Valentine’s Day means many things. Often, celebrations are marked with a combination of food and flowers. Fancy chocolate packaged in lavish heart boxes adorned with all-too-perfect silk flowers tempt even the non-chocolate lover to indulge.
Edina has some great places to buy special chocolates for the holiday, including Bissenger’s and Fannie May. These candy shops will bustle with harried procrastinators until closing time on February 14. Funny how even the most loving of holidays can sneak up on you at the same time every year.
Baking to Say, ‘I Love You’
Fancy store bought chocolates wrapped in papers and elegant bouquets formed from hothouse flowers are nice but nothing says, “I love you,” like a homemade cake. Not just any cake will do for such an occasion. It should be lovingly decorated in shades of pink and red then placed on display for the world to admire.
It’s time to dust off that old cake stand. Nothing has changed over the years whether the cake stand is out for a birthday, Valentine’s Day or some other celebration. No matter what the season or the reason, when the clear glass cake stand appears, good things happen.
Well, usually good things happen. Home cake baking has its own set of challenges, which perpetuate the demand for a more reliable store bought model. On Valentine’s Day last year, my dog ate my homemade coconut cream cake in its entirety with swift efficiency as it was cooling. A steaming just-out-of-the-oven temperature and lack of frosting were no deterrents for my determined pooch. A window of opportunity presented itself when the cake was left unguarded for a few short minutes. That baking attempt did not even get to the decorating stage.
Homemade Cake Troubles
Somehow, my homemade cakes never seem to turn out like the picture on the recipe. Use caution or a cake can turn out too flat, too dark, too dry or too crumbly. Cakes also want stick to the pan or stick to the wax paper that lines the pan.
Never mind the imperfections of home baking. Piece the remnants together and move on to the frosting. The icing on the cake not only tastes like sugary clouds of heaven but it can hold the whole thing together too. Just pile on the frosting to transform those seams of cake-form mortar into a solid piece of edible dessert art. Without a doubt, frosting makes the best glue.
Dressing Up With a Cake Stand
Whether the cake has a come together easily or as the result of a lot of fuss, there is a certain amount of forgiveness for less than magazine cover quality looks if it is homemade. Baking challenges and disasters aside, there is always hope. Put any cake on top of a fancy cake stand and viola, an event is about to take place.
Yes, a Happy Valentine’s Day in my home is all about cake. Maybe this year the dog will decide to share?