We were going to have dinner with friends the other night and I decided to try baking a cake out of the Christmas with Southern Living Cookbook. It is a recipe called Chocolate Caramel Cake. I had a few problems with it, but decided to post it anyway, because the solution could be used for pretty much any layer cake recipe that might not live up to your expectations.
The main problem I experienced was with the cake layers themselves. I should have lined the bottoms of the pans with wax paper, just like my mom taught me, but I got in a hurry and neglected that useful step. I did grease and flour the pans, JUST LIKE THE RECIPE SAID TO DO, but they didn't turn out very well. And, unfortunately, I mean that in a literal way.
The recipe is very arduous, and I'm not going to post it unless some brave reader requests it. I will, however, show the steps along my way.
Here is the cake batter, which is a basic scratch chocolate cake, complete in their greased, floured, and wax paperless cake pans:
I made the caramel filling which went without a hitch:
And the icing was a basic 7 minute icing...
except for the important addition of marshmallows. Other than a very sticky scissor, the icing turned out beautifully.
But, oops, the trouble started when I tried to turn the cake out of the pans. I also allowed them to cool, JUST LIKE THE RECIPE SAID. They were not very pretty.
I went ahead and added the caramel filling to the first layer:
Then pecans and a layer of the icing. But by the time I added the other two layers and tried to frost them, the cake started to crumble into the stark whiteness of the icing. My heart sank because I knew how delicious each component of the cake was. And the cake had turned into a disaster.
So, I got a large, sharp knife, and began to cut chunks of my cake, complete with filling and frosting, and layer them in a trifle bowl. It came almost to the top and I covered the top with Cool Whip and shaved chocolate:
It tasted heavenly, and had I not told them, my sweet friends would have never known that it was actually an impersonation of a trifle performed by a cake gone bad.
So don't lose heart when a recipe doesn't look quite right. There is usually a fix. Just use your imagination!