Sunday, April 22

THE BIRTHDAY CAKE CONSPIRACY

It being my boyfriend's birthday tomorrow, I decided to bake him a birthday cake. However, not being the most experienced of cake-bakers (and, OK, being a bit lazy), in a remarkable show of foresight I stopped by my local supermarket last Friday and purchased 1 box of Betty Crocker devil's chocolate cake mix and 1 (very large-looking indeed) tub of her icing.
Past experience has sold me on the Betty Crocker icing - I can never get mine quite as thick and creamy as she does - and so I figured her mix would equally surpass mine. In that I was not disappointed. Carefully following the instructions, I mixed in the eggs, butter and water
(adding tons of bitter chocolate chunks to the mix, cause my boyfriend is a chocoholic) and poured the batter, as per the written instructions, into a TWENTY-SIX centimetre cake tin. The cake came out of the oven, and a sneaky taste off the bottom confirmed that yes, Betty makes a mean chocolate cake.
All well and good. But then came time to spread the icing on the cake. Being (as aforementioned) a bit lazy, rather than make 2 separate cakes for a layer cake I usually just slice a normal cake in half and slip a bit of extra icing in between. Well thank goodness for my laziness! Having used a very average amount of icing as filling , I slapped on the top half of the cake and started spreading the rest around to cover the sides and top. However, it soon became clear that the icing that remained in the tub was barely going to suffice for decent coverage. Intrigued, I looked at the directions and, lo and behold, in plain lettering on the side of the very large-looking tub, it was indicated that the amount of icing held within is only sufficient for a TWENTY-THREE centimetre layer cake.
OK, so this was not actually a huge problem as, for good measure, I was going to cover the icing with a thick sprinkling of chocolate shavings, thus concealing any patchy bits. BUT WHAT IF THIS WERE NOT THE CASE? What if I wanted JUST a nice, thick creamy layer of icing over a 26 centimetre layer cake? And what if I were not so lazy, and had actually made two separate cakes, thus creating a much greater side area to be covered? Well, I'll tell you what if. I would have to buy a SECOND pot of icing - a pot whose contents would largely go unused, thus prompting me to make a second cake, purchasing a THIRD tub of icing, so as not let the contents of the second tub go to waste.
Now, I'm pretty sure this is not simply an oversight on the part of Betty Crocker. After all, she's been in the business of making cakes for a quite some time now, and surely during that period someone has pointed out to her the 3 centimetre discrepancy. No, I am left with no option but to conclude that Betty is a sneaky little b**** who has come up with a clever ploy to make us bake (and eat) more cake than we want to. So given this scenario, when I slip into my little string bikini this summer and see more unsightly bulge than I'd like to, I'll know who to blame. Yes, I'm talking to you, Ms. Betty Crocker.
But now for the icing on the cake - metaphorically speaking this time. As a final touch I wanted to spike the cake with birthday candles. And, since my boyfriend inconveniently refused to stop getting older at the age of 24 (and has now reached a whopping 31) this meant buying 2 packs of candles as the largest pack available only contains 24 (leaving me with a - rather useless since I don't know any 17-year-olds - surplus of candles). But anyway, I sucked it up, bought the two packs, and went to put them on the cake - only to realise that along with each set of 24 candles only TWELVE of those little plastic candle holders-that-stop-the-wax-dripping-all-over-the-cake were included. What the %#*$??? What use to me are 24 candles if I've only got TWELVE candle holders? What am I supposed to do - whittle the ends of the candles down so that two will fit in each holder??? By my calculations, in order to have enough little candle holders to support all 31 candles on my boyfriend's birthday cake, I would have to buy not two but THREE packs of candles, leaving me with a surplus of 5 candle holders and FORTY-ONE (!!!!!) candles!
Now that this birthday cake conspiracy has been exposed, I trust we will all take up arms against Betty Crocker and the other birthday cake paraphernalia manufacturers, demanding that the amounts of things that go together, within a said package or group of packages, make some logical sense.
Otherwise, I'll just have to boycott birthdays altogether.


3 comments:

CaliforniaKat said...

Haha! that's a great story about cake and perseverance. Cake looks yummy too, nice job despite the obstacles. Xronia polla to your boyfriend on the 7th anniversary of his 24th birthday :)

liz said...

WOW! that's looks incredible! i'm sure it tasted even better... and please! you are an AMAZING cook/baker/maker of yummy deliciousnessssssssss!!!!! muah! lylmym...


(oh, and so happy to see you posting so much!!!)

Anonymous said...

i was just searching how to make my boyfriend a great birthday cake and the link to your page was the first one, read ur article-very funny! Laura-Louise (United Kingdom)