Wednesday, March 2, 2011

If you bake it, they will... expect more

My girlfriend at work, Lauren, baked me a birthday cake from scratch this year.  It was awesome.  So I baked her a cake for her birthday.  Also, awesome.

In the spirit of sharing, we invited the rest of our work team (7 people total).  This was generous, and kept us from digging in to a whole cake between the two of us, but we set the bar awfully high.

Now we're wondering who gets homemade, from scratch, delicious birthday cakes.  Because I am rotten through and through, and dread the thought baking all these cakes for people I'm not close with (for the most part), some people cakes had to be stricken from the list, by objective decisions, not by how much I like them, to avoid hurt feelings.

The rules for cake disqualification are set as follows:
  • People who don't tell anybody that their birthdays are coming up do not get a cake, because I'm not a damn mindreader
  • People who "don't eat cake" or are "on a diet" do not get cakes because it would not be a good gift for them.  Also because I don't understand these phrases and must conclude they are from another culture that doesn't celebrate things by eating delicious things.  To each their own.

This effectively removed 3 cakes from the to-do list.  Two of us already had our birthdays (mine in December and Lauren's in February), so that is only 2 cakes for the whole year, which will be baked together with Lauren and that will be fun in itself.  No need to panic.

I guess the X factor is that the "I don't mention my birthday" and "I don't eat cake" crowd could change their tune in the name of having cakes baked especially for them.  Cross that bridge when we come to it.

What are these cakes we're baking?

Lauren made me a Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate cake with Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate frosting.  This recipe is tried and true and I highly recommend it.

I made Lauren the Chocolate Stout cake from Smitten Kitchen.  I didn't put ganache on it, because I had to carry it in to work, and it was great with a dusting of powdered sugar.  So great that I made it again the next week for my in-laws.  I also used Saranac Brewing Company Caramel Porter in place of the stout.  I did this both times, so I don't know how it compares to using stout, but it was delicious.

When will people be circling the cubicles looking for more cake?

Ha ha, yeah, James' birthday is Friday.  Like, in two days.

Tonight Lauren and I are attempting the first red velvet cake either of us have ever made.  We're using another Smitten Kitchen recipe (this one), because the chocolate stout cake came out amazing.

Let ya know how it goes!

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