I documented the making of this fabulous cake straight from the pages of Cake Ladies – Celebrating a Southern Tradition.
My desire is to bake through the whole book. Because I get like that. When Mikey requested a labor-intensive cake that would require that I practice my caramel-making skills (do I have caramel-making skills?) I was looking forward to the process.
I worked hard – there was allowing all the ingredients to come to room temperature, the creaming, the sifting and the alternating of wet and dry additions. There was browning the sugar and raising the temperature to exactly 248 degrees. Whew!
When I poured the icing onto the cake for spreading, I saw it.
‘It’ was a tiny fleck of enamel paint. Paint?!
My cake was iced with frosting that was chock full of white, enamel paint. All those ingredients. All that work. With a large spatula, Dennis tilted my beautiful cake plate and plunked it into the trash can. I couldn’t do it. Although it was just a cake – it was a terrible feeling to have it all slip unceremoniously into the garbage.
I could not pick out the flecks – they were pervasive. The whole cake had to be tossed.
Oh, the analogies I can draw from this baking experience. The lack of success, the perceived wasting of time and costly ingredients. I just did not know where to start. I thought I might lack the gumption to start the process over again. The first step in restarting this tremendous cake was to make a conscious decision as to whether I was going to tackle it or not. Decision made, I proceeded.
Rebuilding and reformulating from the ground up. Have you ever had to do that?