Friday, May 2, 2008

My Beautiful Disaster: Lemon Yogurt (apparently not) Anything Cake


When I saw Smitten Kitchen's Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake, it was a no-brainer item for me to star. Yogurt...blueberries...lemon... Three ingredients I love baking with.

If you take a look at her post, Smitten Kitchen proposes several modifications that can be made. So, I thought a few modifications of my own would be acceptable. Maybe not.





The pictures look pretty good, right? I was entering into the "hopping around stage", my usual successful cooking dance and realized that my celebratory dancing was possibly premature. This baking experience exemplifies that although appearance and taste are often related, they can be completely independent of each other. When I looked at the slice of cake I had just plated, I discovered that the bottom 1/4 of the cake was mushy. My oven is usually fast, so I'm not sure if it was too hot and cooked the outside too quickly or if adding strawberries to the recipe increased the moisture, throwing off the balance of dry and wet ingredients. Bakers of the world - advice???

Although I had already poured the lemon juice on top of the cake, I went into disaster control mode and tried to place the slice of cake back into the pan and return it to the oven. I'm not really even sure what I did from this point. I probably repressed most of the memories. I'm sure it involved calling Giz a few times to whine (and possible blame her) about my failure. Maybe some foot stomping (of the non-celebratory variety) and a reassuring hug or two from R. Ruining a cake sucks, but it's even worse when your hopes have been raised by the deceivingly good-looking appearance of the product.

Even though returning the cake to the oven resulted in the gross-looking picture, below, it would have been edible (luckily, R doubles as human garburator when necessary), there was just no getting around my complete disregard for the word "Meyer" in Meyer lemons. Are Meyer lemons even sold in Canada? The small piece of the cake that I did try left my mouth coated with a taste of acidity. I guess some cakes just aren't long for the world. Into the garbage it went.



More evidence of mush:



So, with this post, I am going to move on from this experience. My mourning period is now over. Right in the nick of time, Rosie, Pixie and Maria have teamed up to create a new blog, Simple Bakes. This blog is about simple easy true and tested good bakes. It's geared towards both new and beginner bakers but also, for those who simply just can't get enough of baking. Great idea gals! I hope to see your recipes in a future Tried, Tested and True roundup!



Another positive experience, with which I am replacing the memory of the above debacle, is this dessert that I ate for lunch yesterday (my labmate and I took my supervisor out for lunch yesterday to a chi-chi restaurant):



As well, I've signed up for a cake decorating course and my first class is tomorrow. Giz will also be taking the same course in her city. So, we're in talks to have a bit of friendly competition to see who, between the two of us, is the queen of basic cake decorating skills. Stay tuned for pictures of (hopefully) our successes.

A big thank you to Bellini Valli who has given us the Arte y Pico award.



Bellini Valli's blog is one of our favourites, so receiving an award from her is quite the honour. I star a lot of her recipes for future use and actually have a salad recipe coming up that uses this salad post as inspiration. Bellini Valli's food is fresh, colourful and quite often Greek-inspired. I'm thinking about setting Bellini Valli up on a friend-date with my mom to go to a cooking school in another country together. What do you say ladies? Bellini Valli - I swear, Giz is not a 60 year old man who blogs naked. Plus, you ladies can get together and talk about how amazing your kids are.

These are rules that come along with this award:

1) Pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award with their creativity, design, interesting material, and also contribute to the blogger community, no matter what language.

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog.

3) Each award-winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award.

4) Award-winners and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of "Arte y pico" blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5) Display these rules on your blog.

So...here are our five picks:

1. Kittie of Kittens in the Kitchen for giving me the inspiration and help I needed to make this and opening my eyes up to different food combinations.

2. To Neen and Do of Post-Collegiate Cooking who share great recipes and witty banter on their blog. They really strike me as the kind of people I would get along well with in "real life".

3. To Cathy of Noble Pig who has a variety of posts (family life, pop culture, food, drinks, etc.) and does a great job with each.

4. Katie of Good Things Catered because she has inspired both Giz and I to take a Wilton cake decorating course. Her cakes looks beautiful she always puts a lot of care into her recipes and decorations. She definitely cooks with love.

5. Emiline of Visions of Sugar Plum who is also an inspiration in the baking department. I recently made her carrot cake, which was definitely much more successful than the beautiful disaster, above.

We also wanted to pass on the Excellent award that we received from Pixie the other day:



- Ruth's Kitchen Experiment (I plan to submit an upcoming post to her Bookmarked Recipes weekly event).

- the newly named That Girl of Paved with Good Intentions. She posts a mix of daily living, recipes, product reviews and travel experiences and is the only blogger out there that is a regular on both this blog and my personal blog. It's like two worlds colliding.

- Kevin of Closet Cooking who has recently come out of the anonymous closet to show the mastermind behind the good food. Kevin is arguably one of the most prolific food bloggers and commenters out there.

- Lori Lynn of Taste with the Eyes a newer blogging friend who has great recipes and photos!

- Last but not least Nikki of Canary Girl. She's another one whose recipes I am always starring. Her recent Creamy Zucchini Soup looks to die for! StumbleUpon

20 comments:

RecipeGirl said...

A lot of people have been making that lemon cake. I love that you posted your disaster. Now I'm afraid to make it!

Congrats on the awards... well deserved!

noble pig said...

Congrats on the award and thanks for the shout out!

Vicarious Foodie said...

I've been the victim of a failed cake many times, and I completely sympathize.

Congratulations on the award!

Emiline said...

Aww, shucks! You're too kind.

You have a great blog. You work so hard on everything. I love that you're constantly changing it up.
Sorry about the cake disaster.
The fancy dessert looks really, really good though!
Make that next, ok?

Lore said...

Congrats on the awards!!!!

There's something to learn from every cake disaster ;) and apply to future concotions.

Grace said...

*insert funeral dirge here.

equipment or ingredient failure (or both...) is always a stinker, but at least it wasn't an airhead move on your part! we've all had our share of those, too. :)

Pixie said...

OH dear! It does look like a beauty doesn't it; don't worry sis, we'll start out super easy with our first bake. No flour involved either lol ;)

Thanks for mentioning our new blog; hopefully 'we' (meaning you and me and others who are still learning) will learn to become confident and fabulous bakers.

My only tip would be- stick to the recipe. It's hard to I know- I have a way of changing things myself; sometimes it works sometimes as you already know, it doesn't!

Neen said...

Cake: Sigh. Commiserative hug. My Mom baked that cake when she was here and it turned out well (even though she was flipping out about it not being done after cooking it for an hour). We had enough ingredients left over that I tried the recipe out last weekend....Faaailuure. Too mushy. Sigh. Sadness. Half of it is still in my fridge. Want some? :)

Award: Do and I are ridiculously incredibly honored, because a) this is our first award ever and b) you and Giz have become like bloggy-family to us. For real, I think we "talk" to you more often than we correspond with our own families! Okay, that sounds like we're super lame, but I don't mean it that way! I mean, you and Giz are the two who have convinced us that bloggy-friends are actually honest to goodness, for real, Friends. We simply hang out in your virtual kitchen every day, instead of your real one (much less cramped that way)!

Ruth Elkin said...

Hey, what a shame it didn't work out... but so glad you shared it! Helps us all to learn a bit more!

Thanks for the award, you've made me blush!!! I'll have it up on my blog soon!

Lori Lynn said...

Oh your cake was looking so pretty, then scroll down and POW! Kitchen Tragedy strikes. I got a kick out of the photo of mush because I was thinking, I'm sure it was still delicious, but no, sounds like the garbage was the right decision. Love the honesty.

And to you both, my new blogger friends, what a wonderful surprise. Thank you so much for awarding Taste With The Eyes with the "Excellent Award." Cool! The feeling is mutual!

Elle said...

Congrats on your awards! Sorry about your cake. I make a yogurt pound cake without the pound of butter--any flavor yogurt you like, you can add fruit, etc. I actually made it last week--raspberry lime--took great photos...and deleted them the next day. Now I have to make it again. hehe.

giz said...

Your oven is a nightmare - so I'm deflecting all potential blame and responsibility to the beast that eats up 25% of your kitchen space and goes from cold to 375 F in 4 seconds flat.

That Girl said...

I am so totally and completely touched! Thanks ever so much!!!

Kevin said...

I recently made some blueberry muffins that did not turn out. I have a sneaking suspicion that I forgot an ingredient...

As for baking times, I usually use the push a toothpick into the middle of the baked good and when it comes out clean it is done. This has worked for me so far even if the baked good is twice the size of the tooth pick.

That cake decorating course sounds like fun!

Thanks for the award!!

Lina said...

hahaha I've had cakes turn out a lot worse than yours. It actually looks good to me! :)

Psychgrad said...

recipegirl - don't be afraid...just don't do what I did. It'll probably need more time in the oven than what's written.

noble pig - anytime!

vicarious foodie - is a bit traumatic, isn't it?

emiline - Giz and I spend way too much time on our ideas for the blog. Thanks!

lore - for sure.

grace - I think I did hear the funeral march as the cake was dropped in the bin.

It may have been a tiny bit airhead on my part with the Meyer part.

Pixie - no flour is good. I think I'm going to save my explorations for cooking and stick very close to the recipe on future baked goods.

Neen - you kept the failed cake? My oven is on the fast/hot side, so I was very surprised about it not being done on time.

I know what you mean (on your blog)about finding out about quirks about people, yet not knowing about basic aspects of their identity. Kind of a insider's view of the minds of others.

Ruth - our pleasure. I'll have my contribution to your weekly event soon.

lori lynn - it would have ok...maybe...if it weren't for the lemon. It was just too acidic with the lemon.

elle - oh that's annoying. But a good excuse to make another cake.

giz - excuses excuses...

that girl - anytime!

kevin - actually, I think I got the idea for adding strawberries from a recipe you posted.

I did try the toothpick test, but I think the mush was too far down or the toothpick was too short.

lina - did you scroll down?

Cakelaw said...

Congratulations on your award! Shame about the cake - those first couple of pics are lovely.

NĂºria said...

Congratulations on the awards!!! So well deserved :D

Any leftovers of that wonderful dessert???

canarygirl said...

Thank you so much for the award, girls! You have no idea how grateful and flattered I am to think that you consider my blog good enough for an award. :D You're the best!

kittie said...

Thanks so much for the award guys! It's my first ever one - which is exciting as it is - but even more so coming from you guys! Big virtual cheers to you both!!

Ps. I have an utter disaster waiting to be posted - it doesn't even look good ;)

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