no cake.

Thus I was trying not to picture the look of pure disappointment in my daughter’s eyes while sweating through the painful process of separating the above mentioned eggs. Eight of them. Once I got them dismantled after handling them like plutonium it was easier to breath. Still there’s more. Stiff peaks, what is that, what is fluffy enough, and how about gently fold the mixture with egg whites… I truly was on a minefield with this recipe. But evidently I pulled it off. The cake got baked and it looked amazingly good. I managed to complete the first step. The cake was done and the decorations ensued.


I was up for what seemed hours on end, making flowers, and something to resemble a castle and creating a princess that has clearly seen better days. But in the end I was happy with the whole thing, as it looked kind of OK. I even got cocky; imagined myself doing all that more often but the minute I thought about the eggs I changed my mind. I’m sticking to muffins.


But, hey there may be hope for me yet. I rocked the domestic goddess stuff :). Clearly it’s evident from the smile on my kid’s face.

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