conquering cake

I have a confession to make: I’m not a very good baker. I just like baking.

I came to accept this fact a week or so ago, as I was watching the Great British Bake Off, but it didn’t bring me down. Those bakers weren’t born baking beautiful cakes and fluffy meringues—they practiced. And I can practice, too.

So, starting tomorrow*, I’m launching a project to improve my baking skills, starting with cake. I’ve always found cake to be intimidating, partly because it seems so basic, but I love the way it can transform any event into a celebration.

"A party without cake is just a meeting." - Julia Child

I’m going to start with a basic yellow cake with chocolate frosting, and I’ll track my progress here on this blog, as well as on Instagram. I’m using a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen—or rather, two recipes. Most weeks, I’ll use the scaled down 6″ version of the recipe from their Baking for Two collection, but I’ll also practice the full version of the same recipe from their Cooking School cookbook, which also includes step by step photos and troubleshooting, which I’m very excited about.

Once I’m able to make consistently tasty yellow cake with a good texture, I’ll move on to other types of cakes, as well as decorating. I don’t see myself every becoming a cake artist, but I’d love to become competent enough with a piping bag to write “Happy Birthday” and add a border.

To be honest, I’m so excited by how much there is to learn that I couldn’t fall asleep for two hours the night that I got this idea! I lay in bed obsessing over cake until midnight.

Stay tuned for my adventures in cake!

*I intended to start tonight but instead walked downtown to look at art, buy baking and cat themed socks, and eat ice cream. I have no regrets, and I’ve gone ahead and mixed the dry ingredients so there will be no excused tomorrow!

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