Monday, August 16, 2010

Apple Pecan Spice Cake-FAIL

It seemed like such a good idea at the time....

When I got home from work last night, I was in the mood to make something that hinted of autumn. It was cool out, a bit drizzly and gray, and I had an itch to bake something suitable. Since I live in the Hudson Valley of NY, nothing screeches fall here more than apples, so I flipped through cookbooks and found a recipe for an Applesauce Pecan Spice Cake, and thought that sounded about right.

I dutifully sifted, blended, folded, toasted pecans and so on. Lots of great spices went in (nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice), so I had high hopes for good flavor. Batter was dumped into a generously buttered Bundt pan (I'm always looking for a reason to use mine, but really, they're kind of useless, aren't they?), and into the oven it went. And it smelled divine. Warm and spicy and rich...I half expected the whole cast of Little House on the Prairie to step into my house and start playing the fiddle.

That, my friends, is where the success ends. When time was up, I pulled the cake out and set it down to cool. Initial disaster struck when I attempted to get the cooled cake out of its pan. It had either bonded with it a la Stockholm Syndrome, and decided they could never, ever be parted from each other, or I hadn't buttered the pan adequately. Whichever of those you choose to believe (and I lubed the HELL out of that pan), only half the damn thing came out onto the cooling rack, while the bottom half clung codependently to the "non-stick" (BULLSHIT, I say) pan. Prying the remaining clumps out of the pan, I sorted of puzzle pieced the whole mess together, figuring that while it didn't look so hot, surely it would taste fine.

At this point, it was well past 10 pm, so I decided to drape a towel over the whole thing, and let it think about what it had done overnight. (There is nothing a bit weird about punishing cakes, I tell you.) Come morning I would glaze it, and all would be right with the world.

Umm...well.... If there are any of you out there who believe I am without fault in the kitchen, allow me to shatter your illusions. Because thankfully I had the foresight to try a piece of this abomination before bothering to glaze it. And it sucks. It's heavy, dry, and magically flavorless, despite all the additions from my spice rack. So, no, I am not going to include the recipe here. However, if you'd like to know how to make the best smelling, least tasty cake in all the land, let me know.

I suppose it's for the best...we're back to hot and humid today, and an autumnal dessert just wouldn't do. And I suppose I've re-learned that there's just no point in making a dessert that doesn't involve chocolate. But still. Damn.

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