Coleen had her birthday party at the Portland City Grill, you know, the restaurant at the top of Big Pink. Awesome views of downtown. Packed with lonely worker droids looking for love in all the wrong places. Our corner of the bar was very aptly manned by Ludwig (I swear, his real name). Makes a good lemon drop. And a good spanish coffee.
There is a lot more to tell about tonight: the birthday girl and her wild, wild past, the guests and how much I love them, the bar and the droids who occupy, the conversations about what happens when you start a life with your sweetheart and how it changes both of you often in unexpected ways, the attempt to leave being thwarted by drunken meanderings to the bathroom (those were the 50-somethings, us 30-somethings were much more sober), and much, much more. However I am cranky and heartsore and am going to fume in bed/go to sleep.
Oh yeah, the fuckin cake. I had a vision for this cake and it worked. When I put it all together and looked at it, I felt really satisfied. And it tasted pretty good, too.
Dec 15, 2005
Jen’s Turtle Cake
2 layers choc fudge cake
filled and topped with gooey caramel and toasted pecans
Like a turtle cake, but better than the one recipe I have. That recipe is BAD. It calls for a cake mix. BAD, BAD, cake recipe.
The choc fudge cake calls for brown sugar, and I got the raddest brown sugar ever: light muscovado. I FREAKIN love the muscovado brown sugar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!
The mishap (there is always a mishap in the jensteele baking experience) came after I took those lovely lovelies out of the oven and let them cool on the rack. They were sooo pretty. Soo black, so nicely risen, so irresistible smelling, so light and moist and pretty. Aaahhhh. Then it was time to turn them out of their pans and let them cool completely to room temp. That’s when I tried to be cool about turning them out of the pans and BOTH cakes split in two. DAMMIT. Normally this wouldn’t be such a problem because I’d be filling and frosting the cake so no one would know the cake split. But I was planning on exposing most of the cake so that everybody could love and appreciate the chocolate fudge cake as I do. And so we could have gooey caramel without it being too, too sweet. So now what? Do I still do it? I still want to.
I’m doing it anyway. Fuck it.
And fuck yeah, that caramel is the fuckingest fucking shit! And so easy to make!
The cake went over well. Someone suggested chopping up the pecans before toasting so that more surface area would get toasty. Someone else preferred a bit of some serious raspberry liqueur over the cake. I thought it might have been a tad on the dry side. But the caramel to cake ratio I thought was good. The ice cream helped—maybe a little crème anglaise next time?