Now, I saw this recipe in a cookbook at the library and jotted it down. (Those last three words are important. I have notoriously bad handwriting. And am lazy. And take lots of shortcuts telling myself I'll remember what language I was writing in later, "for sure"!)
It was for a green grasshopper cake. Not the bug, the flavor. It looks sort of like this.
But with chocolate inside, so maybe sort of like this. But also a bit like this...
(pictures removed so we don't get sued for copyright!)
You get the gist. I had some ingredients and some VAGUE idea of the order and an even vaguer idea of what it was going to look like, except that is was going to be stunning. And everyone would ooh over it and think I should take up professional cake decorating. All my friends would want one for their birthdays, I just knew it!
The recipe called for heavy cream. That should have been my first hint of impending disaster. Heavy cream and lemon juice mixed together in a bowl?? Probably wrote something down wrong but I told myself it would be FINE.
(Side note: the worst thing my husband has ever called me is 'stubborn woman'. Not too bad, eh? But in his conservative culture, being a stubborn woman ranks right down there with psychopathic axe murderer. Now, I've been raised to embrace that stubborn streak. It's got me where I am today! Which is... making this cake.)Now, I added and mixed and melted chocolate and turned around three times with my arms in the air. It came out of the oven looking like this. SUCCESS!! Of course I celebrated because I KNEW this would be beautiful.
And my first clue was this sad little layer. But hey, it's on the bottom. No one will notice.
Um, you know, a little of that pretty green frosting with peppprmint extract and we still have a chance. I KNOW IT WILL BE AMAZING! So, I mix the frosting with (I think it said this, pretty sure... sort of) more heavy cream, cup of real butter, powdered sugar.Um. Um, um, um. I'm sweating now. Where is the pretty cake?? Don't panic. THINK. Kids are in the next room, excited to see the work of art. Husband is... I think he gave up and went outside somwhere around the time I couldn't read the instructions, about an hour and a half ago.
So, I have these leftover pieces of the cake when it fell apart. Maybe this? Maybe not. Looks like a gangrenous zombie bear gone bad.
Okay, zombies, scary... Hey, it's close to Hallowe'en! We usually straddle the line somewhere between All Saint's Day (dress as your favorite martyr, the bloodier the better) and avoid those crazy costumes that scare small children. We always have candy for the trick or treaters, carve pumpkins, celebrate the fun holiday, and go to church the next day. So, hey, I'm all over a Hallowe'en cake... in September.
Um, after some hair and eyes and blue pimples...
He needed a mouth! A scary red mouth...Now, this is why everyone should be surrounded by young children at least once a day. Because whatever you do is AWESOME. He thinks this is wayyyyy better than that other green one with the chocolate shavings. This one has a MOUTH.
Don't know what I'll do when they're teenagers and can't be distracted by candy eyeballs.
My oldest daughter looked at it and said, "Hey this reminds me of that poem with the mouse. You know, the one who loses his nest?"
Ohhhhh, right. Here's the famous part that Steinbeck made more famous.
"But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!"
If he were here, I'd offer Mr. Burns a bit of this cake. I think he might appreciate the tragedy of it all. He could have a slice with some hair AND some eyeballs. Because we disappointed types have to stick together.
So, go ahead and vote for the one you'd want to see on your table. (Sorry, Mindy, I already know what they're going to say. Who'd want to see that sky-high tower of chocolatey goodness when they could have a cake with HAIR??)