Thursday, June 17, 2010

The unofficial, official birthday baker

Yes, that would be me, as long as I am invited to the party I am almost always willing to make the cake (barring sickness, pregnancy, or general bitchyness).  I really do enjoy baking and birthdays are especially fun to prepare for.  Now I will admit, my cakes and cupcakes are pretty damn homely won't win any awards for beauty, there are many others out there who can make them much prettier than I can but mine taste dang good if I do say so myself!  To me the flavor is much more important than having 'decorator' finishing touches (although I am trying to improve my finishing techniques, without much success admittedly).

My kids get the biggest benefit of my enjoyment for baking as they get a different homemade cake or cupcake each year.  Over the last few years they have had: carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, the now infamous and often requested Chocolate Lover's cake, white cake (box mix, I was pregnant at the time and not feeling great) with my first attempt at buttercream frosting, a rich chocolate cake made from scratch with orange cream cheese frosting (it tasted just like a chocolate orange that you get around Christmas and whack to separate the segments), and vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting.

The Chocolate Lover's cake is the most often requested when I am ordered offer to bake, especially when I make chocolate ganache to pour on top.  The ganache started as an attempt to fix a botched cake for a birthday of Grumpy's.  It's a bundt cake and I apparently had not greased the pan well enough so some of the chocolatey goodness got left behind.  I tried to cover it up fixed it by shoving the broken piece back on top of the cake and then pouring the ganache on top, didn't really work as it was still pretty obvious what had happened, but no one cared as they kept raving about how great the ganache was on top of the already rich chocolate cake.  For one of Mister Vonkysmeed's birthdays I upped the ante by not only doing the ganache, but also making some homemade vanilla ice cream, oh, was it good!

Last month I made a vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream frosting for Big Pops, per his request, and although the cake was great, the frosting was a tad on the sicky-sweet side for me.  I also made a sour cream lemon pound cake for Pops in Law that was delish, that one will most definitely get made again!  For Lil' Misses' recent birthday we had vanilla cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting, the extra frosting was fantastic for dipping animal crackers in.  I was hovering on the opposite side of the table dipping away for a good 10 minutes before I forced myself to back away from the table (damn that scale!).

Next up will be Mister Vonkysmeed's birthday the following month, hmm, maybe combine chocolate and coffee somehow in cake form, with some homemade ice cream too?  I make a mean coffee & cookies ice cream, yummy!

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