Friday, October 5
Not to ram too much domesticity down anyone's throat, but I need to make a cake on Sunday morning. Because 1.) the Guatemalan doesn't bake, 2.) it's not going to make itself, and 3.) I may have sort of (cough) inadvertently invited a bunch of people over for cake on Sunday evening for a grand birthday hoorah. And now I have to make a cake.
This isn't really a problem, as anyone who actually knows me is aware. I like making cakes and I have never minded making myself a birthday cake here and there. When you make your own cake, you get to pick out any. thing. you. want. My mom made me a beautiful doll-cake for my birthday when I was about 7, with a plastic pseudo-Barbie emerging out of a blue, flower-spattered cake shaped like the full bottom of a ballgown. Oh my God, I loved that cake. If you make your own cake, you could even make a doll-cake if you want.
No, the problem I'm facing is much deeper than having to make my own birthday cake.
The problem is that I haven't yet been inspired by anything I've seen. And God knows I can't make a random cake. Cake-making requires commitment and a certain level of fanaticism. Who the hell makes a cake? Fanatic cake-lovers who don't fear intimacy with baked goods, that's who. Personally, I can't make a cake at all until it starts burrowing into my dreams at night, lingering enticingly behind my closed eyes as I'm waking up, all tall and sweet and fluffy and gorgeous, murmuring things like: "Go ahead, baby, run your finger through my thick, glossy frosting...slice through my three velvety layers...come on, you know you want a big slice of me washed down with a cold glass of milk..."
So for me, it's obviously all about cakeporn if you need it spelled out for you. And frankly, I'm not having dirty dreams about any of the cakes I've seen lately (while flipping through the seductive pages of the Epicurious website, bosoms, such as they are, heaving and all that).
In the absence of a suitably alluring frosting be-decked centerfold to draw my attentions, I have at least been working to narrow it down to cakes I will not make this year. How this will actually help me come Sunday morning, I do not know. But that hasn't stopped me.
Top Ten Cakes I will not make this year:
1. The delicious strawberry number we had for the Guatemalan's birthday. Too recent. Also, looking to be become too much of a tradition. I anticipate that we will enjoy this particular cake many times in the next few years.
2. The obscenely rich and fabulously decadent chocolate-chili-fig cake I made last year. Really, really very yummy and amazing. But way too dangerous. Almost killed several people. So there's that to avoid.
3. Molten chocolate mini-cakes of any variety. Too early-2000s.
4. Cheesecake. Not, sadly, Guatemalan-friendly. Honestly, sometimes I wonder why we're together at all.
5. Lemon poundcake. Too much of a staple. Also, too wicked.
6. Spice cakes. Not enough frosting. Not appropriate for a birthday. Too "holiday".
7. Pie. Not cake.
8. Fresh pineapple upside-down cake. Is pineapple in season? Is it? I don't know. I love this cake, but I am not making it.
9. "Best Birthday Cake". Made it once. Not bad. But not the best.
10. Rocky Road Cake. Marshmallows.
So you see, I'm making progress.
I am currently considering a chocolate cherry torte, which is somehow different than a cake but not in any way that I can define. I made it a couple years ago for a good friend's birthday. So timing-wise, we may be ripe for another shot at it. Let me spell it out for you: sour cherries, ground almonds, and bittersweet chocolate shrouded by a paper-thin sheet of buttery marzipan, all draped with a silken glaze of bittersweet chocolate melted into heavy cream...
And there you have it: cakeporn.