The Great Cake Flop

by Colleen

I wrote this post last Wednesday, during the start of the Long Journey to Oklahoma. I am now on my way back in THE VAN. Things are rough…..more on the ride back to come.

I’m on the plane on my way to the warm and sunny state of Texas as I write. Hopefully, my Wisconsin winter trained system won’t go into shock when I step out into the Dallas air. Saying that it is Spring doesn’t really mean much when in reality, it snowed almost seven inches in one day just last week, “springing” me out from school a couple of hours early with its severity.

Anyway, seeing as I don’t have much to do, I thought that I would report on this past Sunday’s great baking contest.

Mary and I are the bakers in the family and wanted a challenge this Easter. We decided on cakes, layer cakes to be exact. It is a sad but true fact that Slattery women can’t seem to make pretty looking cakes to save our lives, but Mary and I set out to shatter this barrier to our baking genius. All week we pored over recipes, each trying to find the perfect cake to make and consequently out-do each other.

Eventually, Mary decided on a marble layer cake with chocolate frosting, and then on a whim made a lemon layer cake with white chocolate frosting as well. I was packing some heat with the dynamic combination of chocolate and peanut butter, planning on a chocolate layer cake with peanut butter frosting and chocolate ganache.

Saturday came, and Mary and I got to work. A day that began with enthusiasm ended with disappointment, at least on my part. Mary churned out her cakes, but the prettiness factor we were so hoping for wasn’t there. I fared much worse, my cake falling into delicious pieces even as I rushed to set it in the freezer and away from hungry siblings. I came up from the basement freezer with chunks of chocolate cake in my hands, oozing dark chocolate ganache, and hoping that somehow, somehow the cake might freeze into a less hideous shape for the next day?

Sunday, Easter, Mary and I brought out our cakes, all thoughts of competition for the best cake pretty much destroyed. My cake looked as if it had been through the Japanese earthquake, and Mary was asked by our niece, Claire, if her lemon cake was made out of mashed potatoes. It did bear a certain resemblance to the aforementioned vegetable, but I was in no condition to judge at that point.

Simply put, the whole thing was a flop. And, although the cakes tasted fine (better than that according to the family), Mary and I didn’t even care. We’d been defeated by the layer cake. The saddest fact is, we don’t even like cake.

(Side note: luckily there was no available camera to document the truly appalling disaster area that I call my cake. Otherwise, there is no way I would have written a word of this post. My shame would have simply been too great.)

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