Sunday, June 26, 2011

Making Cakes...

I volunteered to make cakes this weekend for the graduation party.  It was a joint party for my stepson Jake and my husband's cousin Emily, she and Jake being in the same graduating class from Massabesic.  I had specifications:  Jake wanted yellow cake (from a box) with chocolate frosting, and Emily wanted marble cake with chocolate frosting.

A few weeks ago I made a sample batch of chocolate frosting, it was light and fluffy, but still chocolatey and delicious.  Perfect.  Last week I made a sample of a marble cake.  It was excellent.  I can attest, I ate the whole cake myself.

I made a plan for the week to work around my schedule allowing me plenty of time to make the quadruple batch of frosting I needed, the two double batches of cake mix for each cake, and time to frost and decorate.  Not sure why I even bothered with the plan though.  As usual, that all went to Hell.

Thursday I made frosting.  The frosting is actually the filling my Grandmother-in-law uses in her AMAZING whoopie pies.  It is a very strange recipe that uses a milk and flour mixture to thicken some well mixed shortening and sugar.  With a splash of vanilla, this frosting is like eating a bowl of whipped cream.  To make it chocolate I sifted in some Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder.  It gives the frosting a strange textured appearance, but it is still smooth, creamy, and chocolatey.  Yum Yum.  So Wednesday, I made a quadruple batch of the stuff.  While mixing the shortening and sugar, I noticed a strange smell.  Like overheating mixer.  Only, the mixer was not overheating (thank you Kitchenaid).  When I tried the frosting, I thought it had the same taste.  I put the finished frosting in the fridge for tasting.  Strange...

Frosting requires A LOT of mixing

mmmm, like chocolate whipped cream!

Friday, I made cakes.  I went to grease the pans and was met with the same smell I encountered while mixing my frosting.  I reached the conclusion that something must be wrong with the shortening.  Not wanting to serve cake with possibly rancid frosting, I sent Jake to the store for another containing of shortening.  I made my cakes, without further event.  The yellow cake was a piece of cake (pun intended).  It baked up nice and gave me no problems coming out of the pan.  The marble cake I made from scratch, but still wasn't much of a problem.  It was a beautiful batter and the cake baked up so pretty, I didn't really want to frost it.  Jake came back with the new can of shortening, and, though it wasn't on my "Friday" list, I made another batch of frosting, and before I even had it half way together, I encountered the same problem.  The shortening smelled funny.  Another batch for the trash.

From Scratch!

Pretty Batter...

Even Prettier Cake!
I might add here, that Thursday night my delightful son decided that he didn't want to sleep.  At all.  So I spent Friday baking and then heading out to work that evening, on only two hours of sleep.  It was not an easy day. 

Saturday morning, I was up at eight with yet another tub of shortening.  This one organic, and smelling (delightfully) like shortening.  I made yet another quadruple batch of frosting and it was amazing.  Even my husband noticed the huge improvement in taste.  Relieved, I began to frost.  I should throw in a thanks to my friend Rhyne who taught me how to write on cakes.  While I'm not the expert she is, I have to say I can make a pretty nice looking cake thanks to her.

The two finished cakes made it to the party safe and sound where they received many flattering comments.  They looked nice, and tasted nice, and I really don't think you can ask for much more from a cake.  Can you?

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