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Utter Cakey Failure, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Toppings

April 22, 2010

So let’s level-set, even on the best of days, making the cake would be hard. I mean, it’s a Gourmet (RIP) recipe, which for me tends to mean lots of steps, running around, and flour in weird places, like the inside of the refrigerator handle. Also, I was test-driving new hardware (springform pan, $12 Ace Hardware mixer) and had no concept of what was actually in my pantry.

With all of this, I should have seen the warning signs. The hand of god even came down to show me that I wasn’t paying enough attention to detail. I went to sign a new credit card that had come in the mail and thought the magnetic stripe was the “Sign Here” box. What happened next was my own fault.

The victim: this cake.

The culprit: half a cup of this, instead of the recommended cup.

The money shot: Me, having put the cake in the oven, feeling good about myself, emptying the dishwasher and staring, for a good 30 seconds, at the one-cup measure. Cue lots of unprintable (even on the internet) words.

I really didn’t want to bake another cake last night, you see. I wanted to be ahead of the game. I wanted to make the cake and wrap it, make the filling and chill it, and then make whipped cream tonight (Sorry epicurious, but Whole Foods does NOT carry dried lavender blossoms and your commenters all suggested the cream tasted like soap anyway) to carry to work in a tupperware and dollop on at the last minute. OH, yeah, this is for a Friday-morning work party.  (I got in so over my head. Never let me be this ambitious again, OK readers?)

So I watched the cake carefully, stuck a toothpick in at an appropriate time, and had a done, albeit pretty flat, cake. I spent a good long time discussing my options with the bride-to-be and we determined the only way to proceed was slice the cake, flip the top, stuff it full of filling, and use heavy cream to hide any wonky mistakes.

24 hours later the cake may have fallen a bit, or I may have looked at it from a different angle than I did last night. Either way, I’m kind of zen about it. My $12 mixer + a half pint of cream should make it all OK. (Also I’m hoping there’s mimosas in the conference room tomorrow…)

Pictures to come when the cake is finished, and I’ll post any reviews of the cake.

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