Wednesday, December 23, 2009
A Tale of Two Fish Cakes
For Dova's third birthday, she wanted to have a fish-shaped cake that looked like Nemo. Being an over-achieving super-mom, I went and bought a fish cake pan, thinking that I would get years of use out of it. Unfortunately, we got NO responses to her birthday party that year, except for one couple. So with the pressure off, I baked the cake the night before, turned it out and let it cool under some foil over night. I was pretty pleased that it came out of the pan cleanly (meticulously following instructions for buttering and flouring the pan).
The next morning, we found the foil on the floor and a huge chunk of the cake eaten by one of our cats! Yes, this innocent looking cat under the tree. The divot was a good half inch deep. Since I was too cheap to throw away the whole cake, I simply cut the portion that was licked off and frosted over the whole thing (I assume my cat didn't stand on the cake while eating it). Dova wanted a blue and white clown fish, which simply looked weird with the strawberry cake, but who am I to argue with a three-year-old? I didn't mention to the guests that the cake was previously eaten by our cat but we all got a good chuckle out of it (I didn't serve them that portion).
Every year since, I've asked her whether she wanted another fish cake. Absolutely not each time. She had graduated to princess cakes, with homemade pink buttercream frosting. Soon, I was thinking that I had to sell the pan on eBay because I was not getting my $11.99 worth.
This year, she miraculously agreed to have another fish cake. The night before her party, I had to bake the cake as well as make two batches of cookie dough for her "make your own cookies" birthday party. Since there was so much going on in the kitchen which had nothing to do with dinner, we decided to go out to eat as soon as the cake was done. I didn't want to leave the cake in the pan too long, so I turned it out after only 10 minutes. Big mistake. It separated into two and I had to scrape the upper half out of the pan, which came out in about four pieces. I laid the pieces on top of the cake, but it looked like a goner. Pretty sure it was too warm to turn out as opposed to incorrectly oiled (not buttered) and floured. You'd think after all these years of baking cakes, that I wouldn't still have cake disasters.
After dinner and putting the kids to bed, I tried to salvage the cake by frosting it all back together. Softening the frosting with a little milk, I managed to glue it all back together again. I could finally go to sleep. It was a miracle! But it will be extremely unlikely that another fish cake be made in the future. It must be cursed!
Dova wouldn't pose nicely with her cake, so Adam stood in as "handsome Dova".
But she did take her time thinking about her birthday wish.
She thought so long, her friends were falling asleep! But finally she blew out the candles.
In this shot, the flame also looks like a fish! How cool!
Happy 6th Birthday Dova!