Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


Someone should have left this cake out in the rain

Filed under : Food
On April 6, 2009
At 12:15 am
Comments : 10

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.

Good cake


NY Times Cake

Title based on:
Donna Summer – MacArthur Park


10 Comments for this post

  1. Oooh, pretty non-fail cake!

    As for the “hacking an orange into pieces,” I hear you. I always avoided those recipes. The few times I did try to separate a citrus fruit from the pith and such, it was a frustrating, time-consuming chore. My method was to peel the fruit, pull it apart, then try to cut away all the skin, pith, etc. Then, on some cooking show, I saw someone supreme an orange.

    I no longer fear citrus. Go ahead, Google “how to supreme an orange.” It’s wicked easy.

  2. Alex says:

    Becca, it would take a post of its own to explain why (and then not really be worth the reading), but in my family of origin, “cake” was a euphemism for “seduction.”

    Now, I invite you to go reread your post. It changes everything. At least up until the photos, where it becomes obviously about, you know, food.

  3. Irishcardinal says:

    Oooh, the Alfa cake turned out pretty! I’d bring the failcake to work–my coworkers will eat anything.
    I love Ace of Cakes. But the way they handle every things so much with their dirty hands [well, I hope they are washing them off camera!], I’m not sure I’d want to eat one of their cakes.

  4. Becca says:

    Thanks! Thanks!

    Ima, actually, the NY Times recipe included the supreming method but it looked complicated. I’ve since been told it’s not (good to have another vote on that score!) but I had little time to prepare (it was 10pm the night before) and I didn’t want to fuss.

    Alex, I’m going to take a pass on that. I prefer to keep cake innocent, thankyouverymuch.

    Irish, I assume they wash their hands thoroughly and they just get fondant coloring on them. No one disabuse me!

  5. Alfagee says:

    Crumble up the fail cake and eat it with ice cream. You’ll never notice the oily residue!

  6. Becca says:

    I think I might have a coronary.

  7. Alfagee says:

    Olive oil is healthy. It’ll roto-rooter out the blockages.

  8. Becca says:

    You first!

  9. Average Jane says:

    I recommend Olive Oil Gelato that you can get at the WF somewhere in Manhattan. I have no idea which one or how else to describe it, but apparently this brand of gelato is way famous and you can get it at… um… WF.

    It doesn’t taste like oil at all. It tastes floral and sweet. And now it’s off limits until after Pesach! Chag Sameach, my friend!

  10. Becca says:

    Oh, I must look for that… thanks!

    And chag sameach to you too, Jane!

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