Monday, March 21, 2011

Chocolate Cake for Dessert

My coconut oil test is almost done. I've really been working my butt off with it. I decided to make a chocolate cake with the oil, and to really test its capacity, buttercream frosting. I've been making buttercream since high school, it was the first frosting I ever decorated with, back before fondant came into the big time, and I'm pretty handy with a piping bag, if I do say so myself.

My favorite cake recipe is the one off the Hershey's box. I know, it's really inventive, right? Not so much. Well, what if I told you I liked to sub out buttermilk for the regular milk? Do you see me as a genius yet?

Probably not, but it does result in a much more flavorful, very tender cake. So if you've got a bit of buttermilk on hand, try it out. Everyone should have buttermilk, right? If you don't, how do you make pancakes?

Well, the fun thing about coconut oil is, it's not liquid until the room hits 70. We haven't seen 70 since Christmas day, when I bumped the heat up just enough to convince everyone visiting that I wasn't attempting to freeze my children to death in order to save money the planet. So, you kind of have to chisel it out of the jar, or warm it up in a pan of water. For the cake, I decided to warm the jar, since I needed oil. I followed the recipe, greased the pan with some of the liquified oil, and went to pop the cake into the oven.

I'd left the pizza stone in the oven. It kind of lives in there, as it helps maintain an even flow of heat throughout, but I usually take it out to bake cakes. I had some leftover risotto heating on the top shelf, so my only real choice was to put it directly on the stone, or play ring around the oven while blocking the oven door from two fearless children with a flailing leg.

I took the lazy way out.

This never goes well. Apparently the corner of the pan was hanging off the back end of the pizza stone. When your cake pans are approximately the same price as dried beans, that means your pan is wobbly and has a lot of give.

Bend-y pans don't make pretty cakes. Thirty five minutes went by, and I had a rectangular cake with a round crater in the center, one corner higher than the opposite. When set on a flat surface, it cracked, of course.

I can deal with cracks.

When the cake was cool, the coconut oil had returned to its room temperature state-solid. This is what I had kind of wanted, I figured solid would make it closer to the texture butter would be, and used, again, the recipe for Hershey's chocolate butter cream.

Um, yeah. That didn't work out so well. What resulted reminded me vaguely of toddler diarrhea- gooey, runny, with grainy chunks all throughout. Definitely NOT edible.

Undaunted, I through the whole thing into a pot and turned the heat on low, stirring gently. Within a couple of minutes I had a pretty chocolate glaze, which was definitely edible and had a nice shine to it. I poured it over the cold cake, topped it with a half a bag of coconut, toasted, and put it in the fridge to chill and firm up.

Which it did NOT. This part is kind of mysterious to me. As of yet, it's still kind of a gooey liquid, three hours later.

The result has got to be the butt ugliest excuse for a dessert I've ever had the misfortune to put on a plate. The cake varies in height from slice to slice, excess glaze (for lack of a better term) oozes off each piece and onto the plate like a villain in a b-rated horror flick. It's just, well, it looks like a mud covered dirt pile coated with a smattering of dead grass.

The kicker? It's delicious.



XLMIC said...

Sounds like something I would make... looks like shit but tastes divine :) LOL... you should see the pie on my blog tonight... kinda matches your cake!

I was laughing so hard... and not because it's nearly midnight. This was so funny! Toddler diarrhea! OMG. And you're all mocking yourself for making the cake from a recipe on the Hershey's box... before we went gluten-free, it was me and Betty every time... except when I went with Duncan ;-)

You are hilarious!

Michelle Saunderson said...

Those are the best. No one else will eat it when it looks terrible, but it tastes great....sneaky!

Anna said...


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