This is not a food blog, but I’m going to tell you about my experience last night in the kitchen.
It was my friend’s birthday, so I thought I’d make him a cake. I used to bake when I was a kid, but since I discovered my wife’s abilities, I left the kitchen in her capable hands. She’s a wizard when it comes to cooking. I was going to say “she’s a witch when it comes to cooking,” but that has awful connotations.
So I start baking the cake. Dana sent me a link to the recipe. Then we found out it needed to be gluten free. And dairy free. And chocolate with frosting. So she sent me another link.
It had been a long time since I’ve baked a cake, so Dana also sent me a list of instructions. Which was simultaneously helpful and daunting. I had forgotten how many steps go into this.
So I begin. I listened to two hour-long podcasts during this feat, mostly because I was afraid of doing something wrong. I had to check the recipe three times for each ingredient because I just knew that I would miss something important. I was also listening to stories on The Moth podcast and TED Talks, which were probably more distracting than entertaining.
So I go through the steps. I read the paragraph of instructions at the end of the recipe (does anyone actually read this stuff?!), and I read the extra notes Dana sent. That was to do with how much white sugar I should put with the coconut sugar. I read and added Dana’s notes before I read the recipe notes. The recipe called for half a cup of sugar, but Dana’s notes said “Half a cup of coconut sugar and 1/4 cup of white sugar.”
OH NO! I’ve already ruined it. I’ve put in 3/4 cup of sugar, and I’m about to add a bunch of honey, too. This is going to be a sweet cake.
“Don’t worry about it, sweetheart. It wasn’t a typo,” she reassured me.
FINALLY the cake is in the oven. I was so proud of myself at this point. As long as I don’t burn it, I will have made my first gluten-free cake!
Now to start on the frosting.
I was going to make the frosting on the recipe, but the coconut milk I had chilling was moldy. So I made a different frosting. Just as delicious, but not as coconut-y.
I was told that this must be done in the KitchenAid because it does wonders for frosting. I’m putting in the ingredients for a vegan frosting recipe that was also sent to me by my darling wife thinking, “What a guy. I’m so cool.”
“Add 1.5-2 tbsp of non-dairy milk, depending on desired consistency.”
I’m so close to being done. I can almost taste it!
Well, I had been tasting it throughout the whole process. Whatever.
I decide to start off with small amounts. I add half a cup of almond milk to my delicious concoction and turn on the beaters.
And that’s when it all fell apart.
The somewhat stiff frosting now looked more like the milk I just added, and it was not firming up. Of course I immediately go to my chef-on-call.
“Dana! What happened?! I added a QUARTER of the milk I was supposed to, and now it’s just slush. What happened?!”
And in her wisdom she replied, “Are you sure it said ‘cups’ and not ‘tablespoons’?”
Nope. I misread it.
It was time to pick her up from work at this point, so she came home and fixed the frosting for me. The cake turned out deliciously, and my friend had a good birthday.
I did learn my lesson, though: Let the witch work her magic, and try not to interfere.
For the cake recipe I used, click here.
For the frosting recipe, ask my wife.