Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Cake That Crumbled

Another week, another cake; this is the way September seems to go for us. This time it was a lovely lemon layer cake for Mariel's Glitzy Princess Tea, to be served on my seldom-used cake stand.

Frosting the Cake 1

All began well. I baked the cake the night before and cooled it on a rack. Mariel frosted the top of each layer Friday morning. The frosting seemed rather relaxed, yet I saw no cause for alarm.

I took over when it came to the sides of the cake, as it is a challenge to frost the sides of a layer cake without dribbling frosting on the plate, and very difficult to clean a glass cake stand with a cake on it.

"Leave it to Mommy," I told Mariel. "I will keep it from getting messy."

I thought.

The frosting, unpreturbed by spreading, would hardly stay on the side of the cake. Each time I loaded the knife and ran it along the cake, the gooey topping paused, then oozed down to the plate, obeying the stronger law of gravity.

I began to realize that this was not going to be an easier cake than Triss'.

I wondered at the soft frosting. Was it the wrong kind for a layer cake? Called Rich and Creamy, perhaps it was only meant for cakes imprisoned in pyrex casserole dishes.

As I pondered cause and effect, and the deeper meaning of easygoing materials that cannot bear the liberty of scaling walls, Cornflower spoke up: "Mom, look-- it's sinking in the middle!"

Oh, dear. The silly cake had a crack.

Nevertheless, it was what we had. I decided to scoop up the puddles of lemon that had pooled at the base of the cake and try again after everything had sat in the fridge for thirty minutes, hopefully hardening.

After thirty minutes, we had this:

The Cake That Crumbled

Our interpretation of the San Andreas Fault, rendered in cake. I suppose it would do for a mini-study on plate tectonics.

San Andreas

I thought briefly about trifle, then broke the whole mess up into a casserole dish, covered the top with the remaining frosting and set it in the freezer for a future dessert which I will call Broken But Tasty.

We went to Kroger and purchased a cake for the Princess Tea-- a quarter sheet white cake with multi-colored icing streamers. All were satisfied.

The moral of my tale: "Easygoing materials require fortification-- or, Beware of canned Rich and Creamy Frosting!"


Rhonda said...

This very much reminds of the birthday cake I made for DS a couple of weeks ago. I didn't have icing problems, but a crack in the top got bigger... and bigger.

What's funny is that we were leaving the next day for a trip to the Grand Canyon, so we called it the Grand Canyon cake. LOL

I've really gotta blog that...

Mother Auma said...

Rhonda, I've added your blog, Imagine, to my feeds. I don't know if we've ever "met" in the internet sense. Good to know you!

G.L.H. said...

I always think of the frosting which won't stick to the sides as a "moat." Our joke around here. No complaints from Hubby--he thinks that cake is just a place-holder for the real dessert--frosting!


Misty said...

so frustrating... I hate it when cakes crack. I hear the secret is freezing the cake and then whipping more air into the icing... Even so, It doesn't seem to work for me!

sounds delicious though!

Mother Auma said...

Whipping air into the icing... that might have worked...