Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I'm Branching Out, Alright...

Being that my life is such a whirlwind of thrills, chills and excitement, I'd completely forgotten that I'd ordered the Silky Wool to do the Branching Out scarf from knitty. Yesterday, the little package of wool came, and it took me a minute or two for it to come to me as to what the hell I'd ordered it for. But once I remembered I was very excited and wanted to cast on right away and try at least one repeat.

However, yesterday was my boyfriend's birthday, and I'd decided I was going to make him the very best cake he'd ever had. I'd been poring over Rose Levy Berenbaum's Cake Bible for a month, planning this cake. I wanted to make something totally sinful and amazingly complicated, but he insisted all he really wanted was a chocolate cake with mocha frosting. So, with my grand plans somewhat daunted, I figured that fine, he'll get his boring chocolate cake with mocha frosting, but at least it'll be Rose's Perfect All American Chocolate Buttercake, and I'd make Neoclassical Buttercream in Mocha for the frosting.

Oh, the ingredients I had to find for this thing...cake flour, dutch process cocoa, 1.5 lbs of butter (yes, you read that right), Scharffen berger bittersweet chocolate, almost a dozen eggs... I spent $38 bucks at the fancy grocery store and the only stuff I bought besides cake ingredients were 3 lemons and 3 tiny cans of cat food.

So I get home from the store, measure out everything into bowls, melt the chocolate, yada yada, try to will these ingredients into becoming room temperature faster, etc. etc. etc. The components finally get warm enough to use and I fire up the Kitchenaid and make the cake. My kitchen was a total and utter disaster area, and my stress level was increasing moment by moment, knowing time was running out and I still had to clean up this huge nightmare before I could even think about cooking dinner, too. Little did I know then that I accidentally put the butter I'd measured out for the frosting into the cake. I didn't realize that I'd used TWICE as much butter as I was supposed to in the cake until I was making the frosting and it was still really thin after adding the butter--- 2 minutes before the cake was due to come out of the oven.

Oh my god.

So I had 2 weirdly dry, yet somehow greasy at the same time, half inch high cake layers. I managed to get the buttercream right (thank god I hadn't put the other half pound of butter back in the fridge and it was soft enough to use), and put the cake together anyway, but boy oh boy was I stressed. And to make matters worse, I realized that I had to go back to the store to get one ingredient I needed for the dinner I'd planned to cook.

Thankfully my boyfriend thought the story was hilarious since I rarely make mistakes of such magnitude and his birthday was not ruined, after all. He even tried to choke down a piece of the nastyass cake.

Anyway...I did eventually cast on for Branching Out, but not until about 10 last night. I like the Silky Wool. It's not at all splitty, and it's pretty soft, too. It does have these weird little pieces of straw in it that I have to keep picking out, but it's not that big of a deal.


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