Thursday, April 28, 2011

Taste the rainbow.

Two of my friends here at NYUSoM are co-presidents of our GLBTQ organization. At a meeting last week, they were talking about the club's event at our upcoming revisit day, for which they wanted to obtain a rainbow cake, and they were maligning both the uncertain preorder dates and the expense of said cakes. Of course, I piped up and offered my services. They said that they would happily have me do it, and that I could be furnished with ingredients. One of them made the mistake of mentioning boxes of cake mix; yeah, right, buster. Give me some butter and flour and sugar and let me go to town. And that is what they did.

Ladies, gentlemen, and other-gendered folk, I present to you the queerest cake a medical school ever did see: a six-layer rainbow extravaganza with Swiss meringue frosting.

I've got some pride about this one, pun intended. Sure, it was a little lopsided (I was so busy repeating the order of colors in the rainbow to make sure I didn't really screw things up that I neglected to pay adequate attention to placing the layers) and I ran out of frosting (is two recipes' worth really not sufficient??), and I ran out of skewers with which to write in chocolate so I had to use a chopstick and it got really messy, but come on. Rainbow cake! CERTAIN PEOPLE embarrassed me by announcing to the room that I'd made it. And everyone thought it was delicious, which made me happy.

Naturally, because the icing was Swiss meringue, I had some egg yolks to spare post-cake. And I hate throwing useful things away. I really hate it. The first egg yolk-only food I thought of was pudding. So I made salted caramel ginger pudding. Three recipes' worth of it. I had a lot of egg yolks left over, okay?

Progress shots (complete with snarky comments):
Egg yolk flower!

Note how much batter there was.

Red and orange, getting ready to be baked.

The first stage in the meringue process
Swiss meringue buttercream is notoriously finicky. You
have to beat it (beat it!), beat it (beat it!), and since you don't
want to be defeated, beat it some more until it stops looking like
liquidy yogurt and turns into buttercream. But sometimes it doesn't.
I was nervous that would happen, but first time's the charm, apparently.

In the process of stacking...

The decor. The words were messier than I'd intended (well,
really, I'd intended to pipe on icing, but as I said, I ran out).

Two lovely attendees.
Thanks to everyone who enjoyed the cake and helped make it happen! As a side note, because all afternoon long I was tasting icing and nibbling crumbs and so on, for dinner I had half a head of lettuce and a tomato dressed with balsamic. Uninteresting and superficially unappetizing, to be sure, but it was so damned refreshing not to be taking in pure sucrose.

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