Monday, March 23, 2015

The Best Laid Plans

I first saw this recipe for a cream cheese and lemon pound cake a few years ago, and I knew I had to make it someday. I was even able to locate the recipe again after all that time, and when I finally had the requisite ingredients, I set to work. I only wanted to take a tiny, insignificant little detour—cut the recipe in half and make just enough batter to fill a 12-cup muffin tin, yielding a dozen portable pound cakelets. It sounded like a plan! I carefully noted the smaller amount of each ingredient next to the original, and started mixing:

Beaten, not stirred.

I normally mix things by hand, but I knew this type of cake required machinery to get the right consistency. Things were looking fluffy and light, and when the sugar was fully incorporated, I started folding in the rest of the ingredients, alternating the dry with the wet as instructed. The batter looked beautiful and tasted divine, except...except it wasn't as thick as I had expected, and there was a LOT more of it.

And then I realized.

Because even though I had noted the proper amount of milk for my half-recipe, I had measured out the WHOLE amount. Twice as much as I needed for my cakelets. Yet the batter still looked good, so I quickly buttered a 9 x 13 inch pan and got the cake in the oven. It rose nicely, browned evenly along the edges, and when a toothpick came out clean, I removed it and let it cool. The once beautiful, fluffy cake that came out of the oven then sunk utterly and completely - but that was just cosmetic, and I was sure it would taste fine. Maybe I could still make a recipe from it, even post it on the blog as intended, with suggestions for toppings or pairing it with fresh berries. It would all turn out okay.

I cut myself a piece the next day. The cake was dense, heavy, and had an odd texture. And though it tasted fine, it seemed somehow uncooked, and sat in my stomach like a pile of wet laundry. It was not okay. I could not let anyone else eat this. I didn't even want to toss it outside to the critters for fear of upsetting their little tummies. So I did the thing I hate the most: I THREW IT AWAY. I was sad, disappointed, and more than a little unnerved by the waste of ingredients.

I still want to make this pound cake. I still want to make it into little cakelets, perhaps with a fresh berry compote on the side, and post it here for everyone to enjoy. It still sounds like a plan! Only it may be a while until I'm ready to make the attempt again :-)


1 comment:

  1. I have certainly done similar. I remember making pumpkin bread and forgot to add the baking soda! The baked loaves looked like half bricks. I cried! I know the feeling when I'd doesn't come out right after all that anticipation. Looking forward to your redo on this one. I do love a good lemon pound cake!


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