Make People Like You…. with Calamity Cake

As scientists, our grasp on reality is fully and completely based on the laws of physics by ya boy Izzy Newton (holla!). But as dessert mavericks, we need to remember another law: Murphy’s! Sometimes, no matter how well you prepare and how hard you try, everything goes wrong. And boy, did it ever. Trigger warning: rogue kitchen appliances, head wounds.  Your trusty scientist has regularly been bribing unsuspecting subjects with delicious treats but as with any social experiment, if you want to keep going, you need to raise the stakes (a.k.a. step ya game up). So in a daze of audacity, someone decided to sort of improvise a cake. Or tweak an existing recipe and then do more stuff to it. Whatever you want to call it, it was HUBRIS. The starting point was an almond sheet pan cake, with chocolate chips and a light frosting. The tweak included:

  • making the cake in two loaf pans instead of a sheet pan,
  • using pieces of salted caramalized almond chocolate instead of regular ol’ chocolate chips,
  • and making a way more interesting frosting with cream and that same chocolate.

First mistake: not letting the butter get soft before trying to mix it with the sugar. So instead of a creamy, fluffy substance, it kinda looks like the beginnings of crumble pie. IMG_6517

Second mistake: When adding milk, realizing you only have skimmed milk and deciding to substitute 1/3 of it with sour cream, which usually makes a cake even yummier. Or in your case, runnier.

Third mistake: Thinking that a 30×40 cm sheet pan can be substituted by two 15×25 cm loaf pans. It can… sort of, but the cakes will rise to the rim of the pan, or even slightly over. Oh and bonus mistake: thinking the cook time/temperature would be the same. It was not. That’s why your cakes come out slightly browner than intended. IMG_6520

Fourth mistake: Not recipe related, but easily the most dramatic mistake of all. When cleaning up your lab/kitchen, thinking that even though the highest shelf is way too high and you are way too short, you will somehow be able to stack your whole hand mixer, rotating bowl included, on said shelf. But you won’t. It will obviously slip out of your hands and the stand for the mixer will hit you square in the forehead, leaving a visible bump.IMG_6524

Now this is when you decide that maybe that’s enough experimenting for one day, and wait to finalize your awesome calamity cake until the next day. Also you tend to your brand new bump. The next day, after letting your cakes chill in the fridge overnight, you get to making the frosting. But before you can even do that, you realize that you will need to amputate the top of the cakes to even have room to spread frosting on them. IMG_6523

And by now you’re pretty damn tired of this catastrophe of a cake; this is way too much work to make people like you! But then you taste the discarded cake bits, realize that it is DE-LI-CIOUS, and at that moment you decide to persevere. And then you make way too much frosting (or so you think), but in the end you wish you’d made more. Photo

In the end though, all that work was totally worth it because that cake is AWESOME and science is AWESOME and we should all eat more cake anyway. IMG_6536

CATASTROPHE AVERTED, SCIENCE MANAGED!

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