Craig’s birthday was on Saturday. We got together with his family for lunch and cake. For birthdays, I usually ask family and friends what their favorite flavor of cake is, and then do a riff on that for them. When I asked Craig, he asked me what I would like to make. And I panicked a little. You see, I do better creatively if I have a few guidelines to follow. Having free reign over a cake decision felt so foreign to me. I had to consult one of my spreadsheets. Yes, I have a spreadsheet with cake flavor ideas. I settled on a tiramisu cake. That is, white cake layers, soaked with espresso and brandy, and layered with a mascarpone cream mixture, then topped with chocolate. It was tasty. But when I transferred it from the cake carrier to a cake plate for serving, it ripped.
The second disaster was the Jupiter cake that I tried to make. Craig found this Jupiter cake that someone with great cake decorating skills had made, and asked me for a Jupiter cake (after I had already made all of the components of his tiramisu cake. We shared a laugh, and went about our days. A couple hours later, I got a text from a friend, which resulted in him throwing Craig a party (Craig won’t let me throw him parties, he doesn’t like to be the center of attention), and me needing to make another cake. Feeling overly ambitious, I decided that it would be hilarious to make him a Jupiter cake. So I got one of those sphere cake pans, and got down to it. On Saturday morning, I woke up with extreme pain in my neck, and I just didn’t have it in me to fuss with the cake too much. So to go between the chocolate stout cake, I made a chocolate orange mousse, and then made an orange flavored mousseline buttercream. It got tinted various shades of browny-orange and applied to the cake. I’m pretty sure it’s just because our house was so cold, but the buttercream wasn’t as smooth and sticky as it normally is, and that resulted in not getting very even coverage. Also, the bottom kind of flattened a little. Craig and I had some laughs about it, and the Jupiter cake became the butt of jokes for the rest of the afternoon.