Every end is a new beginning. It has been a while since my adventurous summer ended. But traveling had to give way to school, which started in October. It's impossible to even try to describe all the things that have happened to me since I wrote that last blog post. There have been good times, and bad times. Over time, bad memories always fade and good memories remain. That's the best thing about life, isn't it?
As I mentioned before, I moved to the United States to work in a bakery for four months, a move almost unimaginable to everyone I know. But I knew I had to do it. I have known since I was sixteen years old. If I didn't go for it, I would regret it later. So I did it.
Words cannot describe how I felt, when the day finally came and I had to say goodbye to my parents and wait for my plane. By myself. When, 16 hours later, I arrived to Boston Logan, I felt alone. I'd never felt so alone in my entire life. I was tired, cold, hungry, I missed my bus... in short, I was miserable.
Then a few hours later my future boss picked me up from the local bus stop. She dropped me off at my new home, and it didn't feel like home at all. It was midnight and everyone was already asleep. The house was not at all what I expected, but I was so tired that I fell asleep instantly.
This was the start of my 4-month work-and-travel visa. And, believe me, it was amazing. After living alone the last 3 years of my life, I suddenly moved to a house with 3 Brazilians, 2 Romanians and 2 Russians! I learned how to weed, plant, set mouse traps, use a can opener (really!). I learned that getting to a doctor can be hard even though you have insurance and that sometimes it's best to just wait for things to get better. I learned how to do grocery shopping once every two, or even three weeks. I even tried being a waitress (there was no choice, lol). I realized that there's nothing you can do in the US if you don't own a car (unless you live in Manhattan, which I'm planning to do anyway!).
I had such big plans for baking in the US. Unfortunately, baking ingredients were not as cheap as I had hoped. It's one thing to look at american prices when you're in Europe and think how cheap everything is; it's another thing to live in America, earn your dollars and then spend them. Therefore, most of my summer baking consisted of baking mixes (America, you made me do this!). And so did this cake.
It's the tallest cake I've ever made in my life. I found the inspiration on Sweetapolita's blog a while ago. Since the only pan I had was a round springform pan, this was the perfect opportunity. I bought three cake mixes: yellow, chocolate and strawberry cake. Plus two cans of frosting, a jar of strawberry jam, eggs and oil. I had one bowl, one spatula and plenty of wooden spoons to work with. That's why I didn't feel too bad for using cake mixes.
5-layer Neapolitan Cake
your favorite yellow, chocolate and strawberry cake recipe (or cake mix)
2-3 cups (cans) of your favorite frosting
- Bake the cakes. I made 6 layers and only used 5. I baked them in a 9 inch round pan. If you're using a cake mix, bake one half of it in one pan and the other half in another pan. Try to make the layers all the same height (around one inch).
- Cool the cakes (I placed them in the freezer). Spread strawberry jam on the first layer, cover it with the second layer and repeat until you get to the fifth layer. (You can layer the colors any way you want to) Cover and refrigerate.
- When the cake is completely cooled (after about an hour in the fridge or freezer), frost it with your favorite (or a random store bought) frosting. I used one can of Pillsbury Whipped Supreme (strawberry) and one can of Betty Crocker's Rich&Creamy white frosting.
Altogether, the cake was a success. Considering it only cost me around 10$ (and it was huge!), it tasted amazing. I also got to try out my new set of piping tips, but don't ask me which ones I used, because I have no clue. I randomly took a few out of the box and experimented a little. I must say, I liked the results very much and I'm not sorry I bought the biggest available set of piping tips. In case you don't live with 7 roommates and work with 20 other people, I suggest you make this cake for a party. It really is enormous.
Taste: 4/5 (very, VERY sweet)
Approximate cost: 10$
Unless you decided to make a six layer cake (or cupcakes), you probably have one leftover layer. I'll share a way to use it in my next post, along with some more American adventures. Stay tuned!