I like the company that employs me. (For their sake, I won’t mention the name. Stock value being dragged down and such.) I like the people with whom I work. We sit in the lunch/conference room together a lot and talk alternately about Battlestar Galactica and coding (when dev controls the conversation), and nail polish and hot men . I work with a bunch of weirdos, but I spend all of my weekdays with them and they actually keep me happy during the majority of my waking hours (thanks for nothing, family, friends, and boyfriends).
I like my company enough to make a branded 5-layer cake for a fellow employee’s birthday. That is 5 hours of prime Sunday night time that I devoted to adding food coloring drop-by-drop until the oranges were just so. It feels WEIRD to like my company this much. It feels wrong. I’m a lifetime job hater. I had big dreams of playing the 1-to-2 year game at every employment, looking deep into their eyes during the interview process and saying, well I’m getting older and I’d really like to settle down at one place and make a career for myself, you know? And be lying! Lying through my teeth because I’m a free spirit and no company can hold me! Maybe I’ll move to Europe! I don’t have a mortgage! The world is my oyster!
But oysters are slimy and stinky. As much as I love to eat them (because I love gross things), I don’t want to live on one. So, I found this little niche of the universe where I feel like I belong, and I’m clinging to it like a hand-mixer duct-taped to a mixing bowl (I miss my Kitchenaid). And I know it won’t last. Nothing good ever does, everyone is the worst ever, and change is a harsh mistress. Every skeptic and bitter almost-30-something year old knows these phrases by heart.
But for right now, in this moment, I don’t hate my job.
Now, I know what I’ve just done. I do this a lot, because I am stubborn. I say something like, I really like _____. And then ______ goes away. Like I got to a new restaurant and am really happy with it and I wait a while and then express my love for it and walk by and it’s closed. The other week at work I said I was bored and 2 hours later I got slammed with work and remained deluged for about 2 weeks. EVERY SINGLE TIME I say “things are going well” with a guy, he immediately dumps me with no reason (except for that one guy who was super honest and was like “I just don’t want to marry you” and I was like, whoa, that is honest, but also, damn! can’t a girl just bone a guy for a while without him thinking about marriage??). But I keep doing it. Maybe I secretly want to sabotage my job and move to New York and start over like those sassy Girls characters. Or maybe I am hoping one day the universe will lob me a softball.
from The Whisk Kid
2 sticks (226 g) butter, room temp
2 1/3 c (466 g) sugar
5 egg whites, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 c (375 g) flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 1/2 c (355 g) milk, warmed for 30 sec in microwave to bring to room temp
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple GEL food coloring. Liquid will not be vibrant enough!
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Oil and line how ever many 9” cake pans you have (I have three and I just reused them).
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Cream the sugar and butter, then add the egg whites (I cracked them all into one bowl) and add them a little at a time. Add the vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Then, alternating between wet and dry, add the milk and flour mixture in two parts.
Divide the batter amongst 6 bowls (I did it by weight. Weigh your mixing bowl before you begin adding ingredients and then subtract the weight of the bowl from the final measurement after the batter is completed. Divide that number by six and add that weight of batter to each bowl), and then whisk a fair amount of the appropriate food color into each bowl. Keep in mind that the color of the unbaked batter will be the color of the baked batter. Pour into the pans and bake for 15 minutes each.
When you remove them from the oven, let them rest on the cooling rack, in the pan, for ten minutes. Then flip, cover, and stash them in the fridge to cool quickly.
Lemony Swiss Meringue Buttercream
To fill and crumb coat:
9 egg whites
1 ¾ c (350 g) sugar
4 sticks (532 g) of butter, room temp
2 tsp lemon extract
5 egg whites
1 c (200 g) sugar
2 sticks (226 g) butter, room temp
1 tsp lemon extract
Cook the egg whites and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved (test by rubbing some between your fingers. If it’s completely smooth, it’s done). Pour into another bowl (a stand mixer is preferable) and whip on high speed until room temp. Then, on a medium-slow speed, add the butter, waiting until each piece is completely incorporated before adding the next. After all the butter has been added, turn the mixer back to high speed and whip until it has come together, about five minutes. Add the extract, beat briefly and then use.
If the buttercream seems soupy after all of the butter is added and does not come together after whipping, refrigerate for 5 to 7 minutes and continue whipping until it becomes fluffy and workable.
Stack the layers in your preferred order and fill and frost as you would any other cake.
Once frosted, the cake can be left on the counter without any problems, but feel free to refrigerate it. Just be sure that the cake is at room temperature when serving or the frosting will be hard, not smooth.