Posted by: Rachel | January 25, 2011

Chocolate Cake (fail)

Due to the fact that I mixed some ingredients that shouldn’t have been mixed and had to start over on my banana brownies, I had a well measured concoction of flour, sugar, cinnamon and baking powder. Instead of throwing this away, I decided to use it for another chocolate recipe that caught my eye a few days before: 1929 Black Chocolate Cake.

I was attracted to this for one reason: the recipe called for spoiled milk, which I had.  I hadn’t ever used spoiled milk and was curious to see if it really is edible.

Go figure; it is.  But I did my best to make the cake inedible.

The original recipe was altered a little bit because it didn’t have cinnamon (but my mix did) and I started with a 1/4 tsp of baking powder, so I added another 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (hoping to equal the original 3/4 tsp soda asked for in the recipe).  I figured I could work with this.

1929 Black Chocolate Cake

1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup boiling water

1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sour milk, mixed with 3/4 teaspoonful soda
1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla (added by author to original recipe)

Original instructions:

Pour boiling water over butter and cocoa
Add sugar and stir well
Add flour and milk alternately
Bake in moderate or slow oven

Here’s what I did:

Melt butter and add cocoa.  Pour (1/4 cup, not the prescribed 1/2 cup) boiling water over the two ingredients, stirring until smooth and set aside to cool.  Pour butter/water/cocoa mix into flour, sugar, baking soda/powder.  Add milk and mix.  Add egg and vanilla.  Stir until combined.  Portion by 1/4 cup into 12 greased muffin tins.  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until tops of cakes spring back when touched.

Ho-hum 'cup'cake (due to baker error)

The batter for the cake tasted great, but I was not impressed with the cake itself.  Then, I reread the instructions and ingredients.  Not only did I not measure the ingredients correctly, but I didn’t add them in the correct order.  So the cake fail was an operator error.

To try to recover from my dismal fail, I attempted to make a frosting (when chefs serve a ho-hum dish, they make sauce; bakers make frosting).  This peanut butter frosting tasted ok on the chocolate cake and like heaven on the banana brownies I made yesterday.  Then, I reread the ingredients list and realized I forgot the vanilla extract.

Lesson for the day: skim, peruse and scrutinize your recipe.  Then start baking.


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