No Cure for Sunken-Middle Cake?Sunday, December 12, 2010
There's nothing as quite as comforting and reassuring as a well-baked cake. I've always had ovens that make the act of baking more akin to a risky gamble than a culinary art, but this has taught me how to deal with boo-boos, rather than mourn the loss of a pricey tart. That's how I found cake pops; messed up your deliciously decadent cake? No problem! Crumble, mix in icing, roll into balls and decorate. It's that easy. That being said, there's nothing that can quite prepare you for the disappointment of an unresolvable issue.
It's probably got more to do with my current every-day attitude than with the state of my sunken cake, but when I took it out of the oven and it dropped about 3cm, I was devastated. You see, I've resigned. From my job, that is, not from baking. I submitted The Letter, had a meeting filled with tears and tantrums, promised to reconsider, and then didn't say a word. I can't reconsider. It's either this job, or a wedding. Doesn't make much sense, does it? But when a job starts taking twelve waking hours out of every day, and then travelling to and from that job takes another two, that leaves very little time for the people you live with. It leaves very little time for eating properly, sleeping properly, and doing other things too - like writing a PhD proposal (on hold) or finishing that blanket I started knitting last year (on hold). So when G decided it had to go, I didn't have any energy to fight with him. So here we are - looking at a deflated cake and weeping over the sunken middle.
The cure for any problem is a good spatula. I have a lime green one; it has a happy-go-lucky attitude and swipes messes off of the sides of bowls, beaters, cups and jars. It solves cleaning issues. It neatly folds the perfect batter, regardless of the recipe.
I picked up my green spatula and miserably followed the rest of the recipe until I magically conjured up the perfect honey-chocolate glaze for my deflated baking attempts. It bubbled, boiled, swirled and poured, and it neatly covered the rounded mound of my Honey Chocolate Cake (Nigella's recipe, here). I then covered it in flaked almonds, and rebranded it a 'Honey Chocolate Fudge Cake'.
It's not that bad, actually.
I'm rather embarrassed about the tell-tale ridge around the edge, but the inside is perfectly rich and fudge-like, and the almonds take away the cloying sweetness of the entire jar of honey that goes into this. I'm going to cut it into large slices and pack it up so that I can take some to work for @getkiki and @johnnylondon1 who always appreciate baked goods, regardless of sunken middles or not. Much baking love to you both.