Monday, August 29, 2005

Cake



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.

26 Comments:

Blogger artie said...

Yum.
I have many virgo friends who love cake. It sounds like yours would win the taste test.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Innana1 said...

OK, I want your address and I want it now!!

11:31 AM  
Blogger Champurrado said...

Amie, no competitions, please.

Innana: The cake stand will be empty before I get home tonight. Unless you like crumbs and buttercream smears, I'm afraid my address will do you no good.

By the way, painting is Wayne Thiebaud. I know, I know, I forgot to give the credit.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Foilwoman said...

Champurrado: What I think Innana is trying to say (as am I): We are now converts to polygyny. We want your address and we are moving in. Thank you.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Innana1 said...

Nicely interpreted, Foilwoman. It's not ths week's cake, it's the baking capability I want to be near.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Champurrado said...

Foil, Innanabanana:

You have humbled me with your thoughts. To bake for you both would certainly be a pleasure. I enjoy most the company of those who like cake. Regrettably, I am neither mormon nor sudanese. Besides, I have so little closet space as it is.
Nevertheless, you may still have cake. We just need to figure out how best to deliver it.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Foilwoman said...

See, Innana, he was so polite about rejection: he's the perfect man!

12:48 PM  
Blogger Foilwoman said...

Champurrado: You have seen my response on my blog yet, have you? ;>

12:57 PM  
Blogger Champurrado said...

Foil:

You're very funny.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Foilwoman said...

Thank you. But your post here was a tour de force. My birthday is May 10, by the way. Innana's is in late September (I'll let her drop her own darn hint). Perhaps we'll stop by.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Prom said...

Ok, I have a challenge for you - a low carb cake with no gluten....My bday is Oct 2

3:06 PM  
Blogger cookie monster said...

could you make me a space cake for my birthday?

3:39 PM  
Blogger Foilwoman said...

Prom: Why?
Cookie: What is a space cake?

6:29 PM  
Blogger artie said...

march 14 - something with chocolate and fruit.
I have a friend who lives up there ( she's single - do you have brother?) who could deliver it.

Oh, champ... there is no competition in taste testing... only pleasure! and everybody wins since what I like (dark chocolate) Innana wouldn't!

What I'd really love to do is commission you to do a an uber king cake for those poor folks who are still camping out in the Superbowl in NOLA. They need something lovely to boost their spirits.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Prom said...

"Prom: Why?"

Why as in why would anyone want such an abomination or why would I need such a thing to enjoy cake?

I'll answer the second. I have celiac disease which is an autoimmune disease that attacks gut cells in response to gluten (wheat). So gluten free is a must.

The low carb part is two fold - I lost 30# on a low carb diet and 2) I found that if I avoid processed and concentrated carbs that my skin and other body parts are much much happier without it.

2:53 AM  
Blogger Foilwoman said...

Prom: You poor thing. No flour. Well, you've just cheered me up immensely. I may have a husband who spends all my money (as well as his own, what little there is of it), fears of his insanity, and two small children to raise without any clear picture of how I'm going to get through the next 17 years, but I can enjoy chocolate mousse cake. My life doesn't suck. And you have my profound symphathy.

Is this like the Car Talk reknowned "French Car Syndrome" (when you have a French car, evey other aspect of your life goes well, because you have way more than your quota of misery, believe me)? Bad spouse syndrome? The minute you get rid of a bad spouse, all the other troubles you've avoided because the spouse was sucking up the misery quota reappear and bite big time?

5:01 AM  
Blogger Champurrado said...

All of you:

OK, birthdays have been noted. Cakes for everyone - maybe virtual cakes, but cakes nonetheless.

Prom: I've done a few wheatless, sugarless cheese cakes if you can stand it. Obviously, nothing compared to Juniors but quite digestible.

5:33 AM  
Blogger Prom said...

I've had those cheese cakes and they can be pretty yummy.

I want the chocolate mousse cake that Foil was talking about. How about almond and soy flour for the cake part? Sucrualose and erythritol work well together for the sweet part. The good news is that no amount of fat scares me!

Foil, it was during my major time of illness that I had the bad spouse stuff going on. Mine wasn't abusive or financially irresponsible, just mostly absent but the way I was feeling, absent was a good thing. Not until I got healthy otherwise did I figure out that I needed more than what I had going on.

6:15 AM  
Blogger Champurrado said...

Prom:

Mousse it shall be.

6:38 AM  
Blogger LiVEwiRe said...

I was on my way to the grocery store and paused to check a few blogs. Great, now I'm going to fill my cart with cakes! =) Sounds like a wonderful thing to have a flair for. And such wonderful memories to be able to give to others.

8:03 AM  
Blogger possum said...

My friends and I in Iowa started the tradition a few years ago of Crappy Cakes -- our unskilled attempts to make things out of cakes for birthdays. The Star Trek Enterprise. Sponge Bob. Johnny Damon. A Reese's cup and a poison ivy plant. It's good to know there are others out there who are doing the same thing, but doing it with more talent. Keep on.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Champurrado said...

Possum:

Crappy cakes happen. Nevertheless, your friends all certainly appreciated the thought. Remember, it's more important to have baked and droped the damn thing upside-down on the floor than to have never baked at all. I would also suggest some items do not lend themselves to cake modeling. Respectfully, I would never try to make a cake in the form of a vine. Thanks for stopping by.

10:37 AM  
Blogger Foilwoman said...

Oh, and I forgot to say earlier: your wife probably did marry you because of the cake. Who wouldn't? There are lots worse reasons to tie the knot, as many have proven and will continue to do so.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Champurrado said...

Foil:

True. that plus sized model who married the dying gazillionaire comes to mind for some reason...

1:02 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Those cakes.........
They're fantabulous!!!

I LOVE CAKE!!!!

Thanks for the advice.

6:45 PM  
Blogger Anthea said...

I haven't gotten to cakes really, but I've been all about pies & cookies recently. I think you've inspired me though, cake will be next on the list.

What a lucky family you have. :)

7:29 AM  

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