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Записи с темой: food - cakes (список заголовков)

"The Earthquake Cake" AKA "The Avalanche" AKA "HAHAHA MY CAKE IS DYING"

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Oh man. I risk my professional reputation with this (not that I actually have one). I've been working as a cake decorator in a chain store bakery for a couple of months and having a real blast at it. So my mom bought me a fancy-schmancy cake decorating kit for Christmas, so that I could have a real blast at home... in theory. I thought I would put my kit to good use tonight and make a yummy chocolate-chocolate-chip layer cake with cream cheese icing and awesome borders and swirls and whatnot to impress the parents.

Um. Did I mention that I don't actually bake the cakes at work?
Cake wreck cliff
I didn't bother to thicken the store-bought icing because I thought I would be able to cover the entire cake more easily with it runny, and then I could thicken some up for the decorations. Well, the cake didn't last long enough to get to that point...
Cake wreck iceberg
It fell apart in chunks, much like a fluffy, sugary iceberg.

Cake wreck trenches
I like how the icing sort of became little, slow-moving rivers, flowing down through the cake. AND CARVING OUT CAKE CANYONS. CAKE WRECK MOUNTAIN IS ~MIGHTY~.

Oh man, it was a thing of beauty, you don't even know. Watching the chunks slowly tumble off... into my hands. Then I ate them.

@темы: food - cakes, mishap - collapses, mishap - icing


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Obviously there's never a good time to have a cooking failure but Christmas Eve has got to be one of the worse days out there. I only realised this afternoon that I hadn't made cake or biscuits or anything to contribute to Christmas at home. Anyway I dashed off to Sainsbury's to pick up the relevant stuff this afternoon and then made the cake this evening. It was Nigella Lawson's "Snow-Topped Spice Cake" which I've made for the past few years now without any problems. Until tonight.

The cake rose impressively in the oven and it was looking good till it rose too much and spilt over the sides of the tin (NB the recipe does call for a bundt tin but we don't have one so I make it in two sandwich tins and have never had a problem with this before!) and crusted on the oven rack. Nice.

Then of course when I took it out of the oven they both collapsed.

You can see the weird muffin top it seems to have developed and where it's torn from spilling over onto the oven rack.

What you can't tell from these pictures is that the cake itself is crispy (just shy of burnt- it tastes okay, just chewier than normal!) on one half and golden on the other. It makes me wonder if there was a problem with the oven?

I wasn't planning on icing them till tomorrow anyway so if I still think they look truly horrible tomorrow I might cut them up into cake squares and put thick icing on top to hide the mess whereas usually I just put a little icing in the middle and then just dust the top with icing sugar.

I guess you can't win them all. Still, I'm taking some comfort from the fact that my family will probably eat the cake anyway. As long as it tastes good they're happy!

Happy Holidays to everyone and Good luck in the kitchen whatever you're making this season!

@темы: food - cakes, mishap - collapses, mishap - overflow



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Even if someone has never made a fruitcake before (and until this afternoon, I counted myself in that group), they can understand it takes a great deal of time, effort, and expense re ingredients to make a fruitcake.  Why someone would *bother* is another story, but my reasons were that (1) I was determined to make a moist and tasty fruitcake using quality ingredients instead of the garbage offered at the grocery store, and (2) I am too poor this year to afford much in the way of Christmas presents, so cookies and cake were to be my presents instead.

Having said that, I absolutely should have known better than to try to get the frelling thing out of the pan before it was completely cooled down.

Here's a few pictures of the aftermath. 

After literally HOURS of work in the kitchen today, here is the result of my attempt at an Apricot Fruitcake; just out of the oven, looking all pure and perfect (sob!)
Apricot Fruitcake1

Then, not so much.
Apricot Fruitcake2
It came out in two big, falling apart pieces, and then a bunch of little bits.  I managed to make it look not so *very* bad for this picture, but it is actually pretty messy and this was supposed to be a Christmas present, so of course I wanted it to be perfect.

The pan it came out of details the extent of the damage.  It doesnt look like it, but there is nearly a cupful of ruined fruitcake crumbs.
Apricot Fruitcake3

In my (only) defense, I was trying to unmould it before it had completely cooled, so I could marinate it with some coconut rum, to make it taste even yummier.

Ah well, I console myself with the thought that I was going to cut it into four pieces anyway, once I poured a nice glaze onto it.  They will just have to be a bit smaller, or oddly shaped now, to avoid the worst of the mess.  I really did want a glamour shot of the thing first, though! 
Ah well, time to eat the evidence very tasty crumbs now...

@темы: food - cakes


Cake Mix Catastrophe

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The worst experience I ever had with cooking was about 10 years ago, when I was 14. I had wanted to surprise my parents when they got home from a long day of work and shopping, so I decided to make them a chocolate fudge cake.

Naturally, as I hadn't had much experience making cakes by that time, I was nervous about making it from scratch, so I used a cake mix, thinking there was no way it could go wrong. I did everything as it said on the packet - right temperature, preheated, batter mixed just right, into the right size and type of pan, everything exact, and popped it into the oven, setting the timer. When the timer beeped, I did the usual skewer test, and the skewer came out perfectly clean, with only a teeny crumb where it had gone through the top of the cake. Yay! So I left it on the counter to cool and waited for my parents to come home.

An hour later, we had finished dinner (takeout from the local diner) and were ready for dessert, so I carried the cake, in its tin to show I made it, into the living room and set it on the cake stand, flipping the little spring to open the springform surround. Pulling the sides apart to remove them, I had to dodge out of the way as a tidal wave of still-warm chocolate pudding poured out of the centre of the cake all over the table. Somehow, the entire outside of the cake had cooked, sides, base and top but only about half an inch in, after which the centre was still completely liquid. We never did figure out what happened, especially as we re-checked everything and I had followed the rules to the letter.

@темы: food - cakes


Cake and pasta!

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I guess it wouldn't be right if I didn't admit to some of my crimes in the kitchen! These are only two of countless mishaps. I've also had cookies that have become a single crunchy sheet, made lettuce and sand salads, put whole uncracked eggs and tinfoil in the microwave to cook, pancakes sprinkled with lemon and salt instead of sugar, forgotten to put the top onto the blender (more than once), and have had numerous incidents involving things catching fire. Nowadays I try to avoid the stove as much as possible!

The Crunchy Cake
One of my first cooking experiences was when I was about twelve and I decided to make a chocolate cake. Being a complete novice in the kitchen, I was unsure with how to crack the eggs and just sort of squeezed them in my hand, resulting in most of the shell ending up in the batter.

I decided to just 'mix it in' rather than try to pick it out, figuring no-one would notice the eggshell once the cake had finished cooking and being too lazy to put in the extra effort. The end result was a weirdly crunchy, gritty cake, with a texture similar to the mud pies kids make in the playground. Moral of the story: always make the extra effort.

The Pasta Incident
This one is very recent. I'm a bit of a night owl and on this particular night I was up until two in the morning writing an assignment. I finished and I was absolutely exhausted, but I was also starving hungry. Being out of bread and cereal, I decided to make some simple pasta, since I figured I was way too hungry to go to sleep. I put the pasta on with some water, turned it on and sat down to wait.

Of course, I fell asleep. An hour later all three smoke alarms went off and promptly woke up everyone in the house including the dog, who started to howl. Once I'd managed to turn off the stove and the smoke had cleared, my pasta had become a thick black inedible sludge in the bottom. My family was furious and it took months before I was trusted again. It is now known as 'The Pasta Incident'.

@темы: food - cakes, food - pasta, mishap - sand and grit, mishap - smoke alarms