Saturday, March 24, 2012

Baking a Cake

I can admit that when I make cake the kitchen gets a little messy. Trust me when I say all that mess is worth it.

After work last night I had to come home and clean the kitchen first and of course was starving and nothing sounded good so I made tater tots for dinner and now I feel like I’m going to throw up. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been dipping them in month-old homemade blue cheese dip, huh? Anyway, once the dishes were all done and the kitchen cleaned, it was time to dirty it once more and pull out way more bowls and tools than one would think necessary for a simple from scratch cake.

As much as I hate to make cake right now, I can safely say that an old fashioned buttermilk cake is still one of my all time favorites, even if some of it sticks to the pans because I was lazy and didn’t cut out parchment for the bottoms. I knew that I’d need to make more buttermilk and did so a couple nights ago, but figured I’d be out if I didn’t start another batch, so I poured a cup of buttermilk into a clean mason jar and filled it with about a quarter cup of cream and the rest with milk (we use nonfat and I like creamy buttermilk, hence, the cream), shook it up and will let it sit on the counter out of sunlight until tonight when it should be ready. So simple and so much cheaper than buying more buttermilk, but this only works with live-culture buttermilk.

Anyway, what I like most about a buttermilk cake is that it is dense and sturdy without being overly sweet. It pairs well with just about any frosting (especially chocolate for a classic layer cake) and keeps its shape when it needs to be trimmed or carved. It is also fantastic for shaped character pans, which I am using my Build-a-Bear cake pan to make a bear-likeness of the ninety-year-old dressed in a super hero costume as a nod to what our pastor calls him, Captain Dynamo. The red and blue color theme will definitely help with this.

I guess the only thing left to do is decorate it. Ugh. I suppose that means that my entire day (after work, of course) will be devoted to frosting and fondant. Good thing I cleaned the kitchen after baking last night so it will be ready to get its filth on this afternoon.

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