Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Dirty Thirty.

This past weekend I spent up in Denton with my sister, her fiance, and my little namesake niece. During my four-day stay, I was reminded of how unbelievably humid North Texas is, and also the fact that every living creature there is actively trying to maim you. I am sure there is a direct correlation between the two, but that's something for a scientist to describe, not a girl who bakes cakes. Speaking of, I did bake my sister a birthday cake because this is what great sisters do...you know, name their children after you or bake you cakes. I suppose one of these greatly outweighs the other when read just in print, but it was a really, really yummy cake y'all.
And so festive! Ole!
I have been wanting to do glitter numbers for a birthday cake for awhile now, and thankfully my sister obliged me and didn't mind that there was a giant 3-0 staring her back in the face when it came time for birthday cake. Yes, so far she's winning the better sister award, I realize this. I'll get in to detail about how to remind your very own loved ones that they're losing the battle with age later, but the most impressive part about this cake is that I had to make it sans stand mixer.
Simplified tools of the trade.
It is totally weird to bake in someone else's kitchen, and I realize it must make me a cake snob (which I've totally earned the right to be called), but I have such a higher appreciation for my mixer at home now. A hand mixer just takes too damn long. And by too damn long, I literally only mean an additional two minutes. But those are two minutes I could've spent eating something or drinking something. I may have a slight issue with gluttony. Either way, I mixed that sucker up better than a damn martini, and poured her in a 9x13 glass pan. My sister happened to have a purple pan, which I think offsets the chocolate frosting and colorful candles quite nicely. Cake shui, bitches.
Never, ever forget to smooth your cake out with a spatula, people!
After another several minute battle of smoothing out the batter with a spatula, she went into the oven. Glass pans can't exactly get slammed on to the counter top the way my round metal pans can when I smooth those out before baking. I'm assuming cake sprinkled with glass isn't great for the body. But you know what IS great? Getting to bake a cake at sea level so you don't have to pretend to actually know how to make adjustments to your oven temp and cooking time. I put that thing in the oven and walked the hell away for 25 minutes. It was so liberating. After a few hours of  letting the cake cool and running errands (just try to keep me away from a DSW), I shamefully nuked canned frosting for 25 seconds before pouring it on to the cake. Hey, it was either spend all day making everything from scratch, or enjoy time being a productive member of the greater Denton shopping society. So when going that route, always nuke the canned frosting; it spreads on so smoothly with little-to-no-effort for your wrist and spatula:
 
Also pictured: Ridiculously large cookie cutters.
As you can see, all you need to age-shame your family members for their birthdays are large cookie cutters. I had to order these from Amazon Prime because surprise, surprise, nowhere in Clovis had large cookie cutters. Now instead of just a "3" and "0," I have like a fifty-piece set of cookie cutters. Kate will soon be baking more cookies instead of cakes, apparently. I simply positioned my cutters on the middle of the cake, and SLOWLY, PEOPLE, SLOWLY, sprinkled glitter stars inside of the cutters. I began to get overzealous toward the end and a few stars landed outside of the cutters and on my smoothed frosting. Without my emergency cake tweezers (yes, this is a real thing), I was powerless to remove them, and they stared me in the face mocking me for the rest of the day. Before removing the cutters, press your glitter down as firmly as possible, and then painstakingly slowly, pick the cutters straight up with no wiggling or odd movements. This was a small victory for me, as my motor skills seem to be improving slightly and less spastically.
Those five stars outside the three- they're still laughing at me.
I finished this cake up by piping a shell border and adding in some squiggly candles. I thought they would look cool, and I did love the neons, but guess what squiggles aren't? Orderly. Guess what OCD people like me adore? Order. Lesson learned. We also put out a really nice spread for the party:
Pictured: ORDER. Snack shui, bitches!
In addition, I made my delicious spinach queso dip, whose recipe will remain secret only because it is so easy. I can't just give you everything, people. The night was a pure success in my book. For one because my sister enjoyed herself immensely, and for another because I got to bust out my choreographed dance moves to "Spice Up Your Life" with my hetero life-mate, Taren, during the musical interlude portion of the evening. I mean, what girl our age didn't spend most of her 11th or 12th year on this planet learning all the sweet Spice Girl dances moves? You should see what I'm capable of when "Say You'll Be There" comes on my XM radio. Shortly thereafter, I said let them eat cake:
I also sing the birthday song with LOTS of pizzazz.
And once done breaking hearts (or glasses) with a stirring rendition of "Happy Birthday," we went on to enjoy the evening. And lots of cake for the rest of the weekend. However, a few weren't quite as jubilant about the cake because they couldn't have any...
"Worst. Party. Ever." -Hank and Roger
"Ahem, I was told there would be cake?" -Little Aurie Kate
It wouldn't have been a party without cake, just like it wouldn't be summer if I wasn't covered in at least 5 bug bites at any given moment. I'm off to go dip myself in Benadryl itch cream and curse the need to ever leave the house. I will be taking this upcoming weekend off from caking because I have a wicked awesome idea in mind for a Fourth of July cake, so I need plenty of time to prepare to blow your mind (figuratively of course). I loved being able to spend time with my family, but Clovis actually wins one for once because we came home to a nice, dry arrid 80 degree temp. Once home, I could simply stand outside without breaking into a profuse, druggie-type hot and yet cold sweat. So to that I say to you, Denton:



Til next time, my fellow eaters!

2 comments:

  1. Kate! Loved seeing my daughter's name on your blog! I can see now I will be reading your blog regularly! Love your writing and your baking.

    Signed,
    Taren's Mom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why thank you!! I really appreciate it!

      Delete

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