June 12, 2013

It’s Wednesday. So What’s Cooking?

A unique cake served up with a generous helping of humor from Marci Boudreaux.

Something can be said for Pinterest. I have learned so much from that site about gardening, decorating, and fashion. So when it came time to plan my daughter’s birthday party, I pulled up my Birthday board and took a gander.

Oh, polka dot cake…my daughter loves polka dots. So much so, that I painted her room pink with purple polka dots just last summer.

Now, anyone who has ever tried something off of Pinterest knows that, generally, it’s not going to go as smoothly as assumed. Well…let me tell you about the polka dot cake.

The first sign of trouble was when I read the directions and I didn’t have the required cake ball pan. Well. I have a mini muffin pan, I can improvise. I’m good at that…as you’ll soon see.

So I took out my three cake mixes, stirred one together, and split the batter. So far so good.

Then I dyed the batter. Well…my colors didn’t come out nearly as vibrant, but that’s okay. We can go with dingy pastel shades. So I made the mini muffins.

Then I mixed up the other two batters and layered the first bit on the bottom of the pan. And suddenly, like a light bulb going off, I realized my polka dots would look like…well, mini muffins. So I gently pried the muffin tops off and decided that was close enough. (These are a bunch of eight year olds, really, they’re just happy there’s cake, right?)

I cover my make-shift muffin polka dots with the rest of the batter and…wait…my muffin-dots are rising. I push them down and hurry up and put the cakes in the oven. Because we all know, the quicker you get it in the oven, the faster we can pretend that everything is resolved and all will work out.

Twenty five minutes later, the timer dings and I tentatively open the oven door to find…more muffins?

Oh, yes, perhaps I overfilled the pans just a touch in my attempt to cover my muffin-dots. The cake had grown up and over the cake pans, making giant, yet thin muffins.

Hmmm. These are supposed to layer, right? How can I layer muffins? I considered this for a long time. I even had an in-depth discussion over the phone with my husband who obviously didn’t care in the least about the ins and outs of layering cakes that looked like muffins.

Finally, it was decided. I’m just going to decorate one cake. There are only a few girls anyway, so I chose the better looking of the two and slathered it in white frosting. I did this because we had picked out lovely glitter infused purple icing (the package said it was pink, that stuff was purple) to put on lovely little polka dots and polka dot sprinkles to go with the awesome polka (muffin) dots inside.

So the icing is set and I get out the purple-not-pink decorative icing and start putting on the polka dots. But even icing doesn’t play nice when it is going on a Pinterest cake. It smeared, it smudged, it taunted me at every turn. I’m fairly certain I heard some of those TV bakers laughing at me as I tried to mimic their squeeze, push, and pull technique for making dots.

Well, at this point all the warm and fuzzy Betty Homemaker feelings were gone. I grabbed the biggest meanest looking spatula I could find and I smeared that damned icing, not giving a crap what it looked like. Damn it, it’s just a cake. They only want it for the sugar buzz anyway.

Then I stood back and I smiled because, despite all the trouble, I had just made a beautiful white and purple-not-pink tie-dye looking mini muffin-dot cake.

And it was lovely.

I set it aside, ready for the glittery candle to be placed, headed straight for my laptop, and deleted that damned polka dot cake recipe from my birthday board. But, I’ll share it with you, just in case you want to give it a try.

Polka Dot Cake
2 boxed white cake mixes (plus the oil, water and eggs to make them according to the package)
You favorite frosting (I used my butter cream recipe, doubled, which you can get by clicking HERE.)
Sprinkles or candy to decorate the cake.

Preheat oven to 350°F

Make one of the cakes according to package directions.

Divide batter evenly into smaller bowls based on the number of colors you want to use (I did 4).

Color the batter using color gels (I love the Wilton brand in particular because it gives such a vivid color)

Following the directions for your particular cake pop maker, make cake balls using each of the colors.

While cake balls are cooling, preheat oven to 350F, and make the second cake mix according to package.

Spray 3 – 6″ round pans with non-stick spray and set a circle of parchment paper in the bottom of each one (to keep your layers pretty!)

Spread a thin layer of batter in the bottom of each pan, place cake balls on top in any pattern you choose and divide remaining batter over the top of the balls so they are completely covered.

Bake layers for about 30 minutes. You can use the toothpick test (I recommend it!) but be careful to hit cake and not cake balls…you can kind of tell where they are- they bump up just a bit.

When cooked all the way through, tip over on a cake rack to cool completely.

Trim, if needed, to flatten layers and use frosting to stack all three layers and cover the entire cake with frosting. Decorate as desired.

To see what the Polka Dot Cake should look like, please click HERE.

Here’s a little from Unforgettable You, my latest contemporary romance, for your reading pleasure while you sit back with a glass of chilled wine and forget you ever thought of baking.

Is their love strong enough to survive their real lives?

Desperate to keep her ailing mother-in-law Doreen in the family home, Carrie Gable agrees to board a few of Hollywood’s elite actors. Despite her resentment of their demands, she can’t stop her attraction to actor Will Walker.

Will, out to save his failing career, agrees to a project that bores him. The more time he spends with his egotistical co-stars, the more drawn he is to their hostess. Long nights talking with Carrie make him realize he wants a simpler life, but his ties to L.A. refuse to let him go.

The temptation to regain stardom pulls Will in one direction while the obligation to family tugs Carrie in another. Against all odds, the couple struggles for a solution to save their new found happiness.

To read an excerpt from Unforgettable You, please click HERE.

Check out the trailer for Unforgettable You HERE.

Learn more about Marci Boudreaux on her website. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

No posts next week because I’m on jury. I’ll see you all June 24. Until then…

Bon Appétit!

Sloane Taylor
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Sloane said @ 12:19 am | Author Friend Promo

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