Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The fourth one is a phone-in

I knew I had this post kicking around somewhere, and since I didn't bake anything today I figured I better  find it. This dates way back to 2006, when I didn't know what I was doing, and a more horrific display of culinary ineptitude you are not likely to find.

This is from a post I wrote on my old blog about a cake that I had attempted to bake for my next door neighbor's birthday. I don't remember this particular endeavor very clearly, and I certainly don't have photographic evidence, but just the description of the chocolate on chocolate on chocolate--not to mention the fact that I used a truly bizarre ganache recipe, makes me think that it was probably a hot mess and a half.

While this can technically be referred to as 'instructive' I don't recommend that you follow any of these steps. Particularly the ganache, because I don't know what the hell was going on there.


The Way of the Cake

Are you slightly wary of your culinary skills? Do you wish to create simply delicious confections that will be a feast for the eyes as well as the palate? Of course you do! But possess none of the necessary skills. Fear not! Here at Brooke's School of BackAssWard Baking we have taken all of the mystery out of the baking process. Simply follow these easy to manage steps and soon you too will be delighting your friends and loved ones with your know-how!

Step 1: Choose your cake! It has to be the perfect cake or the people you are baking for will hate you! Hate you and throw things!

Step 2: Once you have selected the recipe (for our purposes we will assume we have chosen a basic Chocolate Luvver's Cake), read through the steps once, quietly, to yourself.

Step 3: Inspect the ingredient list and then survey your pantry for additional supplies you may need to purchase.

Step 4: Decide that the 'cake' portion of a basic Chocolate Luvver's Cake isn't really the most important part and substitute two boxes of Duncan Hines brand chocolate cake mix.

Step 5: Decide that the 'frosting' portion of a basic Chocolate Luvver's Cake isn't really the most important part and substitute two cans of Duncan Hines brand chocolate frosting.

Step 6: Decide that, ultimately, the most important part of a basic Chocolate Luvver's Cake is the luscious and fudgy chocolate ganache filling.

Step 7: Gather your baking ingredients.

Step 8: Notice that, most unneccesarily in your opinion, Duncan Hines brand cake mix calls for three eggs. Notice further that you bought two boxes (resulting in two cakes) which will mean six eggs. Notice that you did not purchase eggs, did eat eggs for breakfast and will need at least one egg for the meatloaf that your husband is making for dinner. Curse the makers of Duncan Hines straight to hell.

Step 9: Examine egg supply and note with jubilation that you currently possess seven eggs. Rejoice in the knowledge that there is a God and he is clearly watching over you.

Step 10: Mix cake batter.

Step 11: Examine box for pre-heating instructions. Note, with some concern, that the instructions call for a temperature of 325 for coated pans and 350 for metal pans. This is problematic, as you have one of each.

Step 12: Throw caution to the wind and set the oven vaguely on the blank space between 325 and 350.

Step 13: Pour batter into two pans.

Step: 14: Place in oven and set timer.

Step 15: Iced tea.

Step 16: Check on cakes in oven. Observe with horror that you have tragically overfilled your pans and your cakes now resemble huge muffins!!!

Step 17: Theraputic breathing.

Step 18: Wait thirty five minutes past optimal baking time in order to fully bake your super-thick cakes. Place on counter to cool.

Step 19: Prepare ganache. Bring to a boil 3/4 cup heavy cream, one tablespoon of sugar and one tablespoon of butter. (??????????????)

Step 20: Tidy up.

Step 21: Remember your boiling cream, which has begun to overflow, and hastily add to 1 and 1/2 cups chocolate chips. (Chips and cream, people. That's it.)

Step 22: Let sit for five minutes and stir until creamy. (This is correct.)
Step 23: Remove cakes from pans and set on racks to cool (racks should be made of one inverted broiler pan bottom with holes and one grease splatter guard on top of a pot). (heh)

Step 24: Allow your frustration to mount as your cakes come out in not one but several pieces. (Two words: Cake Magic)

Step 25: Assemble pieces (just like a puzzle!) and allow cakes to cool.

Step 26: Using a serrated bread knife (good!) carefully slice the muffin top area off of your cakes until you have two smooth round discs.

Step 27: Get a Band-Aid.

Step 28: Slice each disc horizontally so that you are left with four even layers.

Step 29: Tranfer first layer to your presenting tray and cover with chocolate ganache. Continue to layer cake and ganache until you have a perfectly round tower.

Step 30: Fill in those holes with some of the top of the cake scraps, my God, that looks terrible!

Step 31: Frost your cake, as liberally as needed, with your Duncan Hines brand chocolate frosting to cover hideous cake pieces. Frosting is a grand disguise for any blemishes your cake may have suffered.

Step 32: Observe the lopsided way your cake sits on the tray. How did that happen? Decide to use higher side for presentation purposes.

Step 33: Try and fix frosting so that it looks light and airy, i.e. magazine cover worthy.

Step 34: Realize this is impossible. Cover cake, as liberally as needed, with shredded coconut to hide hideous frosting job. Coconut is a grand disguise for any blemishes your frosting may have suffered. (This sounds awful, too)

Step 35: Admire your handiwork. Give yourself a grin and a pat on the back...PUT DOWN THE KNIFE FIRST!!!

Step 36: First Aid.

Step 37: Serve cake and tell anyone who will listen that you made it from scratch (let's be real here...that ganache didn't just fall out of the sky!).

We here at Brooke's School of BackAssWards Baking are pleased to assist and guide you. We hope that our easy to follow instructions allow you to gain the confidence you need to make it all the way to Master Chef. Happy baking and...
Bon appetit!

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