To be perfectly honest, ever since I gave up Diet Coke (it’s been 52 days), I’ve had–it would be safe to say–absolutely no interest in sweets. But that is a very good soapbox that I will stand on another day. Sweet tooth or not, a birthday just doesn’t feel like a birthday without a cake–or pie or muffin, hell something you can stick a candle in.
This Monday was indeed the anniversary of my birth, and with all my blood relatives states (or oceans) away, it was up me to produce the aforementioned baked good, or else I wasn’t going to be making any birthday wishes this year. And trust me, I’m not in a position to be skipping out on wishes.
I could sit here, snarky as ever, and pretend it was some giant inconvenience, but the truth of the matter is, ever since last week when Maggy mentioned my aptly described “to die for” chocolate cake, I’ve been thinking about whipping one up.
Funny thing about this cake. Even though it’s undeniably my Mom’s recipe, it’s somehow become my cake. I’ve practically got the recipe memorized and I’ve definitely got that bedeviling split-stack-frost-repeat process down to a science (my first few attempts listed somewhat dangerously to the left). I think most cooks have a go-to dessert, this cake is mine.
I planned to go home and make it alone–it really didn’t seem that depressing to me! But my friends vetoed that plan with the quickness. So, we bought the ingredients, a couple six packs, and some stuff to throw on the grill–because my mama taught me right, and I don’t (usually) drink without eating.
After a few hiccups (We have 4 eggs. We need 4 eggs. The first egg we separate doesn’t so much…separate.), we sat down to deep, dark, stacked-high chocolately goodness. I took three bites. Hands down, the best part of making your own cake is that nobody gets offended if you don’t want it.
I brought the rest of the cake into work the next day, and at the rather ungodly hour of 10:15, my co-workers fell upon it like rebel hordes attacking the walls of Rome. After the “mmmm-ing” and “ooooh-ing” subsided slightly (don’t worry Mom, I gave you the credit), everyone started discussing how “adorable” and “liberated” it was that I had baked my own birthday cake.
Liberated? Maybe. Adorable is a stretch. I don’t know, I think when you love to cook–it’s all about the process. I had a great time baking with my friends. Would I rather have been out at a bar in a plastic tiara getting free drinks? Eh, there are nights for that. This birthday was, in the immortal words of Goldilocks, juuuust right. And it doesn’t hurt one bit that the editor of Fine Cooking magazine thinks I’m spunky and “liberated.” Stick a bow on that and I’ll call it a gift.