Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The worst cake I ever made

My household disaster happened about 15 or so years ago. This doesn't make it any more or less embarrassing than the ones Keriann and L.T. wrote about, it simply makes it older. (It's also not nearly as terrible now I think about it, but to 13-year-old me this was a disaster.)

Some of my favorite childhood memories involve cooking with my mother. I've always been into food, so it seemed only logical for me to learn how to make this stuff. I also find cooking very relaxing and also highly creative--when I get the chance to make recipes up on the fly.

This particular disaster happened in January of ... I want to say 1996. It was right around Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, and I remember that fact because of the comment my mother made later after this disaster happened.

It was one of the first times my mother allowed me to fly solo while baking. Prior to this, she was always in the kitchen guiding me and making sure everything went off smoothly. But this time, she decided I was ready, and so I got left alone in the kitchen to bake a chocolate cake.

I was so excited ... finally I could make something by myself and prove how well I could bake. So I got out all the ingredients--I don't remember if I used a mix or not--and had everything blended smoothly in the bowl.

Everything was going well, and I got the oven pre-heated and the two layers of the cake inside without a hitch. The next step was to make the frosting. So I mixed the powdered sugar and other ingredients into a tasty white frosting, and sat there waiting for the cake to come out so I could frost it and serve it.

The timer on the oven dinged, I checked the cake, and then pulled it from the oven. I know now the next step is to let the cake cool in the pan before trying to turn it out and frost it.

Do you think I realized this at 13? (Hint: Not a whit.)

I flipped the cake over and hit the bottom of the pan to knock it out. It didn't come. So I hit the pan again. And again. Until at last the cake did come out ...

... broken into roughly 6 giant pieces.

Yes, my beautiful chocolate cake meant to impress everyone with my l33t skillz ended up in about 6 chunks on the plate.

My mother took one look at the results and said: "That cake looks like Martin Luther King rose from the grave."

Me? I was heartbroken. But my mother patched it together with a bit of frosting and we served it anyway. The cake still tasted good at least.

And that was the last time I ever didn't let a cake cool in its pan before turning it out.


Unknown said...

I did that to a cake once too . . . considerably less than fifteen years ago. I did remember to let it cool but I also thought adding chocolate chips to the recipe would make it tasty. It mostly just made the batter stick to the pan.

L. T. Host said...

I did this too, except I didn't wait for it to cool enough before FROSTING. And this was only like a couple years ago. Yikes. It was red velvet, with white frosting, and... well, let's just say it looked pink and like I'd dropped it on the floor by the time I was done.

K. Marie Criddle said...

Patience, young baking padawan. Patience. (In all fairness, I did the exact same thing a few days ago. And I'm a LOT older than 13.) :D