help with possible cake disaster
Posted: 29 March 2011 07:29 PM   [ Ignore ]
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You know those days when everything goes wrong? I’m having one of those. After having a frustrating day at work, I came home to make the whipped cream cake, having helped a friend make one just last Friday [read overconfident, not thinking a whole lot about it]. About 10 different things went wrong, one of them that too much salt got into the flour mixture. I tried getting some of it out, but I think it is still too salty (it wasn’t that I didn’t measure it, it’s that in a rush I put the “overflow” into the flour mixture). The cake is for a potluck tomorrow, and I wasn’t going to cut into the cake today, but now I’ll have to. I did try the batter, and I think it did taste too salty - and I had FLOUR PELLETS.  Also the crumbs that I tasted from when I took the cake out of the pan didn’t taste as sweet as they did at my friend’s house last week.
So, if I taste one piece and it tastes “salty,” should I add a syrup to it? Throw it away?

Baking is always my refuge, but I just should have taken a bath or something before starting.

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Posted: 29 March 2011 08:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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K1B1, so sorry you’re having troubles!  I haven’t tried to fix an overly salty cake, but if you’re going to cut a piece, then go ahead and try your fixes (like syrup) on that piece.  I think syrup is certainly worth a try, as diluting the salt should help.

Another thought is to serve it with an accompaniment that works well with salt, like chocolate sauce or caramel sauce.

Good luck!

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Posted: 29 March 2011 08:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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It’s ok, not as good as normal, but probably alright. I think every piece is going to have a flour pellet. Some of them are quite large. I have no idea how that happened - next time I’ll whisk together the dry ingredients better. As I said, I wasn’t being careful enough, having just made the cake (and right after coming home from work). Maybe I won’t tell people I made it!!! The potluck is at my house, so I also made the main dish, and am considering other items. Two other people will also bring a dessert.

It might be fun to make a chocolate sauce. I’ll look in the cake bible.

Are there any favorite recipes? I had also thought of a fruit puree. I still have whipping cream. What would be the best options for incorporating something in the whipped cream?

Thanks, Julie!

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Posted: 29 March 2011 11:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Chocolate sauce will work well—salt is so good with chocolate (think chocolate covered pretzels).  Just call it a “sweet ‘n’ salty whipped cream cake” so everyone thinks it’s supposed to be that way!

A caramel sauce would work really well, too, and would go also with the current “sweet and salty” trend—you know all the salted caramel stuff.  You can also pitch some pecans on it—this way, anyone who gets a flour pellet will probably think they got a pecan piece!!

Good luck!  Let us know how it turns out!

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Posted: 30 March 2011 09:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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One possibility for a chocolate sauce is to make ganache, maybe with a little extra cream, and serve it while still liquid.  If it’s already set and thickened, you can give it a short blast in the microwave, just enough to melt, at serving time.  Rose does this for the chocolate chip charlotte in the cake bible.

If you have more time, you could make the caramel ganache from RHC and use that as a sauce.

A few whole strawberries would also work well with the cake and chocolate sauce (if you have grand marnier on hand, add it to the ganache). 

Or you could make strawberry shortcake with either fresh strawberries or pureed frozen strawberries, and serve that alongside whipped cream.  Often the biscuit-style strawberry shortcake is not very sweet and somewhat salty.

I wonder if syruping the cake might help moisten the flour pellets?

good luck!

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Posted: 30 March 2011 01:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I’m going to try making a chocolate syrup. As I’ll be slicing the cake before serving, I may pull out some pellets when they are on the edge. I wonder why that happened. Because I stirred rather than whisked the flour mixture? In the future, I will follow EVERY instruction. I looked at recipes last night and this morning, and came close to making the chocolate chip cream, but have decided on a chocolate syrup that I will be able to hold in the fridge for some time. It’s from “Better than store bought.” I’ve never made it before. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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Posted: 31 March 2011 10:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Whatever you do, don’t make excuses for your cake. Julia Child said never to apologize for culinary mistakes. Most of the time, no one will notice. We are our own worst critics.  smile

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Please visit me at http://cookinginmexico.com/ for recipes and photos

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Posted: 31 March 2011 11:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I think the cake tasted fine, just not sublime. I was able to pick out most of the pellets with a toothpick as I sliced each piece. I was not overwhelmed by the chocolate sauce I made. In retrospect, I would have preferred a ganache. I have over a cup of sauce leftover: what to do with it other than make chocolate milk? I didn’t tell anyone about my cake issues.

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Posted: 01 April 2011 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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knit1bake1 - 31 March 2011 02:27 PM

I have over a cup of sauce leftover: what to do with it other than make chocolate milk?

If it were my house, it would get used up by putting a spoonful in my morning coffee in place of sugar. smile

Sounds like it all worked out quite well!

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Posted: 01 April 2011 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I deleted yesterday’s rant about the potluck. I know now I overreacted, but the fact that one of the guests [typically] turned up having to PREPARE her appetizer when the kitchen was already in use and table and counter space otherwise occupied was upsetting to me (and she forgot to bring a dip and was going through my closets looking for ingredients - I just happened to have sour cream in the house, unusually). I felt it wasn’t fair to me, nor to the guests, as they didn’t have the appetizer to eat at the appropriate time. It got the thing off to an unpleasant start for me, and I actually had to leave the kitchen to stop myself from saying anything bad. She has done things like this in the past (such as bringing bags of spinach that have not been washed, taking 45 minutes to wash it while dripping water all over my floor) She is a colleague, so I can’t really voice my opinions. I thought I was over it, but apparently I’m not, quite. So, basically, I didn’t exactly enjoy the potluck, but I’m glad it’s over. There were 15 people (2 couldn’t show up at the last minute), and there wouldn’t have been enough food had they come, plus space was very tight with the 15. I think if there had been more room in the kitchen it wouldn’t have been quite so exasperating, but I’m a bit down on myself for not being more flexible. I put a lot of work into these department potlucks—there are 4 per academic year—whether I am hosting or bringing something.  I usually bring a dessert or bread that I have spent many hours on. Oh, well, live and learn (and we have been doing these for over 6 years now). For this one I made a 7 pound brisket, the cake, and the chocolate sauce.

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Posted: 01 April 2011 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Well, K1B1, if you deleted the rant, it must have been pretty scathing!  I would have been happy to commiserate with you!  That said, I do commiserate with you on the above.  What someone needs to do is assign who’s to bring what, and give her “meat and cheese cubes.”  Then the worst that can happen is she’ll have to slice them—which she can do in some remote room with a portable cutting board!!!!! 

Yum!  Brisket!  You and flour girl have got me wanting to try that whipped cream cake now!

Julie—Great idea for the leftover chocolate sauce!

You can also dip unfrosted cake cubes into it a la fondue!!!

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Posted: 01 April 2011 12:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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K1B1, I’m with you- potluck contributions should always be in a completed state and have any necessary accompaniments.  I’ve also run into people occaisionally who bring unfinished items, and I usually try to come across as politely surprised about it (hopefully, I succeed). 

If it makes you feel any better, I used to go to a series of potlucks where one participant would bring ingredients, almost always for salad, and then drop them in the kitchen while she went to go do something else.  The host would then be left to wash lettuce, slice veggies, provide dressing, etc.  I always stayed in the kitchen to help with both salad and main course, but let’s just say it wasn’t very surprising when the host decided the potlucks really weren’t worth it.

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Posted: 01 April 2011 01:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Thanks for the sympathy, guys. It was just one time too often for me. This woman is a “southern girl,” and she really likes to talk, so that’s part of the problem. Things were taking too long, so I started doing all of the chopping. then she saw I had left some “membrane” on the peppers, and she was upset about that, so I had to redo them. Yes, Anne Burrell would say that my knife skills were not in evidence, but I suppose subconsciously I thought that she could lump the membrane. I personally don’t mind eating it. When I’m entertaining I’m very much in preparation mode, and her appetizer wasn’t progressing very quickly. But shortly after that (when she was trying to come up with a dip according to what was in my kitchen) I left the room. In a way it felt like “Chopped,” but I wasn’t in the mood to play. Can you tell that I watch too much “food tv”?

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