Kuchen und Kaffee


Kuchen und Kaffee

Forgive me if I sound grumpy and pessimistic ... it is my birthday. Well it is supposed to be. It sure as shit doesn't feel like it. I, Achso Tochter, rendezvous under said alias and another fictitious date of birth. Sometimes Germany has me so down I will break the fourth wall for therapy sake. Today or tomorrow or somewhere in this universe it is my real birthday but I can't get happy until I have a cake. If I don't have cake and ice cream at some point I may implode. The image is not mine but of a replica of the cake my mother had recently for her birthday. Not a milestone birthday or anything special, my mother doesn't even like cake. However, the family ordered this pictured cake from a land we like to call Wally Whirl better known as Walmart. While I wasn't there I know this cake was as good as an American, discount, big box store, birthday cake can get. See that's just it. Whether you like it or not good old fashioned birthday cake will get you in a celebratory mood. But here in Germany no such cake exists. 

Do not let Kaffee und Kuchen tradition or backen kultur here confuse you. That pastime of old people sitting around eating dry, sugarless cake with tiny forks whilst sipping decaf isn't a party. Nor is the sport of finding what you need to make a decent cake of any kind. This is what takes the joy out of a celebration. The running around looking for things that can easily be found in a pickle elsewhere. Whether it is Wally Whirl or a neighborhood grocer there is always an option for a quickly prepared cake complete with decorations and Happy Birthday written on it in Murica'. If it is far too late for such an option, there is still an aisle dedicated to cake complete with boxed mixes that only require some eggs and water. There is a whole section of edible decorations in a zillion colors. There is also another area entitled "Party" which has everything you need to get things going with or without a cake. There is no fucking coffee involved unless you need it for your morning hangover after a night of binge eating  and drinking. Gone are those days here. Sorry, I cannot go out because I have zero friends and I'm busy anyways trying to make myself my own gott damn birthday cake!

Unfortunately, for me and many others like me you cannot just waltz into some store at the 11th hour and walk out with a cake and all the fixins. You have to plan things out as you do with everything else over here. And please don't be like me - with a milestone birthday on a Sunday just days after lockdown lets up. Every single number candle I need is sold out. There isn't a purple dinge to make myself an adult unicorn cake. I trekked all the way to a cake speciality store which was also out of things I would've liked. Their excuse and oh well ... "that fondant is too sweet anyways". Dammit, why is everyone so anti sugar over here?! Can't I get a cup or two baked into something once a year? Is that okay with you if I want a marshmallow fondant covered, three layer, cheesecake in the middle, ombre buttercream frosted mermaid, galaxy, einhorn dream cake! I settled - Big time. Crappy gel food coloring. Naturally flavored, overpriced, purple frosting from the U.K. which I ordered a month ago! I just sucked it up and got the light pink glitter candles when I would have preferred magenta or hot pink ohne glitter. If I wasn't a baking enthusiast that is always buying every single sugary deko item I see I would have a fucking zitronenrolle for a cake! By the time I got what I needed vs what I wanted I just needed to go home. I did almost 12,000 steps today!  Someone else should be picking up my birthday cake for me. Hell, I could have gone to Primark to find myself something to squeeze into. Maybe I could have gotten my nails done like a normal birthday girl. All of which I would only do for photos because I am not going anywhere. And no one is going to help me eat this fucking cake! Even my own husband is going to complain that it is too purple, too big and too sweet.

To be honest, now that I have sat down after making the icing, cooling the cake etc. I am somewhat proud. I have never caved to the experience of getting a mediocre cake for my birthday. I simply won't allow it in this household. I even lower my standards to make my husband a cake every year that isn't diabetic but I also try to elevate for him to make it special. Even if my cake looks like Sleeping Beauty's cake at least I tried. Most people especially Americans just give up. I mean the idea of finding real cake is similar to finding Mexican food or empathy in this country. It is so far and few, so rare, precious that you just give up. You fight the temptation to try again because you've been disappointed so many times. You cannot muster the energy to DIY what you want due to the lack of resources. The exhaustion of it all knocks you on your ass. You don't want to celebrate. You just want to lay down in your choice to move abroad to a place that hates sugar and joy. You just want to get a gentlemen's torte and try to swallow that dry, mistake of a cake with your shitty milch kaffee. Ugh, those shitty plates, those tiny, lil forks and that itty bitty cup. No color, no excitement and all those alter mensch with their newspapers and käse schnitte falling out of their brotchen. Just sitting there sawing away on that torte thinking about sixers and cupcakes. Better yet Publix cakes or Nothing Bundt cakes! Real ice cream in gallon size containers. No hands! Shots! But no you're at Kamps with your in-laws being dignified. Pech!

I've seen a lot of shit in the dinosaur years and tree trunk rings that I have been on this Earth. I am eating a whole cake by my self surrounded by my Tedi balloons! I will never allow Kamps or in-laws on my damn birthday! Ever!!!!!!

Stay tuned for a Backen 101 post explaining all the things you need to make a cake around here!