So let's get this straight. That's 4 boxes cake mix, 12 eggs, 4.25 cups of water, 1 1/3 cups of vegetable oil, and 2 big handfuls of Crisco, for greasing. Yes, I said Crisco. After you worked with that much batter (I actually experienced a hand cramp), you want to make darn sure that it comes out easily.
I had one hour after work to get started, so I quickly mixed the vanilla, then realized it made two rounds, not one as I originally thought, so I rushed to grab a pie plate (hey, it'll double as a flared skirt) to use as the second cake pan. Dump, dump, stir, Crisco, bake.
While the white cakes baked for 22 minutes, I raced to get the cupcakes in the oven when the timer hit 18 so they'd both be on the same timetable. Dump, dump, stir, cupcake sleeve, bake and we were seriously cooking. Made me realize that I shouldn't complain about making regular cakes. Look at what I got made in an hour!
So from there I went to cheer on B at his law softball qualifier, then again after they won at the championship, clearly determined not to let this cake thing dictate my schedule. The first game took the full hour (the time limit), and they started playing The Legends. I'm not sure what The Legends are Legends of, but we were winning 24-0 in the second inning.
"Excellent!" I thought, already visualizing the strawberry mass awaiting me at home. "This game'll be over in no time. Thank you mercy rule!" Usually, if a team is winning by 10 after the third inning, the ump calls it. Apparently, that is not the case in championship games. Lucky me. It was a lot of fun though, and I'm super glad I stayed to watch B's homeruns (yes, "s") and his killer throw to third. Then, after the game was over, I bolted back to my kitchen.
I'd heard that baking the dome part is easy. Bake two boxes of the mix at a lower temperature so it gets done all the way through for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. I started at 9pm. The night goes as follows:
9:20 Hmm.. looks like that strawberry stuff might spill over. Like the marshmallow man from Ghost Busters.
9:40 &*$^ that stuff IS going to spill over! Add cookie sheet under bowl.
10:00 Learn oven is not level, as pink fluff only spills over one side, meaning I have to come bail out the pile of fluff every 15 minutes or it'll spill over the rim of the cookie sheet
10:20 Done? Ha. Not even close. Very sloshy. The only part that was browning has now spilled over the side onto the cookie sheet. Excellent.
11:00 I hate the smell of strawberries
11:20 Screw this. Up temperature to 300.
11:30 Edges are browning too quickly. Add foil rim to pan.
11:45 Get in shower. Ready to give up, and swear off strawberries forever.
12:00 What?? Solid cake? Thank you God!
So I waited five minutes, then dumped it out. Low and behold, a dome cake. Tonight begins the stacking and icing segments of the competition. I decided to use Swiss buttercream, which I've never tried before. I think I have a penchant for suffering...