A few days ago, I went to yoga with Demi Soeur and we were yoga-ing when the woman teaching said, “I’d like to do a hand balance pose” and proceeded to explain to us how to get into side crow with an extended leg. Basically this:
You may wonder what this has to do with baking/cooking. Well, friends, she proceeded to tell us not to worry, because this pose was “easy.” The following day, DS and I were taking about it at work and decided that the woman was crazy. This pose was not easy. Corpse pose is easy. Walking is easy. Standing is easy. Side crow is not easy.
Side crow is, though, possible. By even me. I have mastered crow, and side crow is my next step. The point is, if I had said a year ago I’d be making a vertical layer cake with roses, I would have laughed at myself. Because I wouldn’t have thought I could do it. And although technically I haven’t yet, I know that I can. And that’s the point, m’dears. It is not easy. But we can do it.
So, bake to the cake. Last night I baked the cakes for my vertical layer rose cake.
Problems? Sure there were. Is it still going to work? Yes ma’am.
First, I cut parchment paper circles. DS also laughed at this, because apparently there is a better way. Such wisdom, she has.
I buttered. A note about buttering. I always have a stick of butter in the fridge that looks gnarly and like it maybe melted a few times and solidified a few times (which it did.) I keep it next to my regular butter. Periodically Jeff asks what it is for and then as I explain shudders. Alas, it is necessary. You must have this stick. It has rounded ends, and the paper is basically falling off, and you use it to rub all over any pan to start a stir fry or a cake. Just do it.
I floured. Ellen, I hope you know how much I love you. I love you so much I touched flour for you. That’s a lot of love.
Ready to go.
Yellow cake beginnings. I forgot that I didn’t have sugar (only super fine) so I called DS who informed me that it was OK as long as I weighed the sugar so it’d match regular white sugar, because the volume might be a smidge different. Crisis adverted.
Please excuse the lack of photos from the process. It was basically mixing a bunch of white stuff together, and I was sans-partner, so I was not keen on touching the camera with butterfingers and flour hands.
After these babies went into the oven, I switched it up and made the strawberry cake.
No herein lies the major problem that I had with these cakes. I was planning on making two cakes, one for the party and one for the office, but the strawberry cake was a smaller cake than the yellow cake. This will end up meaning I have a yellow cake with two layers yellow, and one thin strawberry (for work) and a vertical layer cake for Ellen. But, just remember, if you want to make a double layer vertical cake you have to make two cakes with two layers each that are roughly the same size. You can do this by making them at the same time and pouring the batter at the same time so you can level them, or you can just make sure the yields are close. The strawberry recipe, for example, had less flour, so I knew it’d be different, and it called for cake flour rather than all-purpose flour.
New sifter. Better sifter.
So this is my mini Cuisinart. I bought it a the Treasure Mart in Ann Arbor, MI, for $5. A while back I used it to grind up cloves, which resulted in a semi-permanent clove scent, but I’m OK with that. I forgot I had it, and found it again last night when I didn’t want to have to pull out my big one. Perfect!
Yum. Crushed strawberry.
As you can see, the second cake of strawberry was small. It made a 9″ and a smidge baby cake.
Four cake kitchen. Best place on earth.
Look at that. Magical parchment circles.
A word on cooling: I let the cakes cool for about five minutes, then took ‘em out of the pans. I flash froze them for about thirty minutes, then wrapped them in plastic wrap and tin foil (because I ran out of plastic wrap!) and stuck them in the freezer. Which is where they are now, until tonight when we cut them out.