Who wants cake? I do! I do!
Ok, so what do Meg and I do when we get together? We eat, of course! Starting as far back as grade 11, "we" would make chocolate chip cookies and chat and read Cosmo and... waitaminute, why would "we" be in quotes?
Exactly. Good catch! You'll find that Meg's chronicles of the "same" events are posted on her blog. You may also notice that, although the photos are pretty much the same, the story is ever-so-slightly different.
Meg flew in with the adorable and quite wee (SO not fair) Kiernan, for a little visit while Chris was off gadding about the UK. We had created a schedule of events to include in her visit (and yes, it was officially sponsored by Clipboard of Fun, Inc.) (and yes, there was a powerpoint involved) and managed to get everything done except for yoga/pilates. The jammie-lolling (the art of lolling around in one's jammies) and walks to Starbucks and the tepee were a hit, however.
Here I am, comforting little Kiernan after yet another photo session with his mother.*
The Big Event, of course, was the baking. "We" made a delightful chocolate cake. Meg was looking for a heavier, denser chocolate cake, and I had just the one in mind. Eat, Shrink and Be Merry, the third cookbook by the authors of Looneyspoons (who had a cameo on Dan for Mayor last week!) provides a very sensible, healthy approach to eating, cooking, and lifestyle. Well, except for the last recipe in the book, the only recipe in the "You're Gonna Die Anyway" section. It's a deep, delicious, delectable chocolate cake with fudgey cream cheese icing. Sign me up!
So, with my sidekick (aka the Happy Homemaker) at her battle station (aka the couch), "we" began. I measured and mixed together the dry ingredients (bowl, top). Then, I was on bath duty with my splashy associate, Vaughn, for about 30 minutes. In that time, the Happy Homemaker tackled the wet ingredients (bowl, bottom). Note that the bottom bowl seems to contain oil and eggs, beaten. Kaff. To be fair, there was a mug of coffee cooling in the fridge, and she couldn't find the vanilla. And we didn't have any buttermilk. Of course, DG that I am, I made buttermilk (milk and lemon juice - oh, the curdly goodness), melted some chocolate, and added it to the mix, with the coffee. One of us (possibly Meg; there are no reliable witnesses, as usual) mixed the wet and dry ingredients together.
Now, this is supposed to be a triple-layer cake. Luckily (?), I only have 2 cake pans, so it turned into a double-layer cake, and 6 cupcakes (for testing). UNluckily, I didn't have any wax or parchment paper to put in the bottom of said pans. But the DG is resourceful! I greased and floured the bottoms! ALSO unluckily, I miscalculated how full the pans should be.
What you see above is the aftermath: cake that overflowed out of the pans while clinging quite tenaciously to the bottom, requiring severe whacking of the pans and only losing a little bit or so from the bottom.
Messy, not pretty, but tasty. Our disheveled Quality Elf agrees. She is not worried; no, she has gone through this before, and everything has been fine. Just fine. Fine, dammit! Why are you looking at me like that??? And more importantly, why does this happen EVERY TIME?
Alas, Fis was not around to ask that last question aloud. Again.
By this time, it was late, but the DG plodded on. To the icing!
Above, more chocolate is melted, this time with whipping cream. Droooool.... Please note, as well, whose hands those are. MINE.
This delectable mixture was cooled and added to an unnecessarily delicious amount of butter and cream cheese, then beaten without mercy! The whole shebang was refrigerated (after more quality control, of course) until the next morning. Well, evening - we waited till the V-man was in bed again, since he still has that propensity to beg, and Mommy doesn't like being a hypocrite with chocolate smeared around her mouth.
The Happy Homemaker took over while I was on bedtime duty, and put a nice crumb coat on the cake. (Nice spin, eh?) - really, it was a light coating of icing that pretty much emphasized all of the flaws from the baking fiasco. The DG offered to fix the problem, and just like with a gingerbread house, the best fix is to cover it with tons of icing!
This beauty is no longer lopsided or funny-looking. No! It is perfect and chocolatey. And the "pile of dung" in the middle (nice one, Meg) was for Seamus to stand on.
There is always a method to DG's madness.
The finished product!
Seamus, a distant relation of Cedric, is far better-travelled, but has met with a series of unfortunate events, resulting in several bruises, chips, and a missing leg. Also, he drinks too much.
To be accurate, I suppose the icing should have read, "HBSPD" - for Happy Belated St. Patrick's Day, but really, as long as it tastes good, and is covered with icing, accuracy is not paramount in cake making (see Why Does This Happen Every Time for more details).
Tadah! The Domestic Goddess shows off her oeuvre. The Happy Homemaker takes the photo.
Test Pig #2 was lucky enough to be in attendance for the cutting and tasting, and we all ate
There is more cake to come, however; Meg and I have decided to independently sign up for cake-decorating classes, and try to one-up each other every step of the way! Our first challenge is to out-cake the other with the Best Lemon Cake Ever. Judging will be difficult, since cake doesn't travel well by fax, but we'll do our best. Stay tuned!
* Imagine my surprise when I met Kiernan and discovered that he wasn't the traumatized, horrified little boy that I've seen so many times in photos - no, his mom just finds those pictures funny. Thus, after taking a perfectly good photo of little K in V's old teddy bear suit, in which he looked adorable, happy, and smiley, she waited till he got a bit ticked till she could get the shot she wanted. Child services, are you listening? And Meg, stop hanging out with my mom. It's weird.
** Woot woot! The DG has figured out how to add strikethrough to her witty html repertoire! The sarcastic possibilities are endless!