Thursday, March 17, 2011

Now THIS is how St. Patty's Day should be kicked-off! ...

I bet you're all thinking I found myself drowning in a bucket of green beer, aren't you?

You are WRONG, suckas! 

I drowned myself in cake... glorious, St. Patty's themed cake... Here's what happened.

Last week, Miranda suggested a cake night.  I've done another cake night post Here.  We started talking about this particular cake night earlier this week and deciding what we wanted to do. 

Miranda: Let's make a Patrick's day cake

Me: OK... How?

Miranda: Green Cake with Cream Cheese icing?

Me: O My God I had a mini orgasm over the words cream cheese icing.

Miranda: A green velvet cake!

Me: yummmmmm!

And then it took on a life of its own.  Seriously... this is gonna take some work to out-do.  First, my culinary skills and boxed cake mix do not mix.

Hi. I'm making a WHITE cake.  As in, egg whites only?  Like... the way it tells you to do on the back of the box?  Like duh.  You should dig those yokes out now.

However, my culinary skills take a turn for the better here... my secrets to baking, let me show them to you.  DON'T USE FLOUR to grease and flour your pans.  I use cooking spray and a little bit of the cake mix.  It does the same thing as flour, but won't show up as ugly white powder on your cake, and you won't have that flour taste. 

Now THAT is some green cake batter!  It was at this point that I realized... um... maybe leaving those yokes in wouldn't have been so bad?  Because you wouldn't have been able to see them?  Through all the GREEN... but that's OK.  I like to follow the RULES outlined ever so discretely on the back of the cake box RIGHT AT THE TOP.  Anyway... that took quite a bit of green food coloring, and I started worrying about the consistency of the cake batter with all that extra moisture being added.  I really don't know much about how food color works... clearly...

So then we filled the pans with the green goo batter and baked for exactly 28 minutes and they were PERFECT!  Moist, but just a little bit golden brown on the top edges.  The color reminded me a LOT of either green playdough or the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz.

Anyway, we let them cool while we had some frozen pizza (That I also baked because I am CLEARLY a culinary goddess.  Obvi.).  Now came the SUPER fun part!  A few tips?

If your local deli or supermarket or whatever doesn't carry the cream cheese frosting (which, I mean... who DOES that?!  Oh.  My deli does that.  Stupid.), buttercream will also work.  It's a little more of an off-white or yellowish color if you are going for aesthetics, but it tastes just fabulous.  It's not AS yellow as the container suggests though.  Also?  You will need 2 if you are doing a layer cake.  I have no idea about sheet cakes because I don't do that.  I stick pretty much to layered round cakes because that's the kind of pan I have in my house.  I have no knowledge about cake-making outside of the realm of 9-inch rounds.  Sorry...
So I slid the first layer of the cake out of its pan.  It comes out with NO problems every time I use the above mentioned method of greasing/flouring your pans.  I put it on a plate (because I am not fancy or suburban and cake stands just don't fit in my apartment I'm SORRY!) and spread about half of the first container of buttercream icing on top.  Maybe a little more.  I don't like wimpy icing layers.  Then I slide the second layer out of its plan, and put it on top of the first layer up-side down so that I have a nice flat surface to work with.  I use the rest of the first container and about 3/4 of the second container of buttercream frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake.  If we're getting fancy, you can slide pieces of parchment or wax paper under the first layer of cake so it doesn't get on your nice fancy suburban cake stand.  Wax paper also does not fit in my apartment.  Sorry.Once you are done icing, you pull the paper out from under the cake to reveal a perfectly clean cake stand and a perfectly iced cake.  Anyway... I have no pictures of this because my hands were busy getting messy with icing and holding the knife at the perfect angle to ice seamlessly, but not get anything on my ordinary urban plate.  I also do not have one of those fancy dancy cake spatula things...

Yeah one of those.  I just have to rely on straight SKILLZ, yo!

I also purchased a tube of green frosting to add some shamrocks on top of the cake. I was dismayed when I realized that after unscrewing the top and cutting the tip, that you were supposed to have some sort of cake decorating nozzle do-hickey to screw onto the end of the tube.  I did not.  But dudes.  I think it turned out pretty darn good, no?

How cute is that?!  I just squeezed dots out in groups of 4 from the tube, then used a toothpick to drag some icing to make stems.  So cute right??

One really important part of cake night is.... only forks allowed.  We don't cut slices of cake, or big pretty pieces or anything fancy like you suburban people do all the time.  No no.  We dig right in.  It's one of the most important rules about cake night.  In fact, it might be the ONLY rule about cake night.

Rule 1: Only forks at cake night.

This was something we had to explain to Bethany when she looked at me like I was crazy.  I finished icing the cake, went to the silverware drawer, and produced 3 forks. 

Miranda: Oh.  Yeah.  We don't cut pieces.  You should just grab one of those (gestures to forks) and dig in.

Bethany: .....

Miranda:  Seriously!

Bethany: Haha this is so fun!  This is serious!

We took the cake to the living room and dug in.  And that is the only way to explain it.  DUG in!

There's the first "dig"... Look how perfectly green that cake is!!!  Can you believe it?!

And then this is what happened...

And I'm too embarrassed to add the final picture.  Let's just say a few more shamrocks disappeared.  Luckily, it's just me at home, and it's almost my birthday and if you think I'm not considering having cake for dinner you would be WRONG, sucka!  But I'll probably have a salad first.  Because it's in the same color family.  GREEN!

Puka fell in love with Bethany.  She laid on Bethany's lap and gave me the stank eye like "Look, woman.  Some people LIKE me being on them at all times!"  And then she had some banana time.  Which probably sounds weird to you. When I first adopted Puka I got her a banana filled with catnip.  It's her favorite toy and the only one she actually plays with. I have a really sad and neglected plush bunny and mouse, both with catnip.  Puka only wants the banana.

No, Mom.  My banana.  Stop trying to take it.

Also?  I successfully departed Procrastination Central.  I got the clothes picked up and hardwood floors cleaned.  Tonight is laundry, shopping, clean the bathroom and filing that paperwork.  And if I have time I'll finish those last 2 drawers on my dresser.  Which I think I will. Because I am MOTIVATED!  It's beautiful outside and I have friends (FRIENDS!) visiting this weekend and it will be great!  WOOO!!

Happy St. Patty's Day everybody!!  Go have some carbombs!

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