A Brilliant Shade of Birthday Red

Today is Chris' birthday.  While our birthdays are little more than a week apart we do try to have two distinct days for one another.  So today was all about him and all he asked for was to have his pal Matt come over to play video games.  Somehow, though, the subject of cake arose and I volunteered to bake it myself.

I have never baked a cake.

Until I got this fancy Kitchenaid mixer I hardly ever baked at all.  It has just never been part of my day to day life.  But as I appreciate handknits, I have developed a deep appreciation for homemade food.  So for some crazy reason I decided that not only was I going to bake the birthday cake, but I was going to make Chris' favorite -- red velvet.

Recently Wendy Johnson wrote a blog post about how she believes the internet is holding knitters back.  She postulated that so many people are nervous about steeking (cutting a knitted fabric to create two parts, like to insert a zipper in a cardigan) because they have encountered so many other people on blogs and message boards who say that they are afraid to steek.  I completely agree with her.  The only way to reach a skill level is to do it.  It is how I've learned to do most things and how I have failed at many.

So with that in mind I woke up at 630 am this morning to get dinner started in the crock pot and to make this.

Oh my goodness but is that pink.  I have a washcloth that I believe is permanently stained.  While I am a firm believer in following all recipes exactly the first time, I did have to improvise with this one a little.  For starters it is written for a layer cake and I wanted a thicker, single layer cake.  Because of this I only baked it for 25 rather than the recommended 35-40 minutes.  I did take a nap (if you can call falling asleep at 8am waiting on a cake a nap) and dream that it did not cook all the way through, but it turned out just fine.  I also cut the icing down to 1/4 because A) I did not need that much because I was not doing layers and B) there was no way I was going back to the store for three more cream cheese cartons.

The result was quite lovely.  I don't even like red velvet cake and I went in for a second piece.

Happy birthday Chris!

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