Martha + MacGyver = Me!

For Guppy’s birthday, I chose to make an old-fashioned double-layer chocolate cake with fluffy chocolate frosting. I’d not used the recipe before, and it was not easy. Things were further complicated because I was baking with the boys (”Drake! Don’t lick the spoon till AFTER it’s in the oven. Guppy, stop eating the flour! Get your hand out of the egg whites!”), an activity much better suited to simpler recipes that don’t have so much hanging on the finished product.

Only after the layers took forever to bake did I realize I’d used the wrong size cake pans–the recipe called for 9″; I only have 8″. I let the long-baking layers cool overnight, then attempted the frosting in the morning. The recipe called for it to be cooled in an ice bath to 70 degrees F, then whipped to a fluffy consistency. This all went fine until I stopped the mixer. The frosting immediately seized, because the room temp was about 65 degrees, as our 1917 boiler struggles to keep pace with the below-zero outside weather.

What to do? The cold, unyielding mess would tear apart the tender layers if I attempted it. A birthday cake with no frosting? I asked G. Grod to take the boys out of the kitchen so I could think. I then replaced my ice bath with a hot water bath, and asked G. Grod to get me the hair dryer. With a frosting spatula in one hand and the hair dryer in another, I frosted Guppy’s cake, while Drake watched quietly. The cake was saved; we all enjoyed it soon after that.

3 Responses to “Martha + MacGyver = Me!”

  1. Becca Says:

    Now, those are good motherhood creds!

    Or do you just like cake that much?

    I myself need to put together 18 Valentines for H’s pre-school class. No baking here — I bought tiny boxes of Nerds ™ at Target…and shall eat the leftovers.

  2. girldetective Says:

    I must admit that part of my drive to get the cake done was so I could eat the cake. Guppy and Drake loved it, but so did I.

    I’m partway through having convinced Drake to make valentines for his class, but had to stop when I found myself nagging him to practice writing his name. Sheesh.

  3. Ruthie Says:

    That any mother of little ones would tackle a recipe that calls for a bath of some specific degree is beyond me. V. impressed.