Despite fart jokes to the contrary my handsome male friend turned one year older this weekend. Even though he's already 25 here in Korea we decided to celebrate his 24th anyway, for old time's sake. Back in the old country I would have baked a cake, I always do, it's usually good. Here in the new country, however, there are no ovens. Things here are efficient; you don't bake cakes, you buy them. You don't putz around on your jet pack, you travel quickly, in straight lines, to and from work. I won't let Asian ingenuity stand in my way though, where there's a cake will there's a cake way, but it was no cake walk.
First problem: I can't read English anymore.
Okay, birthday muffin it is, moving on.
I read some things about how to improve a box cake mix and although I don't think they helped, I'll share them with you anyway.
1. Don't use oil. Melt your butter (or at least margarine) to the appropriate amount. In my case this was eyeballed becuase I still don't have measuring devices.
2. Seperate your eggs, beat the whites stiff (they had it coming) and reserve to be folded in gently at the end.
3. To improve the flavour add the juice and zest of a lemon or a teaspoon of vanilla if you're lucky enough to live in a country that values such things. I'm not. Please send me some.
4. After pouring the batter into the pan pick it up several inches and drop it to ensure it settles out evenly. Then take a knife and draw a pinwheel from the centre to the outide edges. This takes care of that common centre bump. I might try it on my lower abs.
Unfortunately what I ended up with resembled neither cake nor muffin batter, but looked more like cookie dough so I added milk until it loosened up a bit. After 7 minutes in the microwave, checking somewhere between often and obsessively I wound up with this:
Broken cake, awesome. Partially raw in the middle, moving on.
Korea doesn't have cream, but they do have cool whip. Except Korean cool whip comes in liquid form and you have to whip it yourself. All the work, none of the reward, seems fitting. They also don't have food colouring but I put my alcoholic instincts to work and used some raspberry liqour to colour the whip. It worked brilliantly and made it taste better too, less petroleum by-producty. In the end I wound up with this:
I can't say it, but I can sure think it.
I sliced some strawberries and fanned them out to class things up a bit.
All tops, no bottoms = more Kyle than you probably wanted to see.
Happy birthday muffin! And you too, guy I see occasionally.
Maybe you should have bought Kyle a pair of pants for his birthday.
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