Friday, January 13, 2012

2/52 - Tracy vs Velvet Cake. or "How Not to Bake a Cake"

If I haven't said it enough, I HATE baking. Here's an example of why:

An aquaintance needed a cake for a St. Patty's day type of celebration in March. She wanted something green. I immediately offered to make a Green Velvet cake with Guinness Cream Cheese frosting.
It made my mouth water immediately.

I had no recipe - I didn't even have a plain red velvet cake recipe.. I had never even made red velvet cake before. Not even from a box. Totally winging it.
I did however, have faith in, where I found the perfect marshmallow recipe just a few months ago.. so I did some searching, and sure enough! I found Smitten Kitchen's Red Velvet Cake

So I read the post and made a mental note to pick up some non-dutch processed cocoa and some buttermilk, neither of which I've ever purchased in my life. After a little bit of label reading - I discovered that dutch processed cocoa specifically says "dutch processed cocoa" on the label.. and non-dutch processed cocoa simply says "cocoa" or "natural cocoa" in the ingredient list.
Also - I bought dry buttermilk. it comes in powdered form conveniently located right beside the cocoa and other baking ingredients at the grocery store - and if there's anything I love more than NOT baking, it's NOT spending any more time shopping. Wee!

So a few days later I finally decide I'm going to dive into this head first.
I don't have eggs.
I run to the store really quick to get eggs.
Step one is grease the pans. I hate this step. It's a waste of perfectly good butter. I don't care right now if it's pretty.. therefore, I'm aluminum foiling my pan, changing Step 1 to "Open Guinness" and moving on.

Step 2 is oil and sugar. I don't have enough oil, so I use some softened margarine instead. It mixes up fine.

I add my green food coloring... but I only have one tablespoon instead of the recommended six. Whatever - I know what green looks like, its not like it's going to change the flavor at all.. I can just pretend it's greener than it really is and move on.

I wanted a guiness flavor instead of the vanilla. so I pour a little splash in. In retrospect, I should've done both.. because let's face it, vanilla is delicious. The only reason people don't use more vanilla in baking recipes is that it's expensive.. why wouldn't I include it?

Well then in a bowl I mix my flour (which is not cake flour because I only had all-purpose flour) and my cocoa, and my salt, and my dry buttermilk powder.

I add that to the green sugary oil, along with the appropriate amount of water for the powdered buttermilk.
I mix up the baking soda and vinegar - I hate chemistry, I don't know what this does, but I do what I'm told - and pour it in.

The batter is hideous. It's the same green that crazy bitch voms in the Exorcist... except thicker. ew.
So I pour it in the pans. It's thick and gloppy and does not spread to the corners. I push it down as best I can and stick it in the oven. I even took a picture because it looked so gross.

.... a couple minutes go by...

... a couple more minutes go by...

...I start tackling the mess I left in the process...

.. a couple more minutes go by..

OH SHIT! I forgot the eggs. They're still on the counter in the bag from the grocery store. For those that don't know - eggs are pretty much a main ingredient in anything "cake." Without them, you have something kinda like a brownie, but slimier. Kinda important.

So I pull the pans out of the oven. I put 3 eggs in the bottom of my mixer, scramble them up really nicely, and start pouring the warm batter out of the cake pans on top of them.

I make a huge mess, remix the batter (which suddenly becomes a much better consistency - and less vomit green), repour into the pans, and return to the oven.

bake for 40 minutes.

They just came out of the oven. They've now graduated to babypoo green.. with some slight burning around the edges where the pre-egged batter was still sitting when I mad-dashed it back to the oven.

But how does it taste!?

Well if you can get past the burntness..
and the remarkably unappetizing lack of color..
it's delicious!
But obviously I plan on doing things a little differently next time.. and I'm REALLY glad this was just a test run.

*le sigh*


UPDATE: I have successfully redeemed myself, CLICK HERE to read the post where I don't screw it up :)


  1. Love the story. Got by a whole bottle of green and throw it in. Thats how the red works, as scary as it seems to use a whole bottle, but it works! Best of Luck -BJ

  2. Just wanted to add - I just made the frosting and it's delicious too!