Thursday, April 30, 2009

2 teaspoons Martha Stewart, a Pinch of Betty Crocker, and 2 Cups of Clueless

Last year I decided that I was going to contribute something to the Biedermann Thanksgiving Dinner. I actually decided this the day that I thumbed through the Martha Stewart Living magazine and discovered the most amazing looking cake, an Carmalized-Apple Spice Cake. I knew that I had to make this cake. Plus, selfishly, I wanted to impress my family!!

Since the recipe was on two separate pages I had a genius idea to type the recipe up, plus I would be able to keep the recipe on my computer, so if I lost the magazine, it wouldn't be a big deal!! See? THIS is what I learned from six of college!! 

So I buy my ingredients, the apples, the apple cider, dark brown sugar, eggs, flour, and so on. I get home, and I immediately begin. I'm so excited, I begin the first step, which is to peel, core, and grate 2 pounds of Granny Smith apples. After 45 minutes I finally finished grating the apples and began the rest of the work. I scraped the seeds from a vanilla bean and cooked them (and their pod!) with the butter, I preheated the oven to 450, I whisked, I beat the batter, I folded the apple mixture and pecans into the batter, and got ready to pour the batter into my two round cake pans. But that was about the time I realized that my "batter" looked more like play-doh than actual batter...oh great...

So I go back through my recipe and check everything off. Apples? Check! Butter? Check! Ginger? Check! Baking soda & powder? Check and Check! Eggs? Eggs? shoot...okay, so I find my four eggs and add them in, instantly making my batter look like, well, batter!!

I fill my two cake pans, put them in the oven, then wonder if maybe they will spill over so I decide to place some aluminum foil underneath them just in case. I don't want to get in trouble with Momma Walker by making a mess in her oven!! Setting the directions I so carefully typed out, I set the timer for 50 minutes and begin to make my Brown-Sugar Swiss Meringue Frosting (that's right I made this baby TOTALLY from scratch!!).

As I'm finishing my frosting (which surprisingly turned out pretty well!) my mom came home and immediately asked, "What's burning?" turns out that it's not a good idea to put foil underneath a cake when you're baking it, as it does something to make it hotter than what it should be (my mom explained it, but I don't remember) and it will burn the cake. However, that was not my problem.

The second thing my mom asked was, "If you're making a cake, why is the oven set at 450?" Apparently when you bake a cake, you aren't supposed to set the oven for a pepperoni pizza, but actually for a cake, which would be 
350!! I take the cake out of the oven, and let it cool. After about an hour and a half or so, I decide it's time to frost the cake. I take the cakes off the cooling racks and stick a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. I put one hand on the cake (don't worry! I washed them!!) and one on the pan and flip it upside down so the cake can fall neatly into my hand.

Only it doesn't. Instead, it sits in the pan. I flip it back over and put the knife back between the cake and the pan, trying to loosen it even more. I flip it back over, and...nothing. I shake the pan a little, still nothing. I shake it harder, nothing. I call for my dad to come help me. He shakes the pan, MY CAKE IS BURNED TO MY CAKE PAN AND IS REFUSING TO COME OUT!! My dad finally suggests that I take a fork and try to get it underneath the cake. Which I do, and in two pieces my cake comes out of the pan!! Unfortunately, it's got about 2 inches of burned cake on the sides, the bottom, and the top...after I cut those off, I got through the same shaking and loosening procedure with the second cake pan, and in 3 pieces it comes out as well.  I grab my frosting and procede to glue the cake back together. 

It actually doesn't turn out too bad! I even put some purple mums on top to make it look pretty! And the taste?? Well, not to toot my own horn, but, tasted pretty darn good!!