Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cakes on a Plane

Martha calls it 'a delight.' The New York Times says it's 'a little slice of heaven.' '...a thing of tearful beauty,' sobs Delta Sky magazine. The Website notes it's 'the cake of choice for Charleston brides.'

The Ultimate Coconut Cake has gotten so much ink it has its own 'fact sheet.'

For weeks it was all I heard about. Colleagues Tiffany and Carolyn were going crazy about this cake. It's crack-tasticness, covered in toasted coconut, cream and butter icing and drizzled with simple syrup. The cost, $100 for 12 pounds of round cake. The Peninsula Grill, home of this frothy marvel, will even ship it, they exclaimed.

I don't much care for cake (most of it is crap) and I sincerely hate coconut. There are plenty of idle office conversations I will take a stand-on - ordering Indian for lunch, for example - but coconut cake is not one of them.

Then, the Boss Man decided he had heard enough, he would buy this cake.

'Did you hear? We are getting the cake! We. Are. Getting. The. Cake,' Tiffany and Carolyn squealed.

Eh. I think put my headphones back on.

But the issue became, How would we get the cake? The problem, see, wasn't the $100 price tag for 12 layers of pound cake. Oh no. The problem was the 75 additional dollars to have it overnighted from Charleston. That, my friends, was the issue. It was 'the principle.'

Then, the planets aligned for Tiffany and Carolyn.

A faculty member heard about the desire for this cake. His mother-in-law happened to be coming to visit from Charleston. She could bring the cake, on the plane, as a carry-on, so it wouldn't get smushed. She called TSA, 'Can I bring a cake on a plane?'

The story goes that when she arrived at airport security, an agent had her open the box and quizzically asked, 'You're taking a cake from Charleston to Cincinnati?' And another agent chimed in, 'Is that the Ultimate Coconut Cake?! Oh my god, it's worth it!'

One flight later, the cake was ours. Or rather, theirs.

I was at a meeting in another building the morning it arrived. Carolyn texted me, 'The cake is here! Hid a piece in your cabinet so Mountain won't get it.'

I got back to the office and everyone was talking about the $100, favorite of Charleston brides and Martha Stewart cake. I was on-board for the excitement but was skeptical of the hype. I was convinced it would taste like a Hostess SnoBall, one of those Pepto-pink disgusting wads of awful you buy at the gas station. That is my loathing for coconut. And cake too, really.

But there it was, hidden away in my cabinet. I made jokes. 'What if the first person you see when you take a bite is the person you marry? I feel weird eating Charleston bride wedding cake. What if it's cursed and I end up married?' Carolyn and Tiffany were tired of my games. They forced me to start eating it, waiting to pounce on my leftovers should I not like it.

I took three bites, maybe four... time stopped... the toasted coconut, divine... all 12 layers, perfection... it was like it was made especially... for me. So rich and creamy and yet light as a cloud, I was stuffed. I gave myself a minute to think over my new feelings about coconut and cake, then I put the rest of it back into my cabinet so I could eat more of it later, alone.

And that's how I came to eat the wedding cake of choice for Charleston brides.


Carolyn said...

FYI, this was Tiffany's cake. Like you, I thought coconut was about the cruelest thing you could do to a good cake. Luckily, the Peninsula Grill knows that good coconut doesn't come pre-shredded in a plastic bag.

Tiffany said...

Another clarification, I did not request the cake. I had never heard of it before. I was just the only one that would Google "Ultimate Coconut Cake" when Boss Man mentioned it. Everyone else in the office ignored him like they have been trained to do.