This weekend we had a family birthday, and as usual I made a birthday cake. I love making birthday cakes; partly because, hello, it’s cake, and I get to make lots of different flavours throughout the year; and partly because it’s usually divided among a large enough group that I can’t pig out on it. (Much.)
This time it was confetti cake. The cake turned out fine, and after it cooled I mixed up the ermine frosting and started spreading it on.
Sometimes I wonder whether it’s better to wear my glasses so that I notice oddball details; or not to wear them and be happily oblivious. But for better or worse, I was wearing my glasses, so I noticed the odd little… things making lumps in my frosting.
I hadn’t put any things in it when I mixed it up, so I tasted one and determined that it was a tiny dumpling of over-cooked flour. (Ermine frosting is a velvety-smooth, not-too-sweet frosting that starts with milk and flour cooked together.) And there were lots of those little rubbery bits, ranging in size from a pinhead to a popcorn kernel. Grrr!
I’ve been making birthday cakes for years without a problem, so I have standards. I scraped that batch of frosting off the cake and relegated it to the fridge for non-public use. (Hey, it was still yummy buttery frosting — I wasn’t going to throw it away!)
I mixed up a second batch, only to discover to my chagrin that it had things in it, too. (I blame the flour – it wasn’t my usual brand.) Fortunately the things were smaller, so I slapped the frosting on the cake and served it up, and nobody noticed. Or they were too polite to comment. Either way, I’ll call it a win.
When I confessed the debacle to Hubby later, he laughed. “I’ve seen weirder stuff on a menu,” he said. “If anybody notices, just tell them it’s ‘gourmet’.”
So that’s my new go-to excuse for failed recipes, to be spoken in a tone of utmost snootiness: “It’s gourmet cuisine. I don’t expect you to understand.”
Now, please excuse me while I sneak into the kitchen and help myself to that tub of ‘gourmet frosting’. 😉
What’s your favourite birthday cake and frosting combo?
Big news: The audiobook version of The Spy Is Cast (Book 2) has just been completed! It should be available through Amazon /Audible within a few weeks; and the audiobook for Reach For The Spy (Book 3) is in production now.
Book 15 update: I’m halfway through Chapter 16, and Arnie’s loyalty is being tested…