Something strange happens to me around birthdays. It has to do with cakes. And my firm belief that every birthday is better – significantly better – with a cake made just for you.
So when my husband’s birthday came around, I wanted to make something special. First I was going to make an ice cream cake with homemade salted caramel ice cream. But I didn’t have time.
So I decided to go back to his childhood favorite and attempt to make it from scratch. And his childhood favorite was angel food cake. Which everyone knows is best made from a box. Because it calls for 10 – count them, 10! – egg whites. And a lot of whisking. And is prone to not rising properly. And being finicky in other ways. And generally risking disappointment on the big day.
Not all cakes are planned. Well, at least, not in advance. Yesterday as I was leaving school a colleague mentioned it was another colleague’s birthday today. And since we have a joint meeting every Wednesday, she was going to bring a cake. So I immediately said: I’ll bring a cake!
But which cake?
As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, my carrot cake is often requested. Sometimes it feels to me as if it’s requested too often, given all the other recipes I want to try. But it’s requested so frequently for a good reason: it tastes good.
I had my first scone about 4 years ago and was not impressed. Since then, I’ve started baking them and you could maybe call me obsessed. Like, anytime someone has a brunch I’m invited to I offer to bring scones. Like, I read various recipes and scoff at their inclusion of ingredients such as evaporated milk or techniques like ‘blend.’
And then I realized I faced a terrible quandary: I have too many scone recipes with conflicting ingredients, proportions, instructions. When I make a batch of scones, they taste good. Then I make a different recipe and they taste good. But which one’s better?