Ever had one of those times where you really want to do something but somehow it just won’t happen? Well, for me it’s been two weeks of just that… when baking. I made granola a few days ago and turned out all clumpy, and in the final stages of baking I stepped away for 5 minutes (I kid you not) and the entire granola had a burnt taste. Then, I’m developing an Foodies’ Original recipe for muffins, and they tasted like the taste of the pan transferred to the muffin bottoms… weird. And yesterday, I attempted to make an Almond Fail Cake and failed miserably.
After weeks of being swamped with work (both from Design as well as from Foodies), I was craving to go back into the kitchen and bake. So after a quick glance on Pinterest, I found a recipe that seemed easy and quick enough to prepare and bake for an afternoon coffee. I got all my ingredients ready, very Mise en Place, preheated my oven and got to work. I whisked the dry ingredients, then added the mixed wet ones, poured the batter into a greased and floured pan, drizzled with almonds and honey, and then into the oven. The kitchen and dining room smelled amazing. Honey on top of cakes is heaven.
50 minutes in the oven, I checked with a cake tester… and it came out a bit undercooked, so back into the oven. One thing that surprised me is how much it rose (over two inches) and the cake seemed dense. 15 additional minutes later, cake tester came out clean so I take out the cake from the oven. 15 minutes after it cooled in the pan, I transferred it into a cooling rack… when surprise! The bottom was well undercooked. I transferred it back to the pan, and into the oven. I baked it for 30 minutes longer and the cake puffed again, only to deflate after cooling. Cake tester came out again clean.
Now, when I transferred it to the cooling wrack, the bottom seemed baked.Fast forward to the next morning, I woke up early to take pictures of the cake. It’s not the same to take pictures on a poorly lit kitchen at 10:30PM than in the front porch at 7AM. Light was gorgeous. The cake looked shiny on top because of the honey, and the almonds, a perfect topping that would. See?
Even though it looked perfect, when I picked up the cake, it was heavy. That meat that the cake was still dense, fudgy and definitely not cooked through. I baked it once again (covered in foil and on top of a cookie sheet), for 40 minutes more – even though deep down inside I knew the cake was already a flop. The surprise came when it was time to cut the cake. I cut a piece of it and surprise, surprise, it was just as I thought: fudgy and dense. Because I am not a person who just gives up (you might call it stubborn, I call it determination) , I even attempted to grill slices of cake to see if direct heat might do something to it.
Final word? It didn’t do a thing, more than a few caramelized edges, it still didn’t save the cake. So for now, I will bake my next recipe over the weekend: an old family favorite that will get my baking mojo back to me. But, how can I not give you a tested recipe? I am sharing one of my favorite recipe adaptations: Easy One Bowl Chocolate Cake.
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