Monday, February 28, 2011

Slip Sliding Away!

I've heard of sliding into a plate, as in home plate. 

All American Girls Professional Baseball League player Marg Callaghan sliding into home plate - April 22, 1948

But what about sliding off the plate???

I spent all Sunday afternoon (which was a glorious spring day!) cooking for our church's Fellowship Dinner.  I decided to make this special chocolate cake that has been Alan's favorite since our college days -- Mrs. Veale's Chocolate Cake (named after the lady who made it).  I carefully followed the recipe, even "going the extra mile" by taking the time to sift the flour and sugar together, as the recipe recommends.  ;)  While the cake cooled, I mixed up the icing.  Then, I got out the beautiful cake plate that Tiffany gave me for Christmas and imagined how pretty my cake was going to look on that cake plate! 

When I was sure the cake was cool enough, I began to ice the cake.  The icing seemed to be the perfect consistency, and the first layer went well.  Then I put the second layer on top, and spread the delicious icing on it.  That's when my troubles started!!  Suddenly, I noticed that the top layer was sliding off the bottom layer and about to slip off the cake plate!  I didn't know what to do, so I took my hand and tried to gently push it back up.  BIG Mistake!  That side of the cake just stuck to my hand, and the more I tried to fix it, the worse it got!!  I really had a mess!!!!  :(

Here is a picture of the good side:

and here is a picture of the other side!

I really don't know what went wrong!  I am guessing that maybe the house was too warm or too humid, as we had the windows open and the temps outside were right around 80 F.  But, I'm really not sure!!

Two Strikes Against Me

When I realized that this cake was definitely OUT, I quickly came up with Plan B.  I asked Hannah to throw together a cake mix and bake it in a 9x13 pan, while I finished up my main dish, and I would frost it with the leftover icing.  So, she graciously did that for me.  But, the cake had just come out of the oven when it was time to leave for church!  So, Alan and the rest of the family went without me, and I put the cake in the refrigerator to help it cool faster!  Then, I frosted it with the extra icing, and put a piece of foil across the top and hurried off to church. 

Once at church, I put it in the refrigerator.  When it was time for the fellowship meal, I took the cake out and would you believe all the icing had stuck to the foil????  It was unbelievable!  I cut it and served it anyway, even though it was a Mess!  It was pretty humbling to see that mess on the dessert table though.  :( 

I had received some compliments on my cooking this weekend, and I'm guessing I must have gotten "the big head," because God definitely Humbled Me!  :)   I don't think I will make another cake to take somewhere for a good, long while!

Maybe I should add that although my husband felt sorry for me, he was actually quite happy about having that whole cake to himself!!!  What he didn't count on was that Taylor and Joe would be just as happy about that messy little cake in the refrigerator!  I don't know what happened last night, but when I got up this morning, the cake plate was Empty!!! 

So, I feel a little embarrassed to even ask this question --  but would you like the recipe??  ;)   It is pretty Yummy -- so I will take a chance and post it, very humbly!  :)

Mrs. Veale's Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 sticks butter
4 TBSP cocoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp soda
1 tsp vanilla

Sift together the sugar and flour:  Put 1/2 cup sugar into sifter, then 1/2 cup flour, and keep repeating until it is all sifted.  Set aside.

In small saucepan, bring to boil:  2 sticks butter, 4 heaping TBSP cocoa, and 1 cup water.  Pour over flour/sugar mixture.

In a mixing bowl, beat 1/2 cup buttermilk, 2 eggs, 1 tsp soda and 1 tsp vanilla with electric mixer.  Add first mixture, and beat well, scraping the bowl as needed. 

Pour into a greased 9x13 baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Let cake cool to room temperature before icing.

1 stick butter
4 TBSP cocoa
6 TBSP strong coffee
1 pound 10x powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Put butter, cocoa and coffee in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and add 1 tsp vanilla.  Beat in powdered sugar.  If too thin, add more powdered sugar, until thick enough to spread.

Can also be made in two 9" round pans.  (But I wouldn't recommend it!!)  :)


Christi Wildman said...

Oh, Elizabeth...I remember making a cake for my cousins when their father passed. I was in 2nd grade, maybe. It was held together with toothpicks!

They were so gracious to say that the best cakes always fall apart! They were older than I, and they definitely blessed this beginning baker!

So, obviously that cake was VERY VERY GOOD!

Rebecca's Refining said...

I love Mrs. Veal's Chocolate Cake! It always comes out so moist and delicious!
One thought...with that icing recipe it takes longer for the icing to cool and thicken. Maybe you put it on too warm?
I just keep the cake in the pan, and pour the warm icing over ...then it seems to work into the cake a little, making it extra moist and delicious!

I have not had great success in stacking two (or more) round cakes together myself...mine usually slide too, and I am strategically placing toothpicks trying to hold the thing together! I know the presentation isn't as nice, but I tend to leave mine in the 9X13 pan! (Unless I am trying to decorate a special birthday cake!)

It is so frustrating when the icing sticks to the foil! And, of course it only happens when taking it to a church dinner! I have found if I can refrigerate the icing first it helps...sometimes! I have one pan with a lid, and that works best as long as someone doesn't stack another dish on top on the way to the car!

Well, I know too well the pride that can manifest itself by wanting things to look and taste good....after all, I have a "reputation" to keep...and, it is my "duty" as a wife/mother to make things look appealing to the eye and tasty to the tummy! (haha)

Unfortunately I have responded to many situations through the years with pride (and not just in the area of cooking!) I am learning to laugh at myself a little more, and to remember that God is in control of ALL things.... Even cooking mishaps can be a "L.E."

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth.....that first cake looks like it needs a special trip to the trifle bowl!! A layer of whip cream....perhaps strawberries fresh sliced...a layer of a new named gooey and good you'd never know it was a dissaster something or rather!! I am sure your family was glad you didn't have this thought in time!! Finish the top off with a thick layer of freshly whipped cream, and a shaved hershey bar!! I hope you are laughing!! Isn't that a lemonade trick?

busymomof10 said...

Rebecca, Thanks for the helpful tips! Jane, I think your idea of turning the cake into a trifle was a fabulous idea! And yes, Christi -- toothpicks rescue many a cake, but this one was beyond repair, I think!

MamaAnt said...

Again, I say, Mmmmmmmmmmmmm! This sounds similar to my Charlie Loo recipe.

Donna G. said...

I am so sorry, but I sure needed a laugh today. Thanks!! =)

Happy Busy Mama said...

I second the trifle bowl or any big bowl. I have learned that we can quickly rescue a cake or even cookie mess (and believe me, we have had a lot) with a generous amount of cool whip and other goodies sprinkled in. I call trifle bowls "cake insurance." lol Btw, I LOVE that cake plate. Beautiful

Kimberly @ Raising Olives said...

LOL, that is the kind of cake that I'm expert at making.

The recipe sounds delicious. Maybe I can talk one of my girls into making it for tonight. YUM!

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