Sunday, March 06, 2011

The lemon cake fiasco

All right, I'm not going to name fingers or point names, but I recently found a recipe for white chocolate lemon lava cakes on someone's blog and they were awful. Since a) today is my husband's birthday and b) he loves white chocolate and lemon, I thought I'd whip up a batch of these cakes to serve after our pot roast dinner (which, by the way, smells amazing. Never sit at home when you're cooking something in a crockpot).

I knew there was going to be trouble when the recipe called for the addition of one cup of powdered sugar to my butter and chocolate mixture, and the chocolate seized. I had a bowl full of white paste with a glistening yellow liquid on top. Already, this recipe sucked! Sighing, I plowed forward through the recipe. After I whisked in the eggs, the mixture came back together, with the addition of flour thickening it up nicely. The batter had a really nice lemon yellow color, but almost no lemon flavor. I had to use the zest of an entire lemon, rather than the measly 1/2 tsp. called for in the recipe. It still had a weak flavor, sort of like when Niles Crane orders a latte with "the faintest whisper of cinnamon."

I heavy-handedly buttered four custard cups. Sensing the cakes might not turn out well, I only filled one of the cups with batter. I baked it for 15 minutes, per the recipe's instructions, and the cake was a thin, goopy mess. So, I baked it a little longer. The center started to set up, but by that point, the outside of the cake turned into a yellow kitchen sponge.

I then tried a different tack. I filled another custard cup with batter, placed it in a larger dish, and poured water into said dish until it was halfway up the side of the cup. I had another lava cake recipe that called for this method and those had turned out flawlessly, so I figured it might work for the new recipe. Wrong again. I baked it for 23 minutes, until the top turned a medium golden brown. The entire cake was still liquid under the crust, literally making these into liquid hot magma cakes. I'm sure the mantle would have been delicious, but it was not what I was looking for. I took the custard cup out of the water bath, placed it on a cookie sheet, and baked it for another couple minutes. This turned out fairly well, though the cake still looked like I had baked SpongeBob Squarepants.

Now it's T-minus 4.5 hours until my husband gets home from work, I'm out of eggs, and there is a greasy muffin tin full of yellow batter sitting in the fridge. I plan to drench the cakes in raspberry sauce and hope he doesn't mind my utter failure of a dessert.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Oh no!! If I ever come across that recipe, I'll remember this! Popping in from the Retail Therapy Hop! Following you now!