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WHEN GOOD CAKES GO BAD

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I’ve made this bundt cake recipe many, many times before. It always turns out beautifully – so beautifully that I got a marriage proposal over it. (I turned him down, not least because he was already married.)  There are many variations possible, but this is the basic recipe. It’s from New Recipes From Moosewood Restaurant.

Our Favorite Pound Cake

  • 1 lb sweet butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 cups flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer at high speed till light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.
  4. Sift together dry ingredients.
  5. Mix together milk and vanilla extract.
  6. Add dry and wet to butter mixture alternately, beginning and ending with dry. Mix by hand, using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, after each addition.
  7. Mix thoroughly, just enough to blend.
  8. Pour into buttered and floured tube or bundt pan (or two loaf pans). Bake 1 hour, or till toothpick inserted into center comes out dry.
  9. After the cake cools ten minutes, turn out onto a plate.
  10. Cool completely before you slice it.
    I mean, that’s pretty clear, right?
    So today I wanted to make this, only make a chocolate version. Their directions involved 1 cup of cocoa. No problem.
    Except that when I went to add the cocoa, there was only 1/2 cup left in the box.
    Quick! Think! Think! What can I substitute? Well, how about this Vermeer Chocolate Cream Liqueur? I’ll just use it in place of the 1 cup of milk called for. They’re both liquids; that should work, right? And just in case that isn’t enough chocolate….here, I have 2 2-ounce Belgian dark chocolate bars. I’ll melt them and add those too.
    So I did. It seemed to work fine. The chocolate liqueur smelled heavenly in the cake batter. Then at the last I melted the chocolate bars and slowly added them while beating with an electric mixer.
    Maybe I should have paid closer attention when, as the melted chocolate was being incorporated, the batter suddenly got much more inflated and light and… bigger. But I thought, eh, it’ll settle down.  Then when I scraped the batter into the bundt pan… there was certainly a lot of batter. But, oh well, it’ll just rise up above the pan, then sink back down. It always does. Right?
    Put the pan in the oven and went about my business. About twenty minutes later I heard this soft kind of sizzling sound coming from the oven. Open oven door….
    The batter had escaped from the pan and was now baking on the oven floor.
    You can’t keep the oven door open too long or the cake will fall, so I closed it back up and decided to just deal with scraping the burnt batter up later.
    After another 40 minutes I began to smell something burning. I assumed that would be the batter on the oven floor. I opened the oven door and the batter was getting pretty dark, but not burning. As I closed the oven door I noticed a flickering light inside the oven….
    The cake batter had slid through the center hole of the pan onto the rack below and was now on fire.
    I threw a cupful of salt on the flaming cake.
    We will not be having cake for dinner.
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2 responses »

  1. Only you would stop and take a picture of the fire before you put it out. Too funny!
    Sorry no cake tonight.

    Reply
  2. That’s quite a story! I am looking forward to having time to read your blog in my retirement! Thanks for following Caught in the book web…time for me to get back to my own writing too!!

    Reply

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