Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Favorite Employee Has Left

This woman I speak of is one of the best employees I have ever had, period.  Out of every place I have ever worked she is #1 of the people I have hired and trained.  I am going to miss her like crazy and shake my fists in the air with frustration every time I find myself in a scheduling jam.  But, shit happens and this woman desperately needed a full time job.  Not the crappy 16 hours a week I was able to give her.  See, my company does not allow Guest Services to have full time employees.  Full time employees are due things like insurance, vacation time, all kinds of possible benefits.  My company does not like that.  It's why I am listed as a member of the Marketing staff instead.  It was the only way to get ONE full time member of management for that department.

To let this employee know how much I care and how much I am going to miss her like crazy I did what I always do.  I baked a cake.  A colorful and interesting cake to reflect her very unique personality.  A checkerboard cake.

Start with 2 rounds of different colors.  I went with green and pink.

Then find items you can use to cut the cakes into rings with.  I used a juice glass for the smallest ring and my triffle dish just happened to be the right size for cutting the larger ring.  Try to gently brush away the crumbs still sticking to the edges of the cuts to allow for a less messy assembly in the next step.

Now comes the fun part.  But also the part where you find yourself holding your breath a lot while you carry delicate rings of cake back and forth.  To reassemble the cake use your icing as glue.  Spread the thinnest layer of icing on the cut edges and snug the contrasting color ring into it.  Repeat for the top.

As you can probably tell, my cake layers are not even.  My oven seems to cook my cakes unevenly, even if I rotate the pans while cooking.  I fixed this issue by leveling things out on the top layer.  Just use a long blade knife, like a bread knife, to shave those top layers down to a normal looking cake dome once it is all assembled.  

And you are left with a checkerboard pattern when you slice the cake.  My now ex-employee was very surprised and really liked the cake.  And of course the office was thrilled that there was cake.  Because cake is awesome.


  1. Um...dude. You know they make plastic ring sets you can set down inside your cake pan so you can fill and bake your checkerboard without having do to..all..of that. Right? I hope your former employee understands the depths of your love for her.

  2. Dude, I'm not spending money on something I am only going to use one time. Maybe twice. Besides, it's not like this was hard. It was a lot easier than some of the other things I have made.

  3. I think I have one. I think it came with a cake pan or something I got as a wedding present. I HAVE NEVER USED IT. The only checkerboard cake I've ever "made" was when I was in middle school and needed a cake for a cake walk at a dance. My mom mostly led that project. It was in our school colors.

  4. See! You have one and have never used it! Pointless to buy unless I am going to be making these things every weekend. Which clearly I am far too lazy for.
    I assume this was a NC school you speak of. And that's what moms are for! :)

  5. I'm a :caker: and when my cakes come out of the oven (my oven bakes uneven as well), I put a piece of sprayed plastic wrap over the top, then a heavy cutting board and cool like that. Not only does it make the cake flat it locks in moisture.

  6. Gail - I am totally going to do this the next time I bake a cake. Thanks for the tip!