Monday, May 11, 2009

ShallowGal's Cake-tastrophe

Step 1: Buy cookbook at a yard sale. Find recipe for this cake.

Picture borrowed from this baker (1)

Remember that SG marked the exact same recipe in another cookbook.(2) Clearly it is a sign that SG is meant to make this cake. Decide that since ShallowGal will only turn 40 once (3) proper celebration should ensue. Piss off PCSguy and the posse by announcing plans to bake own birthday cake. (4)

Step 2: Head to the neighborhood Giant. For a teeny neighborhood supermarket, there is rarely an ingredient so obscure, I can't find it here. Until today. The culprit: Dutch processed cocoa powder.

Step 3: Visit four other supermarkets, come up empty handed. Debate canceling birthday.

According to twitter, SG has a long history of canceling holidays
for much less than a missing can of dutch processed cocoa powder

Step 4: Dutch processed cocoa is only needed for cake layers, all ingredients for the pudding layer, clearly the most important part of this cake, are available. Devise plan to use boxed cake mix. Return home to make pudding. Start talking in a fake Dutch accent. (5)

Step 5: Make pudding following cookbook's directions to cook for 2-4 minutes. Assume runny pudding will somehow miraculously jell during its four hour visit to the refrigerator. Consume birthday cocktail.

Step 6: Move on to cake portion. Discover that well-stocked pantry contains 6 boxes of cake mix: five of them carrot and one, Christmas funfetti. Borrow chocolate mix from neighbor. Bake cake with much "help" from the posse. Let cool and slice horizontally into 4 mini layers. Crumble one layer to use as topping.

Step 7: Consume lamb kabobs and a bottle of shiraz. Open fridge to inspect pudding which is still a runny mess. Learn that pudding was actually supposed to cook for 24 minutes. Make one box of instant chocolate pudding and open a can of Pillsbury chocolate frosting.

Step 8: Announce "I have the best idea!" SG's Mom asks "Is it to pour Kahlua over the crumbs? " Indeed it is. PCSguy stops, stunned at this silent melding of great minds. Pour Kahlua over the crumbled layer. Eli shrieks "Mommy is pouring wine over the cake! " Assure Eli that Kahlua crumbs will not touch the rest of the cake. Consider eating Kahlua soaked crumbs right out of the bowl, stopping only because it would be better with cool whip.

Step "For the Love of all things holy just finish the dang cake so we can get on with our lives" : Assemble the cake in the following order: Plate, mini layer of cake, 1/2 the pudding, mini layer of cake, 1/2 can of frosting. Attempt to place the last layer on top, but the middle falls out causing the cake to resemble a volcano made of artificial ingredients and sewage. Fill the hole with pudding. When children run for the camera, sprinkle with Kahlua soaked crumbs.

This looks nothing like the cookbook photo, which makes no sense
since SG followed the directions almost exactly.

Frost sides of cake. (6) Allow 4 year old to dump entire can of sprinkles on top to get him to not blab about the "wine cake" to his brother and sister. Top with a single blue candle.

Like turning 40 wasn't bad enough.

Step "I will never complain about Coldstone Creamery charging $30 for a cake again" Eat and enjoy. Ignore children who laugh at your cake and pronounce it "bad."

Step Because you know ShallowGal never knows when to just call it quits: The next morning pour runny pudding back into a saucepan over medium heat for 24 minutes. Let cool in fridge for 4 hours. Visit seven more supermarkets in search of dutch processed cocoa. Return empty handed. Placate self by eating 3 cups of perfect-layer-cake pudding with a spoon. Plunge into chocolate coma.

1) Who did a double mitzvah in a) lending me this photo and b) pointing out the error in the recipe, albeit just a tad too late.
2) Step 1 1/2: Wonder exactly how many copies of the same cookbook I own.
3) Although I have turned 29 multiple times.
4) Piss off English teachers everywhere by changing grammatical person repeatedly, often within the same sentence.

5) SG's entire knowledge of Dutch accents comes from an Austin Powers movies.
6) Side of cake? How many sides does a circle have?


Beth said...

Damn, girl. That is a LOT of effort. Besides, you aren't supposed to cook your own birthday cake.

Happy Birthday!

Jackie said...

Still looks pretty good and it's chocolate! Besides whose cakes actually turn out like the one in the pictures?!?!

vuboq said...

I hope there will be Kahlua-soaked crumbles in my near future!

and Happy Birthday!

and thanks for illustrating so poignantly why I don't bake.

the mama bird diaries said...

That is one sad cake.

De in D.C. said...

Sorry to admit that I actually laughed out loud at your first cake pic. Poor poor cake. Happy birthday though!

But you know what? Ugly cake trumps no cake. My bday is Weds and I know I'm not getting a cake at all; even an ugle one (I'm the only baker in the family and I have a work event until after 7pm).

I'm Julie said...

I cannot imagine how a cake would turn out that fugly after a cocktail, an entire bottle of Shiraz, and God knows how many "samples" of Kahlua. What kind of stupid cookbooks are you buying anyway?

The good thing about cakes like yours is that you don't even have to bother slicing them. Just sit down with a big spoon and that whole cake in front of you.

I hope this means you are off your South Beach Diet. I'm turning 40 in August and I intend to get as fat as I possibly can until then. Wish me luck!!

country mouse said...

Nothing says "welcome to the other side of youth" like a sewage cake : )

Happy birthday!

I'm Julie said...

PS I forgot to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

daydreamymama said...

Beautiful. When I saw your cake, I immediately laughed in relief. It's not just me, then.

Christy said...

Hope your birthday turned out better than that cake. Bet it was still delicious though!

MommyTime said...

Sorely in need of a laugh this morning, I have thoroughly enjoyed this post. And when I got to: "This looks nothing like the cookbook photo, which makes no sense
since SG followed the directions almost exactly." I actually hooted out loud. Not any little emoticon LOL but a real honest-to-goodness belly laugh. Thank you for that.

And HAPPY HAPPY Birthday!!

Gayle said...

The best part is the caption under the cake photo.

David said...

Honey, give me enough notice and I will fly down there and make you proper cake. That was hysterically tragic.

Stimey said...

All I have to say is happy birthday. I wish I could comment on the cake, but I am busy trying really hard not to laugh at it.

Marinka said...

I don't understand how this cake is not a huge success. And also why it's set on a pottery spinner type thing.

Sue @ My Party of 6 said...





Somehow I MISSED this entry. Happy 40th! It really IS fabulous. It's the age where you drop all pretense of being Martha Stewart (or Dara Torres, or whoever you think you wanted to be). It's also the age where you get bifocals.

My favorite part was the cocktail. Or maybe the lamb kabobs. No. The cocktail.

Enjoy you cake from Coldstone next year!