Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter disaster cake

I had a lot of trouble deciding what dessert to bring to Easter dinner. On Saturday I still hadn't decided and I went to the local market to see if anything looked particularly inspiring. I wasn't inspired (though I did pick up some supplies for the next Daring Bakers challenge, which will be DELICIOUS) so I just went to my fall back plan: carrot cake. I've made carrot cake before. It's good, easy, and carrots = rabbits = spring = Easter. Or something.

And then things started to go horribly wrong. I didn't get the required vegetable oil until 10 pm so I had a late start. I looked at the recipe, one I had never used before, and thought it looked weird but decided to go with it. The recipe calls to mix the shredded carrots in with the dry ingredients, and then add the wet ingredient just until mix in. Okay, fine. But my batter appeared very thin and I had way more than would fill one cake pan. And while pouring it into the pans, I realized that the carrot/flour mixture had clumped, leaving delightful carrot/flour clumps throughout the batter. Excellent. I tried to smoosh them out but it still looked suspect. But it was nearing midnight and I was panicked so I put them into the oven.

These baked SO strangely, they were like the pod people of the cake world. They baked, but had a strangle bubbly layer on top that refused to much except for becoming weirdly gelatinous. I had no idea when to take this out because while my sticks were coming out clean, the very top remained slightly underbaked. Which doesn't make any sense, what cake bakes from the bottom up without ever solidifying completely on top? But after the cake had been in the oven much longer than called for, I pulled it out.

I ended up with about one and a half cakes: a full cake pan and a spring form pan that was like 1/2 inch thick since I didn't want to throw out the rest of the batter. I let them cool and unmolded them. Baby cake unmolded okay. Big cake was stubborn coming out of the pan. Eventually half came out while half stayed stubbornly in my generously greased pan. I was horrified. And tired, seeing as though it was now close to 1 am. I freaked out for awhile and eventually scraped the rest of the cake out the pan, kind of puzzle piecing the bits together. Than I topped the deformed mess with the baby cake, so it now bared some sort of resemblance to a cake and not the hideous beast I had created.

I used the orange-ginger cream cheese frosting that I made for my carrot cake cupcakes (which turned out lovely, of course) and it turned out fine, which is probably why I didn't have a nervous breakdown. I smothered the monster cake with frosting and than haphazardly decorated it with pastel sprinkles and Easter colored M&Ms. And then I fretted to Joe about how much my carrot cake sucked and he reassured me until I felt okay about it.

The next day I had the traditional Easter of church, Easter lunch and then played a festive game of Life. I should've took pictures of lunch because it was all very delicious and fattening: veggie pot pie for the vegetarians, ham for the omnis and cheesy potatoes and spinach squares for everybody. The carrot cake tasted fine-- I think cream cheese frosting fixes everything-- so I was satisfied with it, though I'll shun the recipe for the rest of my days. I have no idea what I did wrong or if it was the recipe, the recipe did have good reviews but I followed the directions exactly and measured all the ingredients on a scale so I have no idea what happened. I blame you, Alton Brown!

Anyways. Now I have tons of left over cream cheese frosting left over that I'm not sure what to do with, any ideas? Brian has been eating it in the middle of the night with a spoon but there's still plenty left. No Easter M&Ms were spared though, Brian swiftly ate them all. And almost died in the process. He threw one up in the air to catch in his mouth but it landed in his throat instead and he immediately doubled over and started hacking. Joe and I were totally prepared to do the Heimlich maneuver. If we had managed to stop laughing. He was fine though, he just ended up swallowing a whole M&M. Which is good, because Brian would've been really pissed off if a pastel colored M&M caused his death and not something more bad ass, such as a brain hemorrhage while playing Call of Duty 4.

Obviously I'm not going to post the recipe I used, but if you're morbidly curious, here it is. I did like the rest of Easter dessert ideas people threw out there and I plan to make them eventually. Next up: tapioca pudding.


junko said...

Your cake looks adorable despite the mishap. I've had 2 bad experiences with carrot cake too! Much worse than yours!

What is it with me and carrot cake? Glad yours tasted good anyways! Extra frosting calls for more cupcakes!! Or maybe some sandwich cookies!

alaskagrrrL said...

Ah, grasshoppah: left over frosting is ALWAYS good on graham crackers... (cheap, easy and no further baking required!)
Yo Mama

Katy said...

I have a carrot cake recipe that I have used almost exclusively for years. I just love it. HOWEVER, there have been a couple of instances where the danged thing FELL. What's UP with that?!! I'd get all huffy and try it again straight away, and it would work perfectly, the way it always had. Sometimes I think I overbeat the batter, but who knows? The carrot cake gods in all likelihood because I certainly don't.

Your cake does look adorable, and it came from a good place in your heart. That in itself makes it special!