Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Baking Heals

We are doing a ghostwriting project for the freelance class, it just dawned on me a second ago: if I could have someone ghostwrite a book for me, it could be called Baking Heals. Because it does, not just the mind, but the body too.
So before I could adjust myself back to school again after spring break, my body decided to boycott school with a nasty cold and sore throat. As I finally survived Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday came with a coughing debut. I got up and got dressed but was not ready for a day of work and an evening class. Instead I canceled everything and stayed in bed all day. By the time I got from post WWII to Cultural Revolution in China in The Chinese in America book, I was feeling much better. So I went out to get groceries for tomorrow's birthday potluck. Yes, happy birthday to me! I am officially 26 years old now as we speak.
Finally, after 26 years, I got to make my own birthday cake. Even though my nose was still running and I was coughing sporadically, I managed to pull the frosting off. It is, are you ready, a double-layered buttermilk chocolate cake with chocolate vanilla cream cheese frosting. I'll post more pictures when I finish decorating it tomorrow and when I cut it at the birthday potluck dinner.

I used the recipe from Good Housekeeping, and for once, I did not change anything, except I added cocoa powder to the frosting, because one can never have too much chocolate!
So the cake batter looked like this on the left; that is, before I dumped it in the pans and before my roommate Emily and I licked the remaining batter.This, is what it looked like after I dumped the batter in the pans and after Emily and I licked the whole thing.
In China we rarely bake cakes. The cakes we buy at bakeries always have this fully frosting that's not as sweet as the American icing. I remember when I was at Towson High in 2003 in my nutrition class the teacher made icing once. She used a whole package of sugar in it, I could still taste the sugar crystals in the icing while I ate the cake. It's waaaay toooo sweet. So, now that I'm making my own cream cheese frosting, I have decided that I would preserve the creamy taste more, just like what I did with the frosting for the green velvet cupcakes.

I've also learned the importance of parchment paper the hard way as I gently detached my cake from the pan. Oops! Well, I hope my dear guests tomorrow won't notice the occasional missing chunks of the cake. I mean, you really can't tell after I fixed it with the frosting. 
I was also trying to think of an easier way to put those almond slices on the side without putting them on one by one using my hands: it's a very delicate and hard task. The fact that I don't have a cake stand just didn't help either.

Are you wondering why I used a spring formed cake pan and a regular cake pan? It just happens to be what I have. Actually, the spring formed pan is from Chris: he didn't even know what it was until I found it in his kitchen! Oh the man needs some serious education!

As I said, baking heals. I wasn't feeling sick at all as I made the cake and I was certainly cruising the grocery store early on. Really, food is such a comfort that I can just dance in the food store. But now that I turned off the kitchen light my head is heavy as lead again, so I must send myself to bed.

Good night, my readers, if you do exist.

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