So, Zion's birthday is on Monday (for the historically inclined, today is the day, 4 years ago, that I caved in to my own desperation and took castor oil!). When I asked him what kind of cake he'd like he gave me a surprisingly detailed and creative answer for a four year old (at least in my experience). He said that he wanted, "a vanilla cake, with almonds. And with chocolate frosting so that it looks like a chocolate cake, but really it's a vanilla cake!" (I am totally glowing with foody mama pride over this, in case you were wondering!)
Anyway, this request was later modified somewhat to include strawberries and whipped cream and vanilla frosting instead of chocolate. I had this vision in my head, a vision of a layer cake with strawberry jam in between the layers, with a light coating of vanilla buttercream and sliced almonds all around the edges. Just before serving it would be topped with a glorious mound of whipped cream.
This afternoon I made strawberry jam (12 oz organic strawberries + 3/4 c sugar). Then I read a bunch of cake recipes, none of which were quite right for reasons of flavor or eggs or both. Then I baked my own cakes.
First the overflowed and burned a bit in my oven (the overflow, not the cakes). Due to the overflow the cakes were not pretty, but I didn't mind since they'd be covered up anyway. The real heartbreaker is that one of them just plain refused to come out of the pan, and the other came out rather unwillingly, resulting in further damage to its aesthetic appeal. *sob* Two guesses who'll be baking another cake tonight after the kids are in bed....(the party is in Brooklyn tomorrow, you see.)
I suppose I should look on the bright side and focus on how much nicer this is than being 9 days past one's due date and drinking castor oil!
Later that evening....
Well, I just couldn't face making another cake. So I decided to try putting the jam on the one layer, and then some sliced almonds, and then topping it with whipped cream tomorrow. Here's the result. It's not too bad, right?
And, for fun, here is the jam. Robert tasted it and said, "Good strawberry jam!" "Yes," I replied, "I'm very good at making jam. Just not cakes!"