Breaking Rules

I have a confession. Last week, I broke one of the fundamental rules of cake baking.

A friend was coming over with her kids. “Have you got any cake?” she asked me, hopefully. Usually the answer is a resounding yes, but surprisingly that day, I didn’t. No problem. “I’ll whip something up!” says moi. I’ve always got the ingredients to make something cakey (I go into a bit of a panic if I’m running low of any of the basics) and I had some lemon curd left over from the angel food cake I made for the Clandestine Cake Club gathering a few days earlier. Bundt!

With confidence I mixed up my ingredients. The basic bundt recipe that I usually use (Dollybakes trusted method) in the Jubilee tin, with lots of lemon zest and a layer of lemon curd very close to the top of the tin. I knew full well that it would sink in the mix, but thought I’d attempt to combat that. Clever clogs me.

In went the cake. The house filled with gorgeous smells and my friend and the children were all quite excited about the prospect of eating the cake. Just over an hour later, out it came…looking and smelling great. Winner, thinks me. Barely 5 minutes out of the oven though, and I got impatient. They were impatient and I gave in to pressure. Here’s my confession. I turned the cake out whilst it was still hot.

I know, I know. I can hear your shouts from here. I knew as I was doing it that it wasn’t the right thing to do. As I turned it onto the rack, I had a short-lived moment of joy when the cake started to come out of the tin…but I was wrong. It was only the bottom half coming out…the top was still in the tin. It had split along the curd line.

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Cake wreck

I didn’t take a photo of the inside of the tin.  Before I had chance to, my friend had started gouging at the inside with a spoon (sometimes fingers!) and I have to admit, I helped her. We did put some of the chunks of cake in a bowl…which we ate immediately. It tasted really, really good. And then we ate the rest of the cake, which all considered, was a good cake! Quite pleased with its texture and flavour.

So, what did I learn from this experience? In baking, the fundamental rules are there for a reason. I will never rush turning out a bundt cake again! I also learnt that every cloud has a silver lining, and that cake wrecks can taste just as good as successes…they just don’t look as pretty.

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