Sunday, March 7, 2010

Getting Over a Disaster

I am becoming more ambitious. I am now not satisfied with just muffins and cookies, I want something a birthday cake. Next week will be my mum's birthday, what better chance than to bake a birthday cake! As this will be the first birthday cake I am baking, I will need trial run in case things fail.

And true enough, this session just proved Murphy's Law: "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong".

Firstly, I forgot to bring out the eggs the night before. So I took them out in the morning, but I did leave them for 30 minutes before starting to beat it. The recipe says "beat till ribbon stage". I used an electric hand mixer and beat it for about 3 minutes before checking it. It did form a "ribbon", so I decided to stop beating it and fold in the flour. The first sign of trouble came. The batter volume decreases as I folded in the flour. By the time I poured it into the cake tin, it only filled one inch of the tin. Apparently the batter has deflated.

It was only one inch tall and it was overbaked: hard and crumbly.
Of course, the texture was very dense. But still, I went ahead with the icing hoping that the icing might save the cake. For cake frosting, the cream needs to be whipped till stiff stage. I used my electric mixer and whipped it, but I realised it could only go to the soft peak stage. I saw some curdling and immediately stopped whipping. I suspect I have over whipped it. But I still gritted my teeth and apply the icing. The icing had difficulty staying on the cake as it had became watery.

This is the outcome of the total failure. To add insult to injury, the expensive strawberries were not fresh with some rotten parts. Total failure. But I wasn't going to give up. I will try again...soon. Just let me get over this disaster first.

Lessons Learnt: Defrost the eggs. Beat the eggs for a longer time (5-7 minutes). Do not overfold the flour. Bake for 30 mins at 170 degrees and check the cake before extending baking time. Do not overwhip the cream.

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