I BAKED TWO CAKES TODAY. The two cakes were dutifully delivered and served at a church meal this evening. The empirical evidence has all been gathered now, and here are the findings: Great blunders, how I bungle the baking of cakes! Perhaps you'll recall, Dear Reader, that interesting little chocolate number with the fall leaves that I baked for the Thanksgiving dinner. I gave a mumbled comment that it was nothing to rave about and hoped you would not ask questions, Reader Dear. I can't say for sure what went wrong, other than using fake butter (alas and tut, tut) and possibly under-baking the thing (though you can't imagine how I tortured that toothpick).
But ever the optimist (ha, I'm slightly pessimistic concerning that sentence opener), when the opportunity to contribute arose, I opted to bring two cakes.
(Openings on the needed list were limited by the time I signed up; in fact, other than bringing an "Opera singer,"
"Two cakes" was the only option.
This time I was determined to follow all instructions precisely! Use all quality ingredients, the fattest possible! Measure correctly! Not under-bake!
I made a run to the grocery store and purchased all ingredients that weren't already in my cupboards or fridge. Then, with the Christmas lights at my kitchen sink cheering me on, and the oven getting hot under its collar, I mixed up the batter for one cake. Pouring that into the pan, I rushed to mix up the second one. Into the oven with the two of them, then. The timer was set for forty minutes, since the recipe stated: Bake for 45 to 50 minutes at 350 degrees. It didn't take long to produce the cream cheese icing, but once again I made two batches, fearing my bowl would not accommodate a small truckload of confectioners' sugar.
I was very satisfied with myself, tidying up the kitchen, waiting for the timer to sound the alarm, when...with a start (or to put it more accurately, with a START) I got a whiff and a whisp of smoke! In five seconds flat I had that oven door open, those two cakes yanked from within and set on the counter to mourn over. They were scorched! As I pondered the degree to which this was the case, the timer impertinently squawked.
Part II. The scorching didn't seem to be extreme. It was way too late to start over. Icing covers a multitude of sins, I reckoned.
While the cakes cooled I created two Christmas packages for sending (using no recipe). It was consoling.
Part III. The cakes were iced and decorated.
Part IV. They were lugged through the cold rain to the car, transported, served to all those unsuspecting souls who--from that tempting array of six cake choices--chose mine (Dear Reader, there will always be winners in life; alas, there will also be losers)!
Part V. I lugged home the leftover third of a cake. I tasted a piece.
Part VI. As I said, Reader Dear, the evidence is in!