I have a rule that every time I make a brand new recipe, I follow that recipe exactly as it is written. No weird changes, substitutions, adjustments… if I haven’t tasted the recipe yet, how can I already be judging its worth? It’s like people. Wanting to change a person’s shoes before you date them is superficial and mean. Not to mention weird. “Hey, I’d love to go to the movies, but could you wear some polished wingtips instead of those boat shoes? Okay, thanks!”
The rule also gives me a scapegoat. “WHY is this texture so weird, I followed the recipe EXACTLY. Clearly they did something wrong.”
However, I am terrible at following my own rule.
It’s Amandeleine’s 1st anniversary!
No it’s not, I’m lying.
It was Amandeleine’s 1st anniversary over a month ago. On June 8th. But for some reason I thought the anniversary was sometime in July, and when I looked it up a few days ago, I learned I was wrong.
When I was in grade 1, my class had a singing recital where we all dressed up as Care Bears, making our own Care Bear ears and Care Bear bellies.
When we were told to go home and find clothes to be the rest of our Care Bear costume, nothing I had worked. It was all patterned, multicoloured and inappropriate for representing Care Bear fur. I was a big Care Bear fan and was very particular about how this had to be done. I did have an all pink outfit, but most of the girls also had all pink outfits, resulting in a sea of repeat pink bears. I did not want to be just another one of many Cheer Bears.
My mom, however, had a big cozy orange sweater.
With this, I could be Friend Bear, but she wasn’t one of my favourites. I could be Tenderheart, but he felt like the MAIN Care Bear, and that was just too much responsibility.
The path was clear. Birthday Bear.
Yeah, that’s me. That’s a pretty finely painted cupcake, don’t you think? I miss those shoes.
Like most, I developed a love for cupcakes at a young age and was excited to wear one on my belly. Not to mention in my belly. So when I think of cupcakes, I think of things like Care Bears. Of pink fluffy frosting, rainbow sprinkles, and everything soft and sweet.
Not of bacon.
Bacon has a dedicated following. The smell of it cooking, the sound of sizzling, a lot of people love bacon.
But talk about putting it on a baked good? Bacon… sometimes it scares people.
But don’t be scared, I can show you the way.
Many will ask me, who bakes for the baker on their birthday? Does the baker do it for herself because she knows just how she likes things? Is a cake purchased from a fancy bakery to give her a new project to strive for?
If you have an adorable husband, sometimes it’s him.
(Is it just me, or is there something particularly attractive about a man wielding a frosting covered offset spatula?)
With a number of Trevor birthday cakes under my belt, he felt it was time to return the favour.
Please note that in the 7 years I have known him, 6 of them on a very personal level, I have witnessed him bake once. Maybe twice, but I’m kind of hazy on that one. With this in mind, I tried to give him an easy out, giving him a general flavour category to follow so that he could pick something easy to make that still fell under the specs.
He didn’t let me get away with that.
Demanding to know what my favourite cake would be for my birthday this year, I confessed.
Red Velvet Cake.
I have a theory about coconut.
There are a lot of people who say they hate coconut.
I used to say I hated coconut.
But my theory is that people actually hate the texture of coconut, not so much the flavour. Dousing the flavour with sweetness seems to help too.
My data? These cupcakes.
Joe is probably the person I see most in the world other than my husband. We’re neighbours at work and at home. That’s right, he’s in the office next door at work, and lives in the condo below mine. If we ever have an epic rivalry where I decide I can’t stand him, I will have major problems avoiding him.
Luckily, he’s a pretty cool guy. And even better, his wife Erin is even cooler. So when she asked me to make Joe a birthday cake for his surprise party, I was completely on board. Now it was just a matter of figuring out what he’d like.
Because of my weekly baking at work, it wasn’t too hard to find out what Joe’s opinion was without giving away the surprise. I just told him I’d be customizing the weekly baked good to his preferences for his birthday. His response was quick.
Joe is a huge fan of cream soda. However, neither of us were entirely sure how to apply cream soda to a baked good. Joe gave a few more ideas, but the cream soda idea stuck with me. After a few internet searches, I discovered that cream soda in a baked good was relatively uncommon, with one exception. Cream Soda Cake.