Wednesday, September 08, 2004

How to Make A Cake

I want to make a birthday cake for someone, and given that I'm not the Goddess of Cakes I e-mailed someone who is and asked her for a recipe that would make the socks turn around on the eaters' feet, but that would also be relatively easy for someone who isn't really at home in the kitchen.

This is the response I got, pretty much:

First, make a four-egg base as usual. Slice it in as many layers as needed. Make enough strong coffee to moisten all the slices. Fill the cake with crushed chocolate, whipped cream and layers of hard fudge. Cover the top with cream and the sides with the fudge. Rum can be added as a flavoring if desired."

It reminds me of those car repair guides which start:"First take out the engine." What is a four-egg base? Do the eggs get peeled first? How do you slice eggs like that, and how do they stay upright? Where's the flour in all this? How do you make fudge? Where do you add rum?

I sent a plea for help and clarification and got back a recipe for a four-egg base (it turns out to contain flour and sugar, too, and something called potato flour...) and a recipe for fudge (a lot of work). But then she tells me to bake the cake as usual. What is usual for cakes might not be usual for goddesses. I assume the cake goes in the oven but for how long and at what temperature?

And how do you slice a cake? I assume horizontally, but where can I find a knife long enough for that? Maybe I could use long wire to do that? Tie one end to the doorknob and saw with the other end?

But I will try this recipe, and if it turns out wonderful I will post a thorough and easy-to-follow set of instructions, too. Unless potato flour must be made by first growing potatoes and so on.