Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Test Cake! Or, why I leave baking to the experts

Some of you may know this already:  I do not care about dessert.  I am an enormous fan of Nestle Turtles, and anything vaguely pecan-chocolate-clustery, but besides that, I would really be OK to never eat anything sweet again.

So when it came to my wedding cake, I decided: here was a great opportunity to save some money!  Who actually eats wedding cake anyway?  There will most certainly not be shoving of cake into my face by the hubs-elect....

And immediately there were riots.  My sister went up in arms, my roommates in London began to insist they would not come to my wedding if I insisted on such insanity.  So in the face of such intense dessert-loving friends, we came up with a solution:  I would save money on the cake by having Lisa bake one, and my London roommate bake the other.

So I have been happily ignoring the cakes, until recently when I realized that I should look into the recipe and try it out in the cake pans I had bought.  And what a perfect opportunity presented itself!  My lovely future mother in law (who really is lovely) celebrated her birthday this past weekend, and I decided I would win her over further with my charming cake.

So I went to my mom's house (because it was empty as they were on vacation, and because she has a KitchenAid), and decided that cake baking = no problem.  So first things first, I go to separate 8 eggs.

An inauspicious beginning, as I immediately break the first yolk into the first egg white.  Bah.

Ok!  So!  now I have 8 eggs separated.  Now the flour.....

Can you tell I was really more interested in taking cool photos of the stuff than in the actual making of cake?

Action shot!

This is how I felt afterwards.  Desolated and covered in flour and egg white. 

I knew something wasn't quite right - and I should have known that I needed to beware any recipe that included folding in egg whites...but I didn't listen to my inner voice.  As my father says, ALWAYS listen to your inner voice... because this is what my cakes looked like on the inside:

Lumps of horrible, unmixed cake batter.  Ugh.

So I went into panic mode, and was really really grateful for the fact that my parents buy eggs in packages of 18.  It was 5:30 - the first cake had taken me 3 hours to ruin, and we were supposed to be at Brandon's parents by 6:30.  I threw together a second batch of cake batter, mixed it properly this time, and melted a ton of chocolate and butter together.  And behold:

a little sucking up never hurt anyone :)
 It sure looks good, doesn't it?  Too bad it didn't taste great :(  But I tried!  And the hubs family, to their everlasting credit, ate everything I served them and even came back for seconds.

And this is why I leave the baking in my family to the masters.  Sigh.

Well except for these cheese and adobo pepper cornmeal muffins, which I made on Sunday morning.  They were delish.


  1. I've failed as your baking instructor - break eggs one at a time into a separate cup, never into the bowl full of egg whites, we'll have to practice egg folding and what was wrong with the taste? Oh well, hope my kitchen is not still flour from one end to the other! Love Mom

  2. haaaa oh dear! I've never tried making a cake that fancy. "folding in egg whites" always befuddles me as well.

    I have a really good recipe for chocolate cake if you ever want to try something different. :)

  3. Listen to the force, young Jedi.

  4. I did the same thing.... decided I was making it, then after several cakes that just tasted blah, actually got sick of cake making. So I bought boxed cake from Trader Joes (decent ingredients, nothing terrifying in there!) which you add eggs/butter to. It was DELICIOUS!!!! Would highly recommend. I got chocolate and added orange essence to it then topped with white chocolate choco-pan fondant (bought online - not super cheap but so worth it).

  5. (oh, and chocolate buttercream frosting as the centre). Boxed cake = foolproof tastiness, in fact my MIL ended up baking it 2 nights before the wedding for me, and she is not a baker. Refrigerated it, then frosted it night before the wedding and left it out overnight, it was super tasty!

  6. Luckily I will not have anything to do with the baking of the real cake, and the guy who is in charge is an awesome baker.

    but its good to know we always have TJ's cake mix as a backup :)