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It's not me, the cake demands it.

Tomorrow afternoon I have having some time off to bake this cake for a thanksgiving party on Friday.  It comes from a book called Bake It Like You Mean It, which I have yet to christen.

It will be a stars and stripes cake but I won't be changing the colours, only the ganache hearts will be stars.  And if anyone attempts to critique by counting the stripes which are created by up-ending a very fat Swiss roll, I may comment.
WTLIt's the most complex thing I've made and I do like a challenge.  There are 30 eggs on the counter and no Jenga has been played with the nine packs of butter in the fridge.  (Which will of course come out of the fridge well before use).  Indonesian cocoa has been sourced as has Canadian bread flour and all the other ingredients the slightly demanding author has required.

But I have discovered a slight hiccup regarding kitchen equipment.  I will finally have to give in and get a stand mixer.  My little hand held £8.50 electric beaters will not cut the mustard for this cake. Husband has been sensibly looking up consumer reports whilst I have been lusting after a sapphire blue Kitchen Aid with a transparent glass bowl and a long list of accessories (but I can make mince and pasta and and and *insert thirty other things I probably wouldn't make).  My Christmas present has just been solved.  There will also be a trip to Lakeland to get a pair of Jelly Pans (UK translation (17.5"x12.5"x1 Swiss roll tins).

This could get interesting.

Husband will be making Piecaken.

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If it's any help, the consensus this side of the pond is that vintage KitchenAids last for ever, while the modern ones are less reliable. I went to E-Bay and bought a thirty-year-old: not quite as pretty, but it ought to outlast me as it did its previous owner...

Piecaken at least sounds as if it's a pie wrapped round a cake wrapped round an, um, chicken, which I think might be rather Odd. Has your beloved by any chance turned two pages mid-recipe?

Having managed quite well without a stand mixer for ever, I eventually gave in and got one (an ancient Kenwood Chef for exactly the reasons Chaz mentions, plus it was about a third the price of a new one). I find I use it loads, not a white elephant at all. I don't make pasta, but I do mince occasionally. You need to be doing quite a lot of mince before it's quicker, overall, than just chopping finely with a knife.

My Mum has just had to replace her Kenwood after, she thinks, 40 years of weekly cake making. As a bonus the new classic model ones work with the beaters etc. of the old one.

I've just bought a Kenwood Chef, with a blender and food processor, and I am loving it. The KitchenAid ones are beautiful, but I picked the Kenwood because it had a more powerful motor and reviews suggested it copes better with bread dough. Also because my mother had one that lasted for many many years.

Wow. Seriously, wow. As in there should be an Oscars for cakes... And you should go on GBBO. :)

(Assume you mean TG party on Saturday rather than Friday? (She says nervously) Not that you guys wouldn't be very welcome tomorrow, but you deserve a bigger audience for these confectionary marvels than just me and Bdikkat...)

Oops - Yes I mean Saturday - tomorrow night I will be making the buttercream and the ganache and assembling. Let's see how it turns out though.

Phew! And good luck with the final stages - fingers crossed etc... We will look out our best cake plates...

[makes encouraging noises re KitchenAid] I love mine (in graphite). Get at least one extra bowl, as it comes in really useful. I sprung for the glass jug for mine a few years ago, and it's what I use the most. I also have the mincing stuff. Lovely machine.

p.s. I hope you're entering the Great British Bakeoff!

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