As hesitant as I am about sharing personal information I feel compelled to write about this: I bake cakes – scratch cakes, big ol’ glossy, over-decorated, sweetly frosted and iced cakes. I make simple devil’s food chocolate diner counter cakes and extreme genoise with blood orange curd filled, seven layer cakes. I make a cake with Jack Daniels. I make banana bread that fills the house with such perfume that my teenagers will wake up on a Sunday morning before 8:00. On Christmas morning the house is filled with the aroma of fresh baked cinnamon sweet yeast rolls.
I bake cakes for my children for their birthdays each year. They try to pick intricate or difficult cakes to see to what extremes I will go to make them. One year Mihijita picked a Rose Levy Birnbaum cake that was covered in spun-sugar lacework. Another year Hija asked for one covered in chocolate roses. I buy them birthday presents of course but it’s the cakes they remember.
I have been commissioned to make theme cakes for friends’ parties and for relatives’ events. I once made a cake that looked like an old 45 record player complete with records cast from tempered bittersweet chocolate.
When we married, I baked our wedding cake – three tiers – fresh baby roses on top. During the 6 months leading up the wedding I made almost 40 test cakes in a 4 ‘ by 3’ kitchen. We invited friends over every weekend to taste test the recipes and take home cake. My cholesterol shot up 15 points.
I make my own rolled fondant.
Notwithstanding my schedule, or the demands of work or all the other intervening interruptions, I make time to make the cakes. The cabinets and drawers in my kitchen overflow with cake pans, molds, icing tips, pastry bags, scales, decorating stands, cake boxes and rounds, frosting knives, cake cutters and coloring gels. I use everything.
Cookbooks fill the baker’s rack in the kitchen. Most of the books cover baking and cake decorating. Mrs. Soto in the baking department of Broadway Pan Handler knows me by name.
I’m convinced my wife married me because early in our relationship, I made her an over-the-top chocolate raspberry torte for her birthday.
My youngest daughter had another birthday this week. I made her a golden butter/white chocolate cake with neo classic butter cream.
I really love that kid.