Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Surgar and Spice and Everything Nice

Yup, that’s me (despite the preivious posts). Just call me Patty, as in Patty Cake. I have become the lab’s official birthday cake baker. It all started with the search for my quintessential birthday cake. I have often bemoaned to my office mates that I do not have a signature cake unlike others in my family. While N got her Cheesecake Supreme every year, I had to make do with the odd assortment: a carebear cake, bakery cakes, angel food cakes but without the strawberries because they weren’t in season. I decided that I was going to find the one cake that I would request year after year. The problem is; how do I find such a cake? I am not as a single person going to bake myself a cake every week. The solution was suggested by the office mates: make the birthday cakes for the office.

Unfortunately the last two cake requests have not even come close to my ideal. The first I have already blogged about. The second, I made last weekend. My advisor had a birthday on Monday. When I emailed him requesting his cake request, I received this response: spice cake. This shouldn’t surprise me. After all, this is a man obsessed with diners, scrapple, and barbecue. Of course he would choose spice cakes over all other cakes to be had in this world.

My problem with spice cake? It is just a carrot cake without the carrots, which in turn is just a glorified fatty muffin. I like my quick breads and cakes to be distinct, separate categories. This means no vegetables in my desserts. I don’t want zucchini, carrot, or pumpkin cakes. Vegetables have no right masquerading as an after dinner treat. I am not a five year old that needs her vegetables disguised in order to eat them.

But, it was not my choice to make. My only hope was to find a recipe redeeming enough. In the end, I think I succeeded: Spice cake with blackberry filling and cream cheese frosting. Yes, the spice was still there and slightly over powering, but the blackberries reined it in and provided a bit of tartness. And of course, one can never go wrong with cream cheese frosting. So if you like spice cakes (sigh) or you need to make one, I would recommend this cake.

Thankfully, the girl with the next birthday is a girl after my own heart. She wants a citrus cake with another fruit component. Yeah! Now we are talking.


yola said...

Oh don't dismiss the zucchini cake, baby! My sister-in-law made a chocolate zucchini cake the other week that was heavenly! The zucchini adds this wonderful moistness to the cake that makes it very much un-muffin-like. So good!

But then, I love me zucchini-everything. Today at the coffee shop, the barista made me toasted zucchini bread with butter--oh my stars, that was a good elevenses!

My new birthday request is my dad's apple pie. We have it practically every week year round, but I don't freaking care, it's SO stinking good!

If I had to choose a cake though, my fancy cake favorite is Cranberry-Glazed Orange Layer Cake, which I made once. It was a difficult, but so delish!

Emily said...

I wish I worked with you! I always thought you made great goodies & that was back when we had to use sugar the size of boulders! Good luck on the quest.


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