|Sponge cake + cherry jam|
|Sponge cake + cherry jam + pastry cream|
|Sponge cake + cherry jam + pastry cream + sponge cake #2 + pastry cream|
|Sponge cake + cherry jam + pastry cream + sponge cake #2 + pastry cream + whipped cream|
|Carefully place the third thin layer of sponge cake on top of the whipped cream dome|
|Ice the behemoth with whipped cream|
|Wrap the leviathan with green marzipan and top with marzipan rose|
|Cut into it and quietly curse the insane Swedish person who invented this cake.|
|Eat it. It's about two in the morning at this point.|
In the end, the cake turned out beautifully. An elegant, lovely thing, with an airy texture and mild sweetness. It's something I imagine Aurora from Sleeping Beauty would want when she woke up.
Of course, the eater of this cake would never know the violence of its genesis, the way its baker, covered in powdered sugar and hurling an eggy whisk across the kitchen in abject fury, burst into tears mid-assembly and declared, "This is a disaster! An unholy f*cking disaster!"
I love baking because it is a process. The quality of a baked item depends not only on effort but on ingredients and on technique. A baker must have mentors. A baker must practice, prepare, make mistakes, give up, start over. A baker can behave like an engineer, an artist, or both. Baking at the highest level takes time.
Like writing. If an author has done her job, her readers will never taste the late nights, the endless patching and shredding and drafting and cutting. Her readers will never break their teeth on another cliched character or get salmonella poisoning from an undercooked villain.
They will only know the joy of a piece of beautiful cake. Delicious, right?