People assume that just because I can bake two types of cookies competently that I am a good baker. Sometimes, even I believe them, and when I get into these cute little mindsets, I always try way too hard to make something that flies way over my head. My latest foray into mediocrity is something that I’ve affectionately dubbed the Disgusting Cake.
The Disgusting Cake started out as a way to reward Boyfriend for being well-behaved and pleasant to be around – I had it all mapped out in my mind. A beautiful, light white cake and fluffy merengue frosting. And strawberries in the middle. And on top. So many strawberries. It was going to be perfect.
I began researching recipes and found a few that seemed doable (according to my inflated ego). I made three trips to two stores and sank about fifteen dollars into it – strawberries, eggs, sugar. A fine investment, I assured myself. I was wrong.
I began with the cake. I meticulously added everything in the order that the internet told me to, and while the batter appeared to be a bit watery, I trudged on, trusting my razor-sharp intuition. I put the first of three layers in the oven and cut my strawberries.
Icing, as anyone that knows my baking could tell you, is my Achille’s heel. It always turns out thin and runny and translucent, this time no exception. Apparently, if even a touch of egg yolk gets into the mixture, the peaks won’t form and the icing won’t take. This was bad news for me because I accidentally broke a yolk in the soup and got about half of it out before deciding that “it will probably be OK.” It was most certainly not OK.
I ended up tossing that attempt out after about forty-five minutes of beating it. Thinking on my feet, I look for some vegan icing recipes. All of them required milk, the last of which I had used on my unfortunate, dense cake. I looked in the fridge again. Vanilla coffee creamer? Close enough! I won’t even have to add vanilla extract!
I ground down some granulated sugar to make delicious powdered sugar and microwaved about a pound of frozen butter to bring it up to the same temperature as my other two ingredients. I beat them all in a bowl for about ten minutes. It was very grainy. I would make it a point to explain to Boyfriend that grainy was in my vision.
I took my cakes out of the oven, and of course they fell apart as soon as I banged them out of their rusty, aluminum prisons. I assembled the monstrosity. I put it in the fridge and I’m going to try to forget that it is in there. I’m probably just going to stick to biscotti and lemon cookies as nature intended from now on.