Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Haley's First Birthday Cake

Saturday was Haley's first birthday. We had a small family party at our house. I put Haley in a super-cute pink dress.





I made Haley's cake and frosting completely from scratch. I took photos of each step along the way. I was excited!

Then it was time to dig in.

I decided NOT to post the cake recipe. It was not an instant success. The batter was good. The only problem, once I cooked it, it was hard to get it to come out well. I live in "high altitude" Nevada, so baked goods always need adjusting. I had to cook it more than the recipe said. The recipe said bake for 20-24 minutes. OK. I went for 22 to start. It was still pretty liquid in the center. I gave it 4 more minutes. It looked set up, but the toothpick test yielded a wet toothpick. Another 3 minutes later, the edges were brown, pulling away from the pan, and I got a dry toothpick. Lesson learned: shaped pans with uneven depth make cooking a bitch.

I cooled it in the pan a few minutes, then on the rack. I let it sit wrapped up overnight Friday and started decorating early Saturday morning. At 6:30. Let's say, I was in no hurry to mix up the frosting. I made regular and chocolate buttercream frosting. I made some of the vanilla frosting green, the rest was pink. The chocolate was purple. I smoothed the pink over the cake as a crumb coat. I realized I was in for touble when the frosting didn't want to stick to the cake on the sides. Guess I was too liberal with the nonstick spray on the butterfly-shaped pan. I made it work. I piped stars for the purple wing decor and green body decor. I was done by 8:30.

This is what I got. (photos taken with natural light so the colors look different, deeper).



We sang "Happy Birthday" and had Eric help blow out the one candle. (I missed taking pictures of this so I could hold the cake up for Haley. Everyone got pics so I will get some from Dad's camera later.)

Then Haley grabbed for the corner of the cake, I served up pieces to everyone, and we all went "Mm. Cake."

Then it dawned on me, the cake was tasty, but dry.

Oh well. Can't get it right every time. At least it looked good.



And Haley seemed to have fun crumbling up her slice.