Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Not-so-Perfect Pumpkin Cake

It's really hard for me to resist making pumpkin things when October rolls around. Usually it starts off with me getting a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Bigbucks... then... well.. you saw I caved and made a pumpkin flavored Happy Jane.

Last week I realized that I don't make many cakes. and that's really a shame... cause people.. I love cake. The idea of a PUMPKIN cake was enough to get me to wear my contacts, get dressed up, and bake a cake... totally Stepford Style.

I found this recipe from the Joy of Baking. hook, line, and sinker. and forget about the idea of adding MAPLE to the cream cheese frosting. I was seriously swooning before I even cracked the first egg.

Now.. I did go into a more detailed description of the events that occurred while I was baking this cake on my other blog... but because my narrative involved many curses, I'm going to let you use your imagination here. (sorry.. I try to keep this blog clean, folks.)

Things started off VERY WELL, though. Dare I say I believed I had made some perfect cakes. I'm a bit of an ego-centric... I'll admit that. But I RARELY use the word 'perfect' to describe my culinary attempts. I like to recognize what I do right, but want to always better myself.. so again.. I don't throw around 'perfect' too much.

but these cakes??? I went there. I even said it out loud. which was probably my downfall... but they were sooo beautiful. and the smell!! again.. SWOON, I say!

It all went to pot when I attempted the frosting, though. it was too runny (probably from my over-zealous addition of maple syrup) and I kick myself cause there was a point in the mixing process that I felt I had the right (read THICK) consistency... I forged ahead with the recipe instructions, and added more maple. GAR!

but I'll spare you all of that and just get to the awful evidence.

Despite letting the frosting sit for a few hours (thinking it would thicken or harden..) it was still a gloppy mess.

hence.. my cake became a gloppy mess.

ooey-gooey, yippy drippy MESS.

Now.. fear not.. it didn't stop me from EATING it. and I will say that the taste WAS superb. and moist. oh MY do I love a nice, fresh, moist cake! Really.. this recipe is fantastic for the cake. the icing? I might say to stick with what you know, even if it means buying a canned cream cheese frosting. The maple did add a nice layer to the frosting... but the thin consistency threw me for a loop.

The second cake I made came out a bit nicer looking. maybe because I used the frosting a bit more sparingly... knowing too much would get the gloppy side effect. SO yes.. the second one came out better.. but very far from something I'd call perfect.

The second cake was donated to my husband's work... and supposedly all who had it were very pleased. Hey.. they're computer nerds... maybe they're not as picky?

LESSONS LEARNED: So yeah. one.. NEVER use the word perfect. call me superstitious, but being that bold = murphy's law to happen = far from perfect results.

I will for sure use this recipe again... but next time I will use double the cream cheese, and single or slightly LESS than single proportions of the liquid ingredients. Next time.. I'll be going for a thick frosting. Like ability-to-pipe thick.


Hänni said...

pumpkin is my favorite, period. Do not go lightly into that pumpkin night--use it more often lady. Your pumpkin cake reminds me of a pumpkin roll. yum.

Erin said...

I would have gotten pissed off, probably cried, and stomped around the kitchen for awhile. I'm a little cooking unbalanced though so you handled everything extremely well!

hanne said...

Ooh boy, do I sympathize with your perfetion problems. I have the same issues with cakes often. But the idea of the cake sounds great, and it looks like it was delicious!