17 February 2011

strengths and weaknesses

 Cake balls are not my forté.

Lumpy, bumpy, drippy, crumbs showing through the coating.

I am, however, very good at eating them.
 I like chocolate peppermint ones the best, if you're curious.
My friend makes those.
They're yummy and pretty.

But this time, my first time, was with strawberry cake (similar to this one) that Sweetpea requested for Valentine's day because it was pink. She received some small baking pans for Christmas—our attempt at avoiding the Easy Bake Oven—so we whipped up some strawberry cake batter and filled up her little pans. (The cake balls were made with leveling scraps.)

The 4" round pans gave me a chance to try Whisk Kid's layer cake technique. How can she be so young and so brilliant? I'll admit that this was my ulterior motive for making a Valentine cake.

My goal was to end up with a smoothly frosted cake, with straight sides and a flat top. It's far from perfect, but a good first attempt.

Sweetpea also received some dome-shaped cake pans, just the perfect size to make skirts for her tiny dolls. I put on a base coat of frosting, then let her add more and decorate with strawberries. She had such fun. She exercises her creativity daily with crayons and paper, but frosting and strawberry creations are more rare. Her enjoyment made me realize I should hand over the piping bag more often.
It's hard for me to relinquish control in the kitchen (ok, in a lot of areas), especially when it comes to food for presentation, like cakes. Maybe I'll let her decorate her own birthday cake this year. I bet she'd be so proud of herself. :)