Tuesday, June 26, 2007

How to Make Friends and Influence People with Cake

In honor of Gillian's birthday last week I stole this recipe from Smitten Kitten. Nothing says Happy 33rd like a felony! Actually, nothing says Happy 33rd like 3 cups of whipped cream. I am very happy to report that this recipe has the most impressive ease of baking to number of oohs and ahhs ratio that I've ever experience in cake form. If you have no desire or ability to bake but somehow have been roped into providing dessert for people whose opinions matter this is the cake for you (if the dessert is for losers who you don't care to impressive might I suggest pudding cups?).

I made only one change to Smitten Kitten's recipe, I needed the cake to be substantially larger than the 7 cookie base that she describes, I accomplished this by surrounding the middle cookie with the halves of two other cookies (sorry for the blurry picture). The wafers were easily halved using a serrated knife though this did bring a certain amount of collateral damage to my kitchen floor where a week later I'm still picking up little black crumbs with my bare feet (brooms are for losers.).

Upon arrival at the office with this cake the gasps of "Oh my god you made that?!?" were almost deafening. I suppose I should have smiled, demurred and taken credit for my awesome baking skills but much as I cannot help replying to "cute shirt!" with "I know! JCrew online sale! FIVE DOLLARS!!!" in this case I could not help revealing that this was the easiest cake ever. The only skill required is the whipping of cream and I had the Kitchen Aide do that for me, from there on out it's just layering. If I make the cake again I'll spread the whipped cream out further to the edges of the cookies. When I assembled the cake having the cookie edges stick out looked great but after the requisite overnight setting period the wafers couldn't stand up to the extra weight of the absorbed whipped cream resulting in droopy cookies. Looking at the picture of the Smitten Kitten version also makes me wonder if I should have whipped the cream a little more but the texture of my cake seems good and I have a primal fear of overwhipping.

Ms. Kitten writes that she had considerable trouble locating the Nabisco chocolate wafer cookies needed to make this cake but I am happy to report that Key Food totally delivered on the cookies -- though it seems likely that they had been waiting around on the shelf since 1963. Cookies don't go bad, right? While in the grocery story I also came across packages of chocolate mint, ginger and lemon wafer cookies and I wonder if the recipe could be made with thee variations -- gingersnap icebox cake sounds pretty awesome.

Spending a good 15mins layering cookies is apt to wear a girl out so post "baking" Amy and I indulged in whipped cream sundaes while watching the last episode of Gilmore Girls. This might seem like the kind of eating that has lead to the obesity epidemic now so rampant in this country but might I direct you to the strawberries at the bottom of the bowl -- that's fruit people, fruit is HEALTHY.


ymmartin said...

I just gained 2 pounds looking at the pictures...and it was worth it! It's amazing that people didn't throw you up on their shoulders and paraded you around the room. Anyone who can make this kind of goody, is a leader among men. Your friends are lucky...now back to my pudding cups...

Deb said...

Great job on this! I actually have a bad habit of OVER-whipping my whipped cream, in hopes to keep it firm longer, I always end up with whipped cream that looks a little chunky and doesn't wish to spread evenly. Not good. Glad you loved the cake, too.

amy said...

I totally should have showed up at your office as I am still secretly bitter about not having had any of that cake.

(and PS. my typing skills are totally a 9)

DG said...

Oh my goodness that cake looks AMAZING!