Monday, November 5, 2012

Epic baking fail.

Why hello der.

So I have a confession. I'm a terrible baker. With cooking, my lack of caution/precision/care is no problem. Oh, I forgot to pick up the main ingredient at the store (happens more than I would like)? No problem, let's substitute ____. I bought 1 can of diced tomatoes and we needed 4 cans of crushed? No worries, let's be creative and do _____. Easy smeezy.

Baking however? Baking is an absolute science. I can remember baking in my Mom's kitchen, and the determined look in her eye as she carefully leveled off her cup of flour. Me? I dump the vanilla in until it "feels" like 2 tablespoons. Totally excusable, almost encouraged practice in cooking. I could sense my mother's frustration as I dumped two uneven cups of granulated sugar into her bowl that was supposed to have 1 cup of packed brown sugar, the despair and horror in her eyes.  There does not appear to be any room for my messy, creative, don't-give-two-poops attitude (scuse my french) when you are baking a cake.

So how is it that I found myself going to the store to pick up ingredients for the pumpkin spice cake with chocolate pecan filling that I discovered in our new food network issue? Maybe the sound of it...maybe because I had way too much pumpkin...or maybe I have temporary memory lapse and forgot that I suck at baking. Whatever the reason, I thought it was a great idea. I was incorrect.

This was the ugliest cake I ever made (as you will see from the pictures). Here is the story.

The first problem (of many) was that I bought the wrong cake pan sizes. This is often my boyfriend's reported pet peeve of my many obnoxious mannerisms. I tend to not read recipes carefully, forget how much I need of each ingredient, and forget the main ingredient of the whole meal. So this cake pan error was not surprising.

The second problem, was that I (of course) was not precise in my measurement. Steve always observes in shock as our measuring cups and tablespoons lie dormant in their respective shelves and drawers during my baking experiments. The result of these two problems, was that I was left with two cakes basically uncooked in the middle, and dry around the edges. Sigh. How did I not see this coming.

In a moment of hanger (hungry anger), I decided to improvise (again, encouraged in the cooking world, wildly frowned upon among pastry chefs). I cut the cakes in half, and piece mealed the dry parts of two into one, while removing the parts that would have resulted in vomiting from salmonella. What am I, an architect? No Cate. Why?

The next series of problems is expected. I only had 3 layers of cake instead of 4. Therefore I had way too much filling spilling out EVERYWHERE. I was also too impatient to wait for my beautiful chocolate ganache to cool, and dumped it on the cake in a moment of anticipation. It pooled around the edges of the cake like a sad river. This cake looked like it was created by a three-year-old assisting their mother in the kitchen.

The end of this fiasco is the point in which I realize why I will probably not put forth too much effort into changing my ways. The cake was delicious. I took half of it too my practicum site, and it was gone within the hour. I took swipes of the sad river of a glaze every time I walked past that horrific looking excuse for a cake. Flavor conquers aesthetic beauty, everyone. That is the lesson of my story.

Enjoy my ugly cake. Here is the link for the recipe:

I hope yours looks slightly more professional than mine.

1 comment:

  1. Despite that fact that it truly is the ugliest, saddest, most horrifying cake I have ever seen, it also looks absolutely scrumptious. I would eat it too. Even the salmonella inducing parts.