Mini birthday cake!


Mini-cake cooling

I’m not really a baker. I don’t follow recipes exactly when I cook, I just throw stuff together. But I know baking is a science, and you’re supposed to stick to the recipe to get the right amount of fluffiness, the right balance of flavors. Yeah… I still don’t really. My Dad’s birthday is coming up, and I got in my head that I wanted to make his favorite cake. All I remembered about it was it was a really dense chocolate, with an awesome coffee sauce and it was extremely complicated. But I had Friday off, and thought I could tackle it. But here’s the thing. He’s going through chemo, and his appetite is way down. Even if it wasn’t, the cake has flour in it, and Karen is gluten-free. So making a whole cake for just my Dad seemed kinda silly. The cake called for a spring-form pan, and when looking around online for a good one, I hit on my solution. A mini-cake!! I got a set of 4 small spring-form pans and set about to split the recipe. 3 eggs, huh? Guess I’m splitting it in a third! Now I’ve never actually made this particular cake, never made anything in a spring-form pan and never had to split a complicated cake mixture in a third. Lots of cups split into tablespoon/teaspoon measurements.

iced cake

Beating one egg is kind of funny. I felt like I was making a cake for a dollhouse. Carefully folding in the eggs, grabbing a pinch of this, a pinch of that. I wasn’t sure how high to fill the pan (just used up all the batter) how to adjust the temperature (reduced to 350 for the first 15 minutes, up to 400 for the last 10-15) or how long to cook it (ended up around the recommended 25, perhaps a little longer).  I just kept an eye on it and all seemed to go well. I don’t know if the top was supposed to be rounded, but oh well.  Released it from its spring form, and cut into three layers. Made the chocolate pudding, in a third again. Spread it over the layers. Let it cool. The whole thing fit under an upside down tupperware container. (Score! Perfect for cooling overnight!) Making the coffee sauce was my favorite part. I don’t know if it was the coffee liquor, the espresso powder or the vanilla bean but the whole thing made my house smell AMAZING.

blurry Dad blowing out the candles

And the whole thing? Huge (mini) success! The cake was awesome. The perfect size. Even Chris (who doesn’t really like cake) liked it. Probably because it is more fudge like than cake like. I got a gluten-free brownie for Karen at the farmer’s market so she could celebrate along with us (the coffee sauce helped make that tastier).

Now what else can I make with my awesome new mini-cake pans???