Baking is one of my greatest source of happiness but then there has been times where it has led to considerable heartache too. Some days, the ingredients don’t fall off the table, the oven does not burn the top of your cake and your dessert comes out perfectly but then on some days nothing seems to go right.This is the tale of one such day.
I set out to make this Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche (basically condensed milk that has been thickened to a caramel consistency) glaze for my cousin’s birthday. Originally it was supposed to be a tall 2-layered cake. I found a great chocolate cake recipe which would be chocolatey enough by itself without adding any extra chocolate and would complement the glaze well. I followed the recipe to the T and put one layer in the oven. The first one came out perfect!
They say, morning shows the day and in this case, the first layer shows the rest of the cake. Thinking that, I took the second layer out of the oven, confidently ran a knife around the edges of the pan, gave it a nice shake and with one swift motion turned it out onto the plate but in a very anti-climactic way the cake just fell into pieces.
I had very little time in hand as I had to take the cake to his place by 8 and it was already around 7 but that did not stop me from freaking out a bit before gathering myself back again. I decided okay I’m gonna go with one layer, it’s Isham, he’ll understand. So I quickly moved onto making the Dulce De Leche. There are 3 ways of making that but I picked the easiest one as I was short on time. It required me to pour the condensed milk into a heat proof bowl, cover it in clingwrap and microwaved it in 2 minute increments, stirring between each increment until it thickens into a syrup like consistency. I did all that but tarahura korle ja hoy, near the end I kept it in the microwave for a bit longer than 2 minutes and disaster struck a second time. The dulce de leche bubbled up and poured all over the oven plate.
This time around I really did not have time to sit down and reflect upon what is life and why is this happening to me. So I scooped up as much of the dulce de leche glaze I could and went on to assembling the cake. I cut the cake into two layers, spread some glaze in between the layers along with some graham cracker crumbs to add some crunch and topped it off with more Dulce De Leche glaze. I got stuck when it came to decoration and that’s when inspiration struck! I had pieces of the cake layer that fell apart, so I took out a cookie cutter, cut out some heart shaped pieces and placed them onto the cake as cake toppers!
I remember feeling quite accomplished after seeing the cake look so presentable despite the multiple disasters and more importantly it tasted great too! At the end of the day Isham had a great birthday with three lovely cakes and I had a great learning experience. I learned that if something doesn’t work out the way it was supposed to, get creative with it!-Z