Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cake Mishaps

We’ve seen the tallest gluten-free cake, we have the Cake Boss, Last Cake Standing and my Facebook page has all sorts of gorgeous gluten–free cake creations, but in my house it is all about cake mishaps. This is the time of year where my husband feels particularly “slammed.” My birthday, Mother’s Day and our anniversary fall within three weeks of each other. Luckily, the kids have been inspired by Food TV and help out in the dessert category for these events, but it is not without a pitfall or two.

The first cake mishap was an egg explosion. Cracking the eggs is a big treat because if all four kids are participating, there aren’t any cakes that call for four eggs! My youngest won the honor of cracking the egg and to this day no one can figure out how he did it, but he managed to get egg all over the kitchen. He says he was trying to crack it. The others swear he somehow squeezed it and egg went flying on the floor, the cupboards and the counter. Cleaning up raw egg is gross, so he is banned from egg cracking now.

The second cake mishap was flying chocolate cake. Typically on my birthday, I will suggest ice cream or something easy that doesn’t require baking. This year, I got specific. I wanted a double layer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.

I shook the dust out of my very professional cake pans and laid them out with the specific gluten-free mix I was requesting. My husband was in the kitchen prepping the fish for the BBQ, a couple of kids were helping out and I left for a few hours.

When I returned, there was one beautifully frosted chocolate layer. I didn’t want to seem ungrateful or diminish the finished product, but I know that the mix I picked specifically makes two layers. I must have been looking at it funny because I got the full story without asking.

My husband explained that he had flipped the two layers out onto plates to cool. He was frosting one and my daughter was frosting the other. He said he had never seen anything like this before, but somehow she managed to flip the plate with the frosted cake off the table and up in the air. It came splatting to the ground, frosting side down while shattering the plate. Ok then, down one cake platter and down one layer of cake.

The last cake mishap was Mother’s Day. The kids were in baking mode and all the ingredients for a gluten-free vanilla cake were in process…except for the vegetable oil. Apparently, I was out of canola or vegetable oil. I was really hoping they did not use olive oil; it’s great for some things, but not cake. I then noticed the open laptops on the kitchen table so I asked if they googled to find a substitute. My oldest daughter said that three of four recipe websites said to use applesauce. The fourth had said to use butter or applesauce, but since I was such a “freak” these days about nutrition they chose applesauce.

When we sat down for dessert, I started eating the vanilla cake with chocolate frosting and I mentioned out loud that I tasted a little cinnamon too. Gales of laughter ensued because we didn’t have plain applesauce and they had to choose between cinnamon or berry applesauce. Berry would have turned the cake an unpleasing shade of “tanish purple” they chose cinnamon. It was a little funky with the chocolate frosting, but it was a lovely way to finish up a Mother’s Day BBQ.

While all of these pros create towering gorgeous creations, my kids create some good memories. Each time we sit down for cake, each mishap is rehashed and exaggerated. My youngest will never live down the egg explosion.

Kendall Egan

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