Tomorrow is Eric's birthday. So he needs a cake, right?
Within the first week that we arrived, we celebrated a couple of birthdays with friends. We ate dinner out and someone picked up a cake for each of these celebrations. One from Paris Baguette--the bakery that has a location on every street corner--and the other from Cold Stone. In my mind, I thought those both sounded like great options when our birthdays started to come around. I knew they weren't too far out and it continued to sit in the back of my mind as I continued to struggle to find baking tools and ingredients.
On Friday, I went with a friend and her daughter shopping at a couple of new stores. I was finally able to find baking sheets and other supplies. Kennedy was so excited to see muffin pans, cupcake wrappers, and cookie cutters! She wanted one of everything! I told her that for now, we would stick with the necessities: cookie sheets, a bar pan, and cooling racks.
Friday afternoon, a package from Eric's mom arrived with measuring cups, spoons, and vanilla in it. It even had a container of his favorite frosting! I knew that all of these things had worked together just in time for me to try to bake Eric's cake...from scratch.
Many of you know that I am not a baker. I hate to bake. You have to measure things. You have to follow a recipe. It drives me crazy. It's too stressful. If you are missing an ingredient, you can't just substitute or it won't turn out. It's very frustrating for me, but it's not for me.
So, I decided that even with my rudimentary tools and ingredients, I would try to throw together a cake for my husband's birthday.
Step 1: Find a recipe online for an easy white or yellow cake (up to this point, I have only made cakes from mixes--that's right straight out of the box. I'm not saying I'm proud, but it has always turned out!)
Step 2: Determine baking time and temperature for the strangely shaped pan that I bought. (It's not quite square or rectangle and I have no idea what the measurements are, but I gave it a good guess!)
Step 3: Convert 325 degrees F to 161.7 degrees Celcius.
Step 4: Measure flour, baking powder, salt, and vanilla into the biggest bowl that I have (appropriate for a small salad).
Step 5: Measure sugar into another mixing bowl (smaller, but it will fit the butter and sugar).
Step 6: Google search on how to measure 2/3 cup of butter from a large 450 gram cube of butter.
Step 7: Get frustrated with the results of the Google search as everyone thinks you are stupid for trying to use "spread" rather than typical American-sized sticks of butter. Give up on this method and pour a glass of wine instead.
Step 8: Determine that in order to correctly measure 2/3 cup butter, I will have to soften the entire cube slowly in the microwave, then scrape off the softened parts and pack into a measuring cup for dry ingredients. Oh so fun.
Step 9: Begin to cream together butter and sugar with a soup spoon.
Step 10: Continue attempt to cream together butter and sugar with a spoon.
Step 11: Hand off to Eric to have continue to cream together butter and sugar. He promptly says, "I think it's done."
Step 12: Add two eggs to butter and sugar. Continue stirring with soup spoon. Easy enough.
Step 13: Begin adding flour and milk to butter mixture. Stir with soup spoon.
Step 14: Continue adding flour and milk to butter mixture. Continue stirring.
Step 15: Pick up arm and re-attach.
Step 16: Continue adding flour and milk to butter mixture. Continue stirring.
Step 17: Continue adding flour and milk to butter mixture. Continue stirring.
Step 18: Now add batter back into larger bowl with remaining flour as the bowl you started in is to small to mix all ingredients together.
Step 19: Continue adding flour and milk to butter mixture. Continue stirring.
Step 20: Pick up arm and re-attach.
Step 21: Continue adding flour and milk to butter mixture. Continue stirring.
Step 22: Continue stirring 1 more minute (the directions say...I say, no thanks!)
Step 23: Butter and flour the cake pan as I have no idea how it's going to work and the last thing I want is this cake stuck in the pan!
Step 24: Pour batter in pan and stick in the oven.
Step 25: Let it burn because I'm so tired I don't want to get up an hour later when it's finally done! (Thankfully, I thought better of this and may have even taken it out at the right time.)
I will admit that it looks pretty good. By the time I was done stirring, the smell of it was enough to make me nauseous. I'm not actually looking forward to eating it. I'm not really a big fan of cake. But that thing is going to get frosted and it will be enjoyed! Whether we like it or not!