Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Disappointing Results

I am sad to report that I am waving the white flag on this month's challenge. I tried, I really did. This cake just did not like me.

Let me preface this by saying that I never complain about recipes that I am making and I am usually very good about figuring them out if they seem confusing. This one is a completely different story. I found the structure of this recipe to be a mess. After reading the recipe several times my friend
Chelle and I attempted to tackle this recipe together early on a Saturday morning. We both had disappointing results. Better grab a beverage, here is my side of the story...

My first challenge was trying to figure out what got folded into what and in what order it happened. I figured that out and went on and started my cakes (I used 2, 9" pans since I didn't hae a 10"). I used almonds instead of hazlenuts since hazlenuts seem to be a seasonal item. The process of making the cake went well, it baked wonderfully and inverted onto the rack like a champ. I let the cakes cool, as per the directions, wrapped them up and put them into the fridge.

Sunday came along and I was anxious to tackle the rest of the cake. I read over all of the remaining parts of the recipe and instantly got confused. The apricot glaze directions states, "with a pastry brush, apply the glaze onto the cake while the cake is still warm." Well wait a minute, the cake directions said nothing about applying the apricot glaze to the warm cake. I figured that was just a small hurdle and went ahead and applied the glaze to the cooled cakes. They became pretty sticky, which seemed like a problem if I would have had to cut the cakes in half.

Ok, on to the next item, the praline paste. Maybe I was impatient or using the wrong kind of pan but there is no way that plain ole sugar was going to melt in a saucepan on my stove over low heat on that day, it just wasn't happening. I tried this twice, the first time I turned up the heat a little and ended up with burnt clumps of sugar stuck to my pan. The second time I switched to another pan with no luck once again.

I then decided that I would just make regular buttercream, no such luck. I was having a horrible day in the kitchen on this particular day and nothing wanted to work right. I wrapped the cakes in plastic wrap and tucked them away in the freezer. Maybe someday I'll take them out and try to finish out the challenge.

Thank you to Mele Cotte for hosting the challenge. I gave it my best and had high hopes for a wonderful cake but the stars were not aligned for me on this day. I am glad I had the opportunity to attempt this cake.

14 comments:

Chelle said...

Thanks for trying to bake with me! We'll have to try again next month, hopefully we'll both have better results!

Erik - Baking in Oregon said...

I had problems too. My sugar wouldn't melt either after 30 minutes on low, I finally turned it up to medium and 5 minutes later I had melted sugar. Better luck next time.

marye said...

awww...I am sorry you had trouble...kudos for trying!

Joelen said...

At least you tried... and hopefully you'll have better results next time.

giz said...

Sorry you had such mishaps with this recipe. It was a challenge to be sure but I found the end result to be absolutely rewarding.

genkitummy said...

i'm sorry to hear about your challenge. better luck next time!

Stephanie said...

Oh no, I'm sorry it didn't work out for you. I must have reread the whole folding part a million times because I didn't understand what order things went in.

That Girl said...

We all have our off days!

Jigginjessica said...

Well I still give you 4 stars for trying! It's more than I can say!

Cara said...

I had a tough time too. Way to stick with it til the end though!

Megan said...

I still have high hopes for that cake. I bet when the stars are aligned, and you pull that cake out, it will all come together and be sooo worth it!

Katy said...

Awww, everybody has months like this. Did the instructions say to use the glaze before cutting the cakes? i used raspberry glaze but added it at the very end, right before the ganache, but after i'd already cut the layers, filled them with buttercream, and reassembled. though, i'm not the best about reading directions, so it's quite possible that i got lucky!

Deborah said...

I was confused about the jam part too - so I just left it out! You tried, and that's what really matters!

Jeanine said...

OH man, what a rough one. This recipe was definitely not the easiest to understand, that's for sure. However, I do believe the apricot glaze is only AFTER cutting, and layering your cake with buttercream & whipped cream in between. Right before the ganache. I know you'll rock at the next challenge, can't wait to see that one! :)