Why Cake? Why is it, that everywhere I go, I look for cake. Whether it is a cupcake, a cake pop, a brownie, chocolate cake, vanilla cake, tiramisu, any cake, I will eat it. And why is that? Well, I think it’s because of the natural baker’s instinct coming out that screams for me to eat all and everything sweet. I think that a cake is not only a sweet, butter, decadent, piece of pastry. It is much, much, more than that.
I like to think of cake, like the life I am living right now.
Baking a perfect cake is not easy. It’s pretty much impossible. For every baker that I know, every time they bake something, whether it can be a croissant, or a souffle, something goes unplanned or wrong. It doesn’t have to be in the cake necessarily. The pastry cream can be not as thick as one would like, or not as silky. When a baker originally plans out a recipe, they have no idea what how it is going to turn out. Now, they might have a general idea, a prediction or an ideal picture in their head. But there’s so many factors that go into making a cake that every time, using the same recipe, something can go wrong. Now, I won’t go into specifics on why things go wrong in baking, because that would take a whole 900 paged 10 by 15 book. But however, I will relate on how cake is like life.
A cake is not simply some flour, butter, sugar, and egg thrown into a bowl and put in the oven. It is much more than that. Some people think that life is so easy, and that every day is a bore. Life is not easy. Life is a mystery, a challenge and surprise every day.
The prep work that goes into baking is probably the most important part. Careful measuring and weighing of the materials, getting the highest quality ingredients possible, letting everything sit at room temperature, are just some of the plethora of things that must be done before baking. To me, this is like raising a child. The lectures, morals, and good habits are all drilled in at a very young age. The next step after preparation is, the actual process of mixing and stirring and folding. This varies between pastry to pastry and often at times, it varies from recipe to recipe. It’s all trial and error really. Which, is something we all go through. We experiment every day in our lives. It could either be, “Should I wear shorts today in this 72 degree weather?” or even “Is this a good way to ask out so-and-so?” And with trial and error and experimentation, there is always failure. I feel like we are all living in society that is so un-accepting of mistakes. Which is so difficult, for me, as a teenager to grow up where you can’t make mistakes. One mistake on a test and your grade drops 10 percent. One mistake during the SAT and your chances of getting into your first choice school is lost. But in life, in the end, something good always comes out, no matter how bad the previous situation was. A cake may not always be perfect, or delicious, but it always comes out as cake out of the oven. And what’s better than cake? Heck, all cake tastes good to me.
Life is a piece of cake is much more than a silly little metaphor. First, “a piece of cake” doesn’t mean that life is easy. No, no, definitely no. But, as weird and as elongated as this metaphor is, life is really like a piece of fine vanilla cake with an even crumb and just the right touch of sweetness. Because, it all varies, (some people might think life as a rich, moist, chocolate bundt cake) and, it’s extremely difficult to perfect. But is a savory and dainty cake worth it?