I made this GORGE pretty in pink cake for my food blogger pal Samantha of My Kitchen Love. Before I tell you more, may I bore you with some life inner monologue?
My “cake career” has had so many ups and downs, and has morphed and changed with the tides over the course of a decade plus. In 2008 it started out as a document of the trials and tribulations of learning how to bake, a newness and excitement to the medium. Then, I started making a few cakes for friends, then clients… documenting it all on my blog. Some of those cakes were pretty cute, which brought more and more traffic to my blog, and then… knock knock on the blog door… outside interest – the lure of paid posts, money?? For making and creating what I loved doing anyway? NOICE… So turning the cake baking and photography and styling into jobs via sponsored work and creating recipes for different brands… chugging away at that for a while (well, you know, amongst prenatal depression and breast cancer treatment)… and then it hit me: INTERNET EXHAUSTION. Seeing sponsored work creep into every crevice, and watching it encroach every orifice of Instagram. Feeling angry and complicit in the capitalist-machine of making work for brands and feeling like a sell-out, loathing the ugly side of the internet… INTERNET DEPRESSION … and trying to find my place of happiness again amongst the madness. Would I quit the internet, finally? What would I do next?? What would my next “career” be, having invested so much time and energy into CAKES for over ten years?
So… after being SO SURE I would never make cakes for people again… I’m finding a soft and gentle comfort in… making cakes for people again. I’ve come full circle back to the tiny cake biz but this time – “JUST CHILLIN'” is my motto. “ZEN CUPCAKE” is my meditation. Making cakes for birthdays … there’s an innocence to it, or a purity somehow – I imagine the sweet little face of the birthday girl or boy as their cake is set before them, glittering candles and Happy Birthday… and that JOY – ahhhhh. And, through finding the gentle joy in baking for the art and enjoyment of it again, I’m feeling re-inspired…
Back to this pretty in pink cake. I made it for Amanda, Sam’s sister-in-law, to celebrate her 40th birthday! I loved every moment of making it, from drawing it out first, to borrowing Teddy’s felts to colour it in, to mixing the batter. The cakes baking in the oven, and that encompassing warmth and comforting smell fills the kitchen. Then, whipping a sticky cloud of meringue for a creamy pink vanilla buttercream, slowly adding pieces of unsalted butter as it whirls around into a creamy thickening soup – and that MAGIC MOMENT when the thick soup beats up into the most dreamy of frostings, the taste of melty vanilla ice cream on a summer day, all ready to be spread and piped onto soft layers of vanilla cake.
I loved building this beauty! Pink and white stripes, ruffles and drop stars and fresh raspberries, filled with Bonne Maman raspberry jam (my fave)! and sprinkled with Sweetapolita sprinkles! White chocolate ganache drips, too.
Although making this lovely cake helped me personally to come back to the world of the living (THE INTERNET)… and to rediscover creating something that I was proud of and excited about – this cake met a very very very sad end. The next day, Sam messaged me saying the waitperson at the restaurant they were eating at DROPPED THE CAKE. Dropped it on the very face of it’s anal-retentively-piped, fretted-over surface!!!!! Not one person got to eat even an iota of cake. The pain, the agony, the INNER TURMOIL!!!!! My immediate reaction was to offer to make another one for the poor birthday girl… but Sam messaged me saying her two lil twin girls were going to bake the make-up cake. Which, is so sweet and special.
So, here lies Pretty In Pink cake – a special cake that helped along one person’s mental health (MINE), made another person’s night hell (WAITRESS) and propelled two sweet little twin girls to make probably the BESTEST cake ever for their awesome Auntie. Rest In Peace, cakey… and Happy Birthday Amanda! xo Lyndsay