Frasier Birthday Cake
My aunt's birthday last Saturday was overshadowed by other family festivities, so I made her a belated birthday cake this weekend from a recipe I discovered through The Great British Baking Show. It was a tricky cake to bake and there were a million different ways I could have royally screwed up. Fortunately I made only two major mistakes, which I will describe below.
Royal Screwup #1 - The Custard: Oh, the custard. I read the instructions three times because I feared a loose, runny custard that wouldn't hold up the top layer of cake. Because of this fear, I overcompensated by heating the custard for too long, causing it to seize into a ball of play-doh. Hoping to smooth it out, I whisked until my forearms of steel turned into jello. My aunt was kind and ate her cake anyway with sweet scrambled eggs instead of smooth silky crème pâtissière.
Royal Screwup #2 - 9 Inches is Not 9 Inches: The marzipan on top of the cake is supposed to cover the entire area, πr². Apparently, π doesn't work well with cake (read: lame pun). I baked the cake in a 9-inch pan, and used a different (supposedly) 9-inch pan to measure the marzipan. Theoretically, this should work. However, one baking pan company's definition of 9 inches doesn't necessarily match that of a different baking pan company! Some measure 9 inches from the inner perimeter (i.e., the size of the cake it produces). Others measure 9 inches from the outer perimeter (i.e., the size of the stencil it produces if you trace the outside). Next time I make this cake, I'm whipping out a ruler and compass to measure the exact cake diameter and draw a perfect circle.
Despite the errors, the cake itself was delicious. The lemon syrup was clutch; I'm convinced that every cake I make from now on needs to be painted with this lemon syrup.
'Til next time.