For the surprise one in honor of our CEO's birthday, I thought I was SO clever to find a recipe that would pay homage to his California background. I found this recipe for an Earthquake Cake in my new-to-me Cake Mix Doctor cookbook (thank you public library sale for $2) and said to myself -- voila! Perfection.
You would think. Wouldn't you?
My first clue should have been that all of the overhead lights in my kitchen chose that weekend to burn out. Both of the large, overhead, florescent circular tubes ... BOTH. Two tubes that are so "vintage" that you have to go to a specialty store to find them. NOT your local CVS or 7Eleven.
LUCKILY, my emergency preparedness kit had a lantern in it for ... emergencies. Earthquakes = emergencies. Baking Earthquake Cakes in the dark = emergencies, right?
Even though the recipe did have directions to adapt it into cupcakes, let's just say ... My Earthquake Cake should have been called Volcano Cupcakes or Tsunami Sticky Cups, because ... oy ... my oven. Those sticky suckers needed some serious time to cool and even then I couldn't get them out of the tray. I think I am still chipping off gooey coconut from the bottom of the stove.
I took the extra batter and poured it into a regular rectangular pan for the remainder of the bake. That was somewhat better.
Luckily, my contribution to this party was just a few treats and my space. The CEO's assistant came in and decorated it into a beach party extravaganza. I got to "enjoy" the ambiance for a while - and not being able to see out my windows.
View from my computer out into the room:
Yes, they wrapped the windows AND the filing cabinets.
Yes, I had to duck around lanterns all week.
Yes, all I could smell was chocolate.
It was INCHES FROM MY FACE!
Yes, we dressed up in silly outfits.
Yes, we got him good.
Yes, I think we exceeded the Fire Marshall's occupancy rating for my space.
Yes, we like to party.