[Sliced, July 2008.]
Someday I hope to have a real kitchen, one with lots and lots of counter space on which to set all my (sparkling, unblemished, newish) various accouterments while I’m cooking. Then I don’t have to do what I just did: put a baking sheet on the (clean) floor after I took it out of the oven because what tiny bit of counter I do have was filled up with all the other stuff I’m working on. Someday I also hope to have more time, so I won’t have to do what I did this week: stay up late baking a cake, then run home the next evening to make frosting for it in the one hour I had between arriving home and leaving for book group, then come back and fill and frost it, then stay up way past bedtime pulling out my hair over a rewrite.
Still, looking back, even though I was the wee-est bit tired yesterday (even an iced Blue Bottle coffee with a hint of chicory, and perfectly sweetened, couldn’t fully alleviate the fatigue), I have to admit all the worry and rush was completely forgotten the moment I took a bite. This cake was worth every minute of lost sleep and mild angst that it wasn’t as beautiful as others I’ve made and I’d do it all over again (and again).
I baked twice this week — two dozen cupcakes for a coworker’s birthday, and then this behemoth for another’s — and I’m at it again with a dessert for tomorrow. I’m hosting a luncheon, and though I’ve heard people say well, it’s just lunch (isn’t that a dating service as well?), there’s never any ‘just’ about it for me. I’d like to reveal my menu (fresh produce from the market! fingerling potatoes! decadent appetizer plate!) but as a few of the people coming read this here site, I’d rather keep it a secret until after the last plate has been washed and put away. I can promise this: it’s going to be good, and I made a special trip to the Ferry Building yesterday after work to pick up … well, you’ll see.
In the interim, here is this cake, inspired by smitten kitchen‘s (daring, amazing, inspiring) feat of wedding-cake-baking, wherein she raved over a particular yellow cake. I was a little worried about all that butter, buttermilk, and liberal use of eggs for which the recipe calls, but I thought it was time I tried something new; and you know, there was not a shred of disappointment I could muster up. I saved a bit of chocolate butter cream from the cupcakes I’d made the night before, and used that to top it off; the filling was a simple and light coffee butter cream. Try it. I’m just going to link to the recipes rather than post them out because yes! Still on a deadline! (and, err, making ice cream) but I will leave you with just the smallest piece of the heaven that was this birthday cake — until the next time.
[Birthday cake, July 2008.]