I'm still working one day a week at the local megamarket. In the bakery, we have a an Italian Cream Cake that sells fairly well. What makes me cringe, however, is what I have to tell people when they ask me if it's any good.
"Oh, I don't like Italian Cream Cake, so I wouldn't know."
What bullshit. I love a good Italian Cream Cake, although it's difficult to find one that's not dry and tasteless… like the one we sell at the megamart. Since I can't come out and actually say that ours is a nasty pile of shit with a greasy shortening based icing, I have to weasel my way out of answering the question by using the line above.
Luckily, my boss at the cafe has a recipe that she's known for, and she was kind enough to give it to me (besides the fact that I have to use it to make our Valentine's Day cakes–she also gave me permission to use it personally and professionally). It's wonderful, moist, flavorful, and not too heavy. I admit I made a few small changes to it to reflect my tastes, but it's a huge hit with my family and friends.
For her birthday last week, my Mom requested the cake below. I was only planning on doing a top border and a single rose, but then for some reason I went nuts and added a side ribbon, more roses, and a bunch of rosebuds. Because it's top-heavy, it kinda looks like a squished down mushroom. Mom loves the fruffy stuff, so it was fine.
Ok, that sounded a little arrogant, but that's the best description of how I feel. For most of my life I coasted along the road of adequacy, but for some reason the culinary world has brought out a new competetive side of me. Maybe it's just early menopause….