Tuesday, February 23, 2010

a piece of cake...yeah right!

At my "old job" We all get together for birthdays and have a pretty party. We do cake and prettily wrapped gifts for all the girls. The economy has kept us from getting together to work much anymore... but we still meet for the parties.
At my party in January, I received as a gift, a cookbook Luscious Creamy Desserts by Lori Longbotham http://www.lorilongbotham.com/creamy.html I love cookbooks with pretty pictures that explore techniques I find mysterious. This one shows how to make caramels...something I have been wanting to try.
I was so happy to receive this lovely book that I jokingly mentioned..."Looks like I can do dessert next time." And now, it's me. I get to make a picture perfect dessert by tomorrow.
I don't really like cake. I like chewy. I like chocolaty. I like wet and creamy. I really don't like the over sweetness of buttercream frosting either...so I have never really tried to do cakes well. A box mix is good enough for something I don't really care for.
Sunday night I decided to treat the kids to a practice cake. As much as I hate it...I read and reread the instructions, the tutorials, had my ingredients ready and got going.

Here's a picture of what it should look like.

The recipe resembles an angel food cake. 6 eggs beaten for 10 or so minutes, only 1/4 c and 2 tbs. of sugar, and 1 1/4c. of super sifted flour....yes, I sifted.
The flour and a stick of butter are just folded into the fluffy egg mixture.
I mixed the flour in too much and killed the bubbles in my batter, so the cake was dense and crumbly, Sundays cake was a dismal failure.
I overmixed the whipped cream frosting, so it was buttery...and, I thought cream would be a good addition to the caramel sauce, but the mixture was so hot that the cream scalded when I added it to the uber hot syrup mixture.
My son was a good sport and had a piece, but most of it went to the compost pile...where some fox or raccoon will surely be happy to find it.

Happily I did learn something here I made Caramel Sauce. I ran my supposed mistake through a strainer and strained out most of the cream (It just kind'a globbed together) The syrup is actually syrupy....and tastes like caramel!
Last night I tried again.
I was careful to mix as little as possible to save my cake bubbles. The batter filled the pans better and made a nicer looking cake, but still not good as i want it. The finished cakes still crumbly, and the ones in the pictured in the book aren't, so I must be doing something wrong. The recipe for the caramel sauce made enough for a year of cake drizzle, so it was nice to use that again, and I minded my Kitchen Aid better this time and whipped the cream topping to (almost) perfection.

My cake, 2nd try.

I will make one again for the party. Hopefully it won't come out crumbly. If it comes out well, I will let you know.

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