Behold the Cake
(with a slight amount of photo editing to remove incriminating names)
From the time I started gathering ingredients on Tuesday night, I had a feeling this cake might be a challenge. I didn't have enough butter in the fridge to make it. I had some in the freezer, but getting butter to thaw in a short amount of time without melting it is not a skill I claim to have. So I could not make the cake that night. I left the butter out overnight and planned for a crazy Birthday morning.
I woke up early-ish and mixed the cake before making the Birthday Scrambled Eggs. When I went to put the cake in the oven, the rack was really close to the bottom, so I had to move it up. It took me a couple tries before I fit it in right. I put the cakes in, put on the timer and got back to making Birthday Eggs. About 10 minutes from being done, Boo wants to see her cakes. I turn on the oven light and gasp.
I had put the oven rack in slanted! The cakes were Very Slanted! I wanted to throw up my hands and scream AAARRRRRGGHHHH! I think I said OHNO OHNO OhNo! and then Very Gently took the cakes out, righted the rack and put the cakes back on (while yelling for various children to Stay Back so they Wouldn't get Burned!) The cakes ended up being Less Slanted than I had feared, but still Very Slanted. I had no time/ingredients to do another batch. This would have to do.
Before I knew the cakes would be slanted, I was still choosing between doing Traditional Buttercream or Swiss Meringue Buttercream for the cake. Because of the slantedness, the Swiss Meringue won because of it's awesome sculpting power, cover-it-up-ed-ness, and not-so-sweetness (because this cake would need a LOT of frosting).
Now I had NO butter, so I had to go spend 10 dollars (!!!!) on 2 pounds of unsalted butter at Safeway (another reason to shop at Trader Joe's for basics!) on the way to picking up the Dude from school.
I whip up the egg whites and sugar over the double boiler, cool it, whip in the butter and start adding the gel color. And add more. And More! It is not doing anything except being tiny little blobs of concentrated color in (still) mostly white frosting. I go to the drip red coloring which does this funny beading up at first, but gets mixed in eventually. I scrap the "red frosting" idea and decide Pink is Good Enough - if I use Red Sparkle Sugar to make the heart red instead.
I trim the cakes a bit so they will fit a bit better together, but the frosting does its magic and fills the gaps and I can pile it on thick to cover up the imperfections.
No one cares about the inches of frosting! No one notices the Very Slantedness of the Actual Cake! We all delight in getting sugar highs from its beautiful deliciousness.