The Writing Cake
People have a number of rituals which help them prepare for the task of writing. I don’t mean to make it sound like a chore, but isn’t it? For full time writers, or even part time like me, sitting down to write is a job. With any jobs, there are things that make it a bit easier – so, music may help people relax and to coax their muse out of her hidey hole. For others, it may be a favorite snack.
Well, in my case, it’s cake. This little habit, which I’ve talked about before, probably makes me the most productive. It’s really a sad state of affairs, right? In order to write, I must create something that will force me to consume thousands of calories (it’s not a good thing for me to be alone with said cake at night. . . alone).
But, a new perspective was brought forth by my son, last night. He said and I quote, “Mom, it’s weird that you have so much freedom in your writing and so little in baking cakes. . .” The boy has a point. For any of you that cook, you know that baking really boils down to a chemical reaction of the blended ingredients to achieve a desired outcome (hopefully, good flavored desserts). It’s not wise to deviate too far outside of the measurements. Sure, you can play around with soups and most any other food, but with baking, you need precision, as I found out the hard way.
While finishing up this Banana Pudding Poke Cake (recipe below), I discovered something about myself, thanks to my son. The emotional rollercoasters in romance writing kind of scare me. My characters are going through, many times, the most difficult challenges of their lives. I see and feel their pain and sorrow. I create it and often times must push away from the laptop to collect myself. This upheaval and turmoil happening in my mind is quieted by what? Trying to make sure that my chocolate doesn’t scorch in the pan, or that the pudding lands in the carefully poked holes of the cake, as opposed to all over the stovetop.
Once I thought about it, and marinated over it, I found that this methodology for my madness is the healthiest thing for me – a moment of stability in the storms that are my character’s lives.
I would suggest that all of us writers find one thing or another to soothe the voices of our minds. If you decide that baking cakes is the thing for you, remember to get that all important gym membership. Especially if you’re prolific, which thankfully, I am not.
Until next time, take care everyone.
Banana Pudding Poke Cake Recipe
•1 box yellow cake mix – I had Better Crocker on hand. Mix the cake mix according to the directions on the box. Cake mix, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 3 eggs. Bake 350 degrees in a 13 x 9 inch pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes.
•2 boxes 3.4 ounces of instant pudding – I used banana flavored instant pudding mix. You could also use vanilla pudding.
•Mix the pudding with 4 cups of milk. Refrigerate for about 5 minutes only.
•8 ounce tub of whipped topping, thawed
•1/2 box of vanilla wafers, crushed
1.Once the cake has cooled 10 minutes, poke holes about 1/2 inch apart all over the cake. Use the back of a wooden spoon. My wooden spoons looked so bad and I was afraid they were not sanitary. I tossed them in the trash last year. I was kicking myself. I really needed a wooded spoon to poke these holes. The holes need to be big enough to allow the pudding to seep down into the cake.
2.After the holes have been poked, add the pudding to the top of the cake. If you refrigerate the pudding too long it will not seep down into the cake.
3.Add the tub of whipped topping to the top of the pudding.
4.Just before serving, add all the crushed Vanilla Wafers to the top of the whipped topping. The Vanilla wafers will stay crunchy if you add them just before serving the cake.
5.Make sure you add sliced bananas on top of each piece of cake when serving it.