Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Let them eat cake (but I'll pass)

I don't like cake. There. I said it. Go ahead and judge, I'm used it.

Look, I LOVE desserts. I have a neverending sweet tooth. I believe in eating ice cream year-round. I'm known around the office for almost always having a stash of chocolate. I like to bake, and have been told I'm pretty good at it. But I have never been a fan of cake.

This goes back as far as I can remember. As a kid, my least favorite part of going to a friend's birthday party was the part after singing "Happy Birthday" and blowing up the candles, because then came the cake distribution. My love of sweets was well-known, and I wasn't exactly a skinny kid, so of course every parent assumed I'd want a big chunk of cake....and they were all mistaken. My sense of tact wasn't exactly well-formed at the age of 5 or 6 (or today for that matter) so I'm pretty sure my "polite" decline involved some sort of face of disgust. Didn't matter if it was chocolate or vanilla or caramel cake....I wasn't having it. I'm pretty sure there was a temper tantrum that led to my early departure from a party because of a parent insisting I just try the cake. (I try to block out my memories of acting like a brat.) Now, if the parents were kind enough to have ice cream available, I could easily just pass on the cake and focus on the good stuff, but that was rarely the case.

I have a hard time explaining why I don't like traditional cake other than to say I prefer to consume my calories in a different format. I also don't like whipped cream on top of things, another thing that caused issues when I was a kid - who doesn't like whipped cream on their sundaes? Me. I prefer my calories to come from the hot fudge, thankyouverymuch.

Back to cake. I think a big part of my dislike is that I'm not really a fan of buttercream icing, no matter what it's flavored with. Put some cream cheese frosting on it, and I will give it a go. The thing is, I spent a significant portion of my formative years living outside of the U.S., and cream cheese was not something that was available at the time. Which means I was deprived of the wonders of cheesecake until I was in college. It must be said: cheesecake in its many variations does NOT fall into the dislike column.
(Nutella cheesecake, an original recipe which I have not time-traveled to share with my childhood self.) 

I don't dislike all cake - in addition to the aforementioned cheesecake, I'm a big fan of carrot cake, pineapple upside down cake, fresh apple spice cake....basically, cake with stuff in it. And if that "stuff" is ice cream, I'm all over it. Ice cream cake is the bees knees, and discovering Carvel's masterpieces at the age of 7 permanently changed my birthday party outlook.

I know a lot of people love cupcakes, and there are many TV shows and bakeshops dedicated to them, but they are really not my thing. I think many are very pretty and decorative, but unless it's some sort of "weird" pineapple passionfruit almond cake or peanut butter chocolate chip with cream cheese frosting, I'm not going to be all that tempted to try it.

I firmly believe everyone should be able to have their cake and eat it too, I just ask that my cake come layered with chocolate ice cream instead of chocolate buttercream.

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