Mark is another year older


I bought some lottery tickets as a birthday present for myself.It was a pleasant fantasy, but I didnít win.So it looks like we are in Kansas for a little longer.


My birthday was on a Monday.My coworkers have brought in cakes to share on their birthdays.I decided to maintain the tradition.I discussed the situation with Wink and remembered a checker board cake we made some time ago. So I said I wanted to bring a checker board cake into work.When we made it in the past we used two cake mixes and a form to produce the desired effect.Unfortunately, the forms did not survive the move to Kansas.


Wink found a recipe in the Fannie Farmer cookbook. To be honest, I canít remember the last time I ever made a cake from scratch.I am not sure I was ever involved in that.This was a major enterprise.It took both of us working to git er done.The enterprise didnít start too well.We needed to go to the store to get supplies.The store is only two miles away.We were rear ended when we were stopped at a light.A lady with a car full of screaming girls hit the car behind us and pushed him into us.We pulled off the road and spent an hour with the local police filing a police report.There appeared to be no damage to our car and except for a stiff neck, Wink and I were both fine.Our trailer hitch cut a hole in his bumper.I guess we should get the hitch looked at.It would be awkward if we pull a trailer and it separates from the vehicle.


So we got home later than we planned and started baking the cake.The recipe called for six egg whites beaten until they were stiff, but still moist.The test was that the bowl could be tipped without disturbing the egg whites.I got to do that while Wink sifted the dry ingredients.After the eggs were beaten, we mixed the batter.It used six tablespoons of butter and a small amount of boiled milk.Then the egg whites were folded in.This made a really stiff batter.We split the batter and folded coca powder into half of it.Then the batter was spooned in concentric circles in three eight inch cake pans.The pans were greased and had greased wax paper in the bottom.We did two pans with white-dark-white and one pan of dark-white-dark.Then the layers were baked.


Top and Bottom Layers††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††Center Layer


The next step was to make the frosting.We made a chocolate butter cream frosting.This involved melting some unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler.More butter and sugar were folded into the frosting with the melted chocolate.We used and reused almost all of our measuring utensils during this effort.The kitchen was a disaster by the end of the night.We used the frosting sparingly in the inner layers.There was plenty left to frost the outside.Here is Wink doing the honors.


Bday Cake for Mark


To finish the cake, we took some truffles and cut them in half.The truffles were then arranged on the cake.


Markís Bday Cake


I managed to get the cake to work without incident.It was a big hit at work.Wink was elected pastry chef for the group.I managed to save a piece of cake for Wink.Here was how the checker board from scratch cake turned out:




The day was not done.When I got home from work, I spent forty five minutes on one of our big purchases this year.It was a horribitable.We have an exercise bike as well.So Wink and I trade off and get some aerobic exercise when I get home from work four times a week.It makes it easier when we can do it together.



After I worked up an appetite and got cleaned up, it was time for a birthday feast.Wink selected a nice bottle of red wine.We baked some potatoes, steamed asparagus and grilled filet mignon.We started with a salad of mixed greens, pine nuts, crumbled bleu cheese finished with a vinaigrette.After the main course, it was time for birthday cake.I asked for an ice cream cake.Wink got a cake with two layers of ice cream on a cake bed.The bottom layer was vanilla with Heath crunchies and the top layer was strawberry ice cream with strawberries folded in.The cake was drizzled with chocolate and caramel and finished with whipped cream.Then I had to blow out the candles.





It was a very pleasant day.


We made another large purchase.It will be the topic of an upcoming blog.


All for now.