I've recently become obsessed with I Am Baker. She is definitely my new hero. Who knew you could decorate the inside of cakes as well as the outside? When I saw her flag cake, I knew I just had to make one for the 4th of July.
I'm not quite ambitious enough to make a 25 layer cake, but 13 layers was still pretty insane considering I'm WAY less experienced and talented than her. But I think it turned out pretty dang cute anyway.
Happy Birthday America! Sorry you couldn't eat your cake, but we all enjoyed it!
I decided to make it at the last minute, and the kitchen was already pretty full...
...but I made due with what I could get.
I recently ordered A Piece of Cake by Susan Gold Purdy, and a few of her other books as well. It's supposed to be second only to The Cake Bible, and I got it for way less (yay Amazon!). You know a cookbook is fancy when you're supposed to read the entire 70 page introduction before trying any of the recipes. I didn't, of course, but I thought I'd at least try being a good baker for once and actually be careful and precise in following the recipe.
As you can probably tell, as I went on I got less and less like a real baker and more and more like my shortcut-taking self. It only got worse.
I realized we didn't have any milk, but thanks to my mom's handy dandy milk conversion chart for powdered milk, we figured out about how much canned milk + water would make the equivalent of normal milk.
I beat my egg whites way too long and too quickly, they turned into rubber, it was the strangest thing. I tried again for the cake, and saved the others for chile rellanos.
I thought I'd be extra cool and have stars in my cake. You'll see later that melty chips DO NOT work for baking. Oops.
I have a long standing feud with red food coloring, but somehow everything I make needs to be red. I think pink, white, and blue are prettier colors anyway. Celebrating back on the first Independence Day when America was still a baby. Ok, I tried, but I give up.
And after all that hard work of being a careful baker (or trying at least), it was so much fun to see the cake grow...
In another mishap of the day, my mini red cake broke in half. But I still managed to get 3 layers out of it, and for the last layer I just used the old crumb-frosting-cake-ball-esque trick that I'm so fond of.
Remember those melty chips? And how I said they were a bad idea?
And finally, after hours of slaving away, isn't it beautiful?
What the other bloggers don't show you: after the whole thing falls apart about 30 seconds after the (almost) perfect picture was taken.
It didn't go completely according to plan, but I still learned a lot. Don't use melting chips for baking. LOTS of vanilla makes a delicious cake. Susan Gold Purdy is amazing. I might actually learn to be a decent baker if only I can get the frosting right. And I had so much fun, that I already started making plans for another cake with a super cool inside.