Sunday, November 11, 2012



 It was your birthday just a few days ago and I wanted to bake you a cake. Since this cake was just for my celebration of your birthday, I gave myself some leeway and didn’t actually bake it until the day after your birthday.

 But I baked a gingerbread cake because I know you really like it. I like it OK. To be honest, gingerbread is one of the few desserts about which, to paraphrase you, the best that can be said is that there is no risk of overeating. I don’t hate it; it’s not like fig pie or tapioca. I just don’t want to eat it. But I baked it, for you.

 Lest you feel too guilty about my sacrifice, I also baked it because I wanted to get back on the Miette horse, back in the rushing Miette river, but I wanted to get back on a horse that was placid and exhausted, I wanted to wave my toes in the shallows at edge of that river. The Miette Gingerbread requires no slicing of layers, no crumb coat, pretty straightforward mixing. It seemed like a safe place for the reintroduction.

 Naturally, since I had actually located and purchased two 6” pans, the recipe calls for two 7” pans. I went with one 8” and one 6”. Next time, I’ll use two 6” pans. There seems to be no reason not to, aside from the peculiar uselessness of a six inch cake. One person who reviewed Miette was thrilled with the 6” cakes because smaller cake means fewer calories. Huh?? Smaller cake means larger pieces. A six inch cake serves three. 

 I think the whole process went pretty well. I restrained my oppositional defiance disorder and slavishly followed the instructions. Except for the pan sizes. And I put parchment on the bottom of the pans even though they just call for butter and flour. Oh, and I also skipped the medium size strainer step because I don’t have a medium sized strainer. But other than that, I was dutiful. I didn’t over mix, and I only peeked in the oven once. 

 So far so good. They rose enough, they baked all the way through, they came out of the pans, (I was happy I had used the parchment).

 Then there was the cream cheese frosting. I prefer gingerbread with whipped cream and maybe a nice fruit compote. But I was slavishly following directions.

 I slavishly followed those directions right off the road to Hell and into the tree of regret. Miette’s cream cheese frosting calls for a pound of cream cheese (this is 2 packages) and a cup of confectionary sugar. It makes gently sweetened cream cheese. 

 Then came the application process, and things went awry. Miette wants you to use your half inch star tip to apply the frosting in a spiral as the cake slowly turns on your revolving cake stand. No half inch star tip, no revolving cake stand. Not even a bag for my decorative tip set.  I used a plastic bag.

 The star tip I have is so small and the frosting so thick, I squeezed and squeezed, nothing. I squeezed harder, several small holes broke through the bag and tiny spirals of frosting spewed out. But from the star tip? Nothing. I kept squeezing until the entire tip apparatus burst out the bottom of the plastic bag. I applied the frosting in a spiral (sort of) as it extruded from the half inch hole in the corner of the plastic bag. Chris has my offset spatula, so I made do with a straight spatula. 

 While my finished cake didn’t look like a Miette cake, it didn’t look bad. Unfortunately, it tasted like gingerbread with gently sweetened cream cheese. 


  Happy Birthday!!

No comments: