When a baking fail turns into a save…

I have to admit, I have become slightly lazy in my baking documentation. Believe me, the baking has been happening, but the blogging hasn’t. I apologise for my laziness.

Last weekend, I went over to my Father’s house for dinner with his wife, my brother and his girlfriend (my boy was busy studying for exams!) and I made a last minute decision to bake – as my Dad and his wife were my baking benefactors, having given me my mixing stand for my birthday earlier in the year. Of course, it had to be made from scratch, and preferably have involved the mixer in some way. I was also going straight to my Mum’s house on the peninsula straight after dinner, so I needed ‘enough’ to go around. Inspired by the sad news of Crabapple Cupcake Bakery (see post below) I whipped out my Crabapple Cupcake Bakery recipe book, and got deciding. I landed on a splicing of a couple of recipes* and ended up with something along the lines of Almond and Orange cupcakes with vanilla butter cream icing. They were DELICIOUS, such a subtle, discerning taste, I was smitten.

So, completely bolstered by my amazing experience the weekend prior, and with my Mum’s birthday looming ever closer, I had another go at my spliced recipe* on Thursday night and mixed Almond with raspberries and turned the recipe into a cake. Well, I TRIED to turn the recipe into a cake. After baking for an hour, at 11:30pm the cake was still not baked through, I pulled the plug on the gas and left it on the top rack hoping the hot air would bake it through a bit more. I woke on Friday morning to check out the damage. I got a tooth pick to test what was going on – inserted and NOTHING came out…odd. So I cut a tiny hole and looked in…nothing? I tapped the top of the cake and it sounded hollow…I tapped some more, and the top of the cake CAVED IN! The cake had become somewhat of a hollow shell. I was MORTIFIED. Would I have time to bake another cake? I was a bit short on cash, and had used up all my eggs, butter , almonds and sugar the night before

I spent Friday at work trying to find another recipe, because I simply could not give my mother a retarded-looking cake fail for her birthday. I searched and search, and bit the bullet, and pulled out the credit card, purchasing rosewater, pistachios, almonds and the aforementioned other necessities. I had to forego my gym class on Friday night (haha, yeh, “had to”) in order to be able to bake another cake, make dinner, and spend some QT (quality time) with my darling boyfriend. With some amazing assistance from said amazing partner in crime, we managed to turn whole pistachios into pistachio meal, sliced almonds into almond meal (the supermarket was out of ALL types of almond meal..it was weird, I had such a panic attack!) and get a cake into the oven in time to watch a move AND an episode of Sopranos before hitting the hay! While we were baking, we also had a BRAIN WAVE as to what to do with my fail cake.

The fail cake, post cutting the top third off

I had initially thought I would turn my fail cake into those darn cute Cupcake Bites things that everyone’s been making, but, after a bit of looking at the fail cake from a different perspective (I looked at it side on) I simply cut the top 1/3 of the cake off, and was left with a perfectly good cake. This remaining third was to become the bottom half of my Mum’s double layered birthday cake. How’s this for a combination:

Raspberry almond cake on the bottom

Layer of sweetened whipped cream

Orange, almond, pistachio and rosewater cake on top

Covered in white chocolate ganache.

yes yes YES YES YES!!!! It was AMAZING, and visually, the layers looked awesome! This was one HEAVY cake, both halves being seriously dense and delicious! Mum loved it, as did the other guests who came over for afternoon tea (although I’m amazed we had space, after having the most delicious meal at one of the local wineries, Ten Minutes By Tractor – I might have to give a write up of this place, because it was fabulous in every sense of the word!)

So, my friends, this just goes to show that when we have baking ‘fails’, all is not lost. Take a different perspective, think laterally – you don’t have to waste all your hard work and resources! And as in my case, your baking fail could turn out to be a massive victory!

Until next time I don the apron,

Fifi la Cupcakes xx

(yes that’s me handing out cake!!)

You can really see the colour difference of the pistachio vs the raspberry

* I rarely stick exactly to recipes – I’m not anal about having exactly a cup of flour, if I haven’t got caster sugar, but I do have brown sugar, I’ll use that, if I don’t have 7 eggs, I’ll use however many I have and substitute some extra liquid etc etc. I change recipes ALL the time, or combine certain aspects of recipes that I like with others. Most of the time, the cakes rock…in fact, yet to have a TRUE disaster that I cannot fix (touch wood!) FFLCC


June 15, 2008. Uncategorized.

One Comment

  1. Mara replied:

    YAY for a fabulous save…I love the combination…and don’t you love when random stuff happens to your baked goods? It’s like WHY?? Esp for an event. Great finish!

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