My name is Liz. I need direction. I overuse commas, my house is a mess, my hair needs a trim and I have no marketable skills: It's fun here, you'll see!

Contact Me, Folks!

Got a question, comment, proposal of marriage? Great! Email me at theproductivecough@gmail.com

Show Your Love

October 20th, 2009

Chef Liz in: A Sweet Disaster

Sunday, two of my best friends, Chris and Sarah, married each other. The beautiful outdoor ceremony was followed by a delicious dinner and a lively reception. There was a little Hava Nagila, a bouquet toss and quite a lot of awesome dancing by the bride’s father. But most importantly to me, there was cake. It was a three layer affair, filled with lemon curd. If I could have eaten four pieces, I would have (although, after the buffet, my bridesmaid dress may not have allowed it). The cake also pleased Paul, who has been craving citrus flavor since August when he requested a strawberry cake with lemon curd and “regular” frosting and instead got white cake with buttercream frosting.

You may be asking why I didn’t deliver for the poor guy on his birthday. “What kind of a terrible person are you that you ignored his one simple birthday wish?” you are saying. Well, “Shut up” is my reply to you. I didn’t ignore it. I just… failed. In fact, the birthday cake Paul did get was served the day after his birthday. It’s a tragic story of dashed hopes, culinary disaster and germophobia. And I’ve been sitting on it since August because I was so embarrassed about the whole thing. I am finally ready to share.

First of all, Paul, if you’re reading this, your cake idea was insane and vague. Strawberry flavored cake with lemon curd? And when I asked you what you meant by “regular” frosting, you paused the baseball game, shrugged and said, “I dunno. My mom used to make it.” Thanks, man.

But that’s all the blame I’m going to place on Paul. Because the reality is, this was my fault. I said yes to his request, gave it my all, and it was hideous.

I began by baking two layers of white cake, which I intended to flavor with strawberry extract. Naturally, though, I forgot to add it. The cake itself was fantastic, but to make up for the lack of fruity essence, I decided to flavor the “regular” frosting with the extract. When I searched all of my cookbooks for a frosting recipe that suited the requirements, all I could come up with were soupy icings. So, I cheated and reached for a can of vanilla frosting that I was saving for a fondant experiment. I plopped a few drops of strawberry extract in and stirred it up.

Meanwhile, back in the refrigerator, my “lemon curd” was cooling. It smelled delicious, and looked alright, too. But, during the cooking process, the mixture at the bottom of the pan had heated too quickly and little bits of scrambled egg began floating around. I pulled it off the heat to try and save it, but worried that I hadn’t cooked the rest of the eggs all the way through. So, to me, the bowl of lemon curd sitting my fridge was a salmonella time bomb. “It’s fine!” said Paul, who, on the anniversary of his birth, was asked to test a potentially fatal dessert. I wasn’t convinced. But, I slathered it in between the cake layers anyway and went for the frosting to finish what was quickly becoming the least appealing baked good ever.

What I neglected to take into account was that the apartment in August is over 90 degrees some afternoons. Add to that a poorly insulated oven that’s been at 350ยบ for over an hour and you’ve got yourself a frosting meltin’ good time. Though the cake had fully cooled, the disgusting strawberry concoction was near liquid and hardly stuck to the cake. And yet, somehow, my spatula broke in the process. I spooned the rest of the frosting on.

What I wound up with was a slightly warm, possibly poisonous, dripping mess of questionably flavored cake-

From above, it doesn’t look too bad, I guess. I mean, there’s an errant drop of lemon curd on the top, and the edges are a little messy, but it doesn’t look that horrible. I refused to serve it though. I wouldn’t even bring it out to the living room to show the Birthday Boy. I made him come into the kitchen and promise not to touch it. I even cried a little bit. (Okay. I cried a lot.) Here is why:

There was no birthday cake that night. Just a lot of sniffling and apologizing- first for the cake and then for ruining a perfectly good birthday with my sobbing. But I took a Mulligan and the next night baked up something resembling edible. Thankfully, Paul got his lemon curd fix Sunday night- even if it was two months late.

3 comments to Chef Liz in: A Sweet Disaster

  • Lyn

    LOL….even better than MY misses. LOL Next year, bake the poor guy a sheet cake, poke holes in it with a large fork, mix up some strawberry jello and pour it over the top to sak in. Cool it in the fridge and then slather on some Cool Whip. He’ll forget ALL about the lemon curds. Trust me.

  • Oh, Liz! I’m so sorry. That story is funny and sad. Thanks for sharing. You are a great girlfriend for attempting. =)

    And wait – didn’t you bake the cake for the bridal shower? That was deeeeelicious! =D

  • This is very, very, very, very, very, very funny. “Well, ‘Shut up’ is my reply to you.” I discovered your blog by accident. Very, very, very, very, very, very glad I did.

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>