When cooking goes wrong: a cautionary tale

If you dropped by here last week,  you’ll have seen my posts about our apple windfall and the appley deliciousness that followed in the kitchen. It all sounded rather perfect. Reading back I rather envy this person with their idyllic life: picking the apples from the trees in the garden, making some preserves, heck, even a partner who loves to cook and is happy to whip up a quick curd when he comes home from work in the evening.

It was all starting to sound a little too flawless, right? Turning into one of those blogs where “delicious smells” are constantly “wafting from the kitchen,” where trees are “heavy with the bounty of fruit” and everything about this person’s life is so blinking fantastic  (if a bit on the twee side) you start to hate them a little bit…  a world with babies that don’t cry, partners who love to cook and soufflés that always rise.

Well, just so you don’t hate me, I thought I’d share our third and final bit of apple cooking. This was the result:

Apple cake
Believe it or not, this is actually an apple cake. Delicious looking, ahem…

No, that isn’t supposed to be a treacle sponge, or some apple version of a chocolate pot pudding all gooey on the inside. That is supposed to be an apple cake. And just a reminder in case you’ve not seen a cake for a while: cakes are supposed to be firm and stand up on their own.

Our problem, I think, was that we used a really deep cake tin. We cooked it for the correct amount of time, but it wasn’t set, so we cooked it for another hour (double the time). The next day, I upended it from the mould, saw the middle wasn’t quite set, so cooked it for another hour. By now, this cake had been in the oven for a full three hours, which you’d think would be enough to nuke any cake, but when we went to eat it, this was the vision we saw.

So, there you have it, a cautionary tale against culinary smugness. The moral of the story: don’t feel too great about your prowess in the kitchen with apples from the garden or your cakes will never rise again.

Sounds like an ancient Chinese proverb…

(Admittedly, though, the non-collapsed outside of the cake was pretty tasty, so I may well try and make it again. But I’ll obey the recipes instructions for the size of cake tin next time…)

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