I alluded the other day to my Failcake and so I thought I’d follow up on that. I didn’t do that right away because you know how much I love a happy ending so I had to wait till there was one. And there was! Good cake is always a happy outcome.
I had a task, and that was to make an olive oil cake, something I had heard of but imagined tasted like a bottle of olive oil, not something I enjoy in my desserts. But the theme was Mediterranean and since I don’t do baklava (well, I eat it, I just don’t make it), this seemed the best alternative. Particularly when I Googled and found a recipe from the Food Network, specifically from someone who is supposed to be an expert in Mediterranean food. I don’t know from such things, I only watch Ace of Cakes (one day, I will work at that place), but it had great reviews so I went for it. Actually, the idea first popped into my head from an article and recipe in the Times a couple of weeks ago which involved blood oranges and looked great. But it looked like a pound cake, not a fancee cake you serve people you want to impress (anyone other than myself is someone I want to impress) plus, it involved hacking an orange into pieces, not something I had the patience for.
But yeah, this did not turn out well. I should have known any cake calling for a cup and a half of something you usually put on salad or cook fish in was not something that was going to have a good result. This cake ended up having the texture of an Alaskan oil spill (you know how your fingers feel after eating pizza? yeah.) although I will admit it tasted pretty good. You may wonder how I knew it tasted and felt thus when in theory, I should not have been able to cut into it until serving it. But this is how. You see, this thing WOULD NOT be extricated from the pan. I made it in a non-stick bundt, something I use all the time with no trouble, but this was the cake that would not be released. I slid a knife around, then a sharper knife, then a frosting knife, then a spatula and nothing. I pounded on the back of the pan. Stuck. This was at 1am, so it’s lucky I hate my neighbors.
In the end, as you can imagine, it finally came out with half the cake still stuck to the pan. This is what I call Failcake. It looks something like this:
Ouch. I know.
The next day, I was all set to say, “Fuck the Mediterranean” and make the cake I do best, double-banana, but luckily, Alfa passed along yet another citrus olive oil recipe, this one from Cooking Light, which had tangerine instead of orange (whatever) and more importantly, 1/3 the oil (I guess that’s why they call it light). This one needed a little help releasing but did fine and although it didn’t have any olive oil taste (people just had to believe me on that one), it did taste moist and tangeriney and delicious. Oh, and it looked great, judge for yourself:
Yeah, now that’s what I call cake.
Now I just have to figure out what to do with the Exxon Valdez Uglycake.
Title based on:
Donna Summer – MacArthur Park