That said, I really rose to the occasion, in my opinion. Their version:
And my version:
Now lest everyone gets all, "I can't even tell which is THEIR version and which is YOUR version!" I must admit that I didn't choose a side view before and after because while Gourmet's layer cake was a self-described "8-inches" tall (whatever, Gourmet--you lie), my cake was what one might call a "shorty." In fact, I think one should call it that. It was more like 2-inches tall sans frosting. Side view of the shorty:
Well, in case that picture doesn't quite capture it, it was one short cake. Despite its shortness, it was lemony and delicious and looked quite classy with the petals I pulled off my rosemary plant and scattered casually all over the top. (By casually I mean, I painstakingly arranged them that way to make them look random/casual.) And note I did not follow the recipe when it called for "candied violets" that one is supposed to candy oneself. Whaa?? Also, I did not curd my own lemon curd for the frosting, because frankly I think that sounds gross.
Let's revisit some highlights from the baking bonanza, shall we? Pretty white ingredients:
Are these peaks stiff enough for ya, Gourmet magazine??
(Prob not.) And let's take one more look at my casually scattered rosemary petals:
All in all, I really have Bon Appetempt to thank for my first from-scratch, non-mom-involved cake. Thanks, Bon Appetempt!