Isn't it kinda sad when a five year old can beat you at video games? Especially video games I've been playing since before he was born?
My nephew is practically an expert at Mario Kart on Wii and he can seriously kick my ass at Super Smash Bros. What I want to know is, how? He's five. Aren't kids at that age just learning how to walk and talk? Alright, maybe my perception of child development is a little distorted, but it baffles me.
He always tells me how he's going to kick my butt. Of course he has the trash talking down.
We've come a long way since I gave him a controller and pretended he was playing. That didn't last long with my Gamecube and he was quick to upgrade to a Wii wireless remote. Before I knew what was happening, he was really playing, and really beating me.
It's ok. I have ways of insuring my victory. Maybe throw a blanket over his head in the middle of a race. Pause it and then unpause it when he's not looking. I have my ways. They may not be nice or techncially "correct" but a 21 year old has to survive in this dog eat dog world. Or should I say a 5 year old eat 21 year old world?
Pumpkin Patch Cake
Cake adapted from Martha Stewart
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8x2-inch cake pans with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, with an electric beater or an amazing stirring arm, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time until incorporated. Mix in vanilla.
4. Alternately beat in the flour mixture and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
5. Divide the batter evenly between two pans and bake until cakes are cooked through and pull away from the side, about 32 to 35 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center will let you know if they're done. Let the cakes cool in a pan for 10 minutes before inverting the cakes onto wire racks. If you have trouble getting the cakes loose, run a knife along the edges. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
Buttercream Frosting adapted from Martha Stewart
3 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
8 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1. Beat butter in a large bowl under light and creamy.
2. Add the icing sugar, about 1/2 cup or 1 cup at a time, and beat until just incorporated.
3. Take about 1 cup of the frosting and, in a separate bowl, add green food colouring to it.
4. With the remaining white frosting, add the the cocoa until well blended, making sure there are no lumps.
12 plain Timbits or, as Americans seem to call them, donut holes
1 1/2 cup orange chocolate wafers
12 orange M&M's
1. Slice the two cakes in half, horizontally, dusting off excess crumbs and trimming around the edges to give them a smoother finish.
2. Coat each layer with a generous amount of chocolate frosting, stacking each layer on top of each other after you do so.
3. Once all the layers are assembled, crumb coat the cake which helps prevent crumbs of the cake getting in the frosting and making it all ugly. Once the crumb coat is applied and set for a few minutes, frost that baby real good.
4. Melt the chocolate wafers in a microwave safe bowl and once completely melted, coat the Timbits (donut holes) with the melted chocolate and set on a piece of wax paper. These are going to be your pumpkins!
5. Once the cake is completely iced and the donut holes have cooled and hardened, arrange them, along with the M&M's anywhere on the cake. Once arrange, use a thin piping tip to pipe the green icing for the vines.
This cake is a serious labour of love but so worth it! Feel free to mix up the colours or design. Maybe you could do a pile of apples with red wafers?
Good luck and happy baking!