The holiday season has arrived. In my family, it starts in September, with three birthdays. My son was born on the 6th, my oldest grandson on the 12th and my youngest grandson on the 13th. That made this past week a very busy baking week. My son’s favorite dessert is pumpkin pie. I’ve been baking up to a dozen pumpkin pies every Thanksgiving for years, so those were easy-peasy. I baked two for my son’s birthday, so he could share one and pig out on the other one. I think a person should have the option of pigging out on his birthday.
My oldest grandson requested a chocolate cake. I don’t have as much experience with cakes as I do with pies, but there’s a great recipe on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa can, so that was pretty easy, too. I didn’t get a chance to taste it because the boy managed to catch a cold for his birthday. He wasn’t up to a family gathering, so I sent the cake to his house, along with his present – books. I love having a teen-aged grandson who wants books for his birthday.
My youngest grandson just turned one. His mother (my younger daughter) was planning a big party, scheduled for this past Saturday. I’d heard that a professional was going to make the cake, so I was off the hook. Thursday evening, I got a phone call from my daughter, who wanted to know how much notice I would need to make a fancy cake. “A lot!” I said.
“Oh. Then never mind,” she said.
“What?” I said.
Before this conversation was over, I had agreed to make a cake for my grandson’s party. A TARDIS cake. My daughter and her husband are huge fans of Doctor Who. They were given a Doctor Who themed baby shower before my grandson was born. After driving through a nasty thunderstorm on the way to that shower and on the way to the hospital the day he was born and on the way home after he was born, I started calling him Stormageddon (an obscure reference for the faithful). His nursery has TARDIS curtains and his crib has a TARDIS dust ruffle. Of course they wanted a TARDIS cake for the baby’s first birthday. Their original plans fell through, and I was drafted to make it.
Fortunately, I did have some back-up – my older daughter. I was prepared to try the cake myself if I had to, but I was reasonably certain the baby’s aunt would be willing to help. This is a woman who once decorated a cake to look like a human cell for a school project. If she could manage all the parts of a cell, including (but not limited to) nucleus, mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum, I was pretty sure she would rise to the TARDIS challenge.
Happily, I was right. All I had to do was the baking. Whew!
I used the recipe from the back of the Hershey’s can again, doubled so we would have enough for a 9”x 13” pan (the basic TARDIS), a 9”x 9” pan (spare parts), and a dozen wibbly wobbly, timey wimey cupcakes, just to make sure there would be enough cake for everyone at the party. I baked the cakes on Friday and put the flat ones in the refrigerator because all the online sources said a chilled cake is easier to cut. My older daughter, at great personal sacrifice (she is not a morning person), agreed to set an alarm and get up early on Saturday to turn the cakes into a TARDIS in time for the 2:30 party.
It was quite an adventure. My older daughter is going to read this blog and think I left out all the interesting parts, like my frosting fiasco and my trip to the store for more cocoa after my cupcake failure, but the end result of all the drama was a very recognizable TARDIS and a successful party.
Oh, and a small bow tie cake for the birthday boy.
Because bow ties are cool.