It’s 11 o’clock on a Saturday morning. I’m sitting at the dining room table, looking into my pristinely clean kitchen, that I just spent hours cleaning. Wondering, no pondering, what to make so as to dirty it up again. As thousands upon thousands of recipes are entering my mind, I begin to think “Why isn’t it someone’s birthday? A birthday cake sounds so amazing right now.” Of course I let the idea leave my mind, as no one’s birthday is anywhere near in sight. Suddenly, hope begins to trickle in. “It doesn’t need to be someone’s birthday in order to make a cake Jonathan.” Yes, I talk to myself in first person, but that isn’t the point. Sure, I’ve decided upon smitten kitchen’s Best Birthday Cake, but it’s okay, no one needs to know that I’m not celebrating anything in particular.
I raid the pantry and get all the ingredients ready. Put on my apron, tie it around my waste and turn on the tunes. What fun is cooking without any music? With each passing minute, as I prepare the batter, my patience grows smaller. Finally the cake is in the oven. Five minutes later I’m at the oven door again, turning on the oven light. Why? I have no idea. Fully aware that this isn’t a magic oven, but secretly I hope that in just five minutes the cake will be ready. Of course it isn’t. A big sigh of disappoint, I turn off the oven light, leave the kitchen and find something to distract myself from the heavenly aroma wafting through the house. Ten minutes. Wait. Fifteen minutes. Wait. Twenty-five. Getting Closer. By thirty-five impatience gets the best of me and I stick a toothpick haphazardly in the center. As the toothpick comes out, I curse at the sight of cake remnants on the tiny sliver of wood. Finally, at forty, it is done, and I place the pans on the cooling rack.
As the cake cools I make the executive smart decision to multi-task, and make the frosting. Finally the cakes are cooled, and although I’m anxiously awaiting for this cake to be completed, I still frost and decorate it as if its going to be presented to the Queen herself. I stand back and admire my work of art. A smile takes over my face, I know I’ve done a good job. I place the cake stand at the table, look around and whisper, so no one will hear me, “Does anyone want cake?” Good, no one is home. I make the first slice, and then debate if I want a big piece or a small sliver. Who am I kidding? Of course I want a big slice. I make the second slice and transfer my heaping piece of cake to a plate. Fork, check. Cold glass of milk with ice, check. I devour it slowly, enjoying every last crumb. I thank my grandmother, although never having met her, for passing on her cake decorating skills to me via genetics. I then thank myself for being so smart as to make such a wonderful cake on a random Sunday. “You’re so smart, Jonathan!” (There I go again). But most importantly, and definitely not least, I put down my fork, down my milk in one final gulp, clasp my hands together and thank the amazingly talented Deb from Smitten Kitchen for posting such a life changing recipe. Thanks Deb, for getting me addicted to this cake. I owe you one. If you need me, you know where I’ll be; in my kitchen making the Best Birthday Cake: No birthday required.