A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

The True Story Of The Worst Cake

There are adages that would indicate that all cake is good cake. After all, it's cake. HOW could it be bad? I personally believed in this rather willingly until this past week. You see, my husband found a recipe and since it was almost his birthday I decided it would be PERFECT to try out this really yummy sounding recipe for his special day.
He's not a big fan of box cakes, or even CAKE for the most part, so I welcomed the idea of making him something special or different.
He found the recipe here.  It was originally published HERE. This is not an indictment of either site or their authors. This is however, a story of the WORST cake.

My first point of suspicion was that boiling was going to magically remove the bitterness from the skin but hey I'm not a home economics expert so I rolled with it. We followed the instructions and boiled, removed seeds, and pureed the tangerines.
First hint something was wrong, was this - it did NOT smell amazing. Meh is how it smelled. Taste? OMG it tasted like bitter death. BITTER FUCKING DEATH. It was gross. It wasn't like oh yum taste these tangerines, it was like THIS IS HORRIBLE.

We put it in the fridge overnight, as it said we could, hoping some sort of change would take place.
I was a good little baker and creamed the eggs and sugar properly. I folded in the dry ingredients so gently my mother would be proud.

And when it began to get more thick, I added the tangerine puree of death. After getting it blended it to perfection, we tried the batter. My hopes were, a lightly sweet tangerine batter.
It tasted horrible. The bitterness had not subsided. We added more sugar. And more sugar. AND MORE SUGAR. We continued this until we got a sweet tangerine batter with a hint of lingering bitter. It occurred to me that Alton Brown would tell me that I've now altered the chemistry of this cake and baking is a science and you can't do what I just did but I say I KNOW THIS ALTON BROWN BUT IT'S FOR HIS BIRTHDAY AND I AM OUT OF TIME!
I had this hope, at this point, that somehow baking was going to carmelize something and this cake was going to change. This cake was going to be amazing. It was going to work out. IT HAD TO WORK OUT.  I mean, chemical things happen when food is cooked. The properties change, things meld with other things, and so I felt like it was possible that something was going to happen to make this cake the AMAZING cake that had been promised.
I think my first clue that I had a problem was that the house never smelled good. I was promised amazing tangerine smells. It came out of the oven disguised as a proper cake. I dusted it with powdered sugar, wrote 46 in the sugar for his birthday and plopped on some candles. We sang and served cake.

I gave a gentle warning "There is a chance it's terrible. I'm not sure how it turned out."

He's sweet, he took a bite. And then looked at me and said "It's awful." He finished his piece while I took a tiny bite confirming it's status.

This is, in fact, the WORST cake ever made in our house.

We've discussed how we could change the recipe to make it not vile. It's a good recipe I think except for a couple of fatal mistakes that are insurmountable. It needs changed a bit so we might play with it. Maybe.

It was a lot of work for a terrible cake, I tell you what.