Friday, 9 July 2010

12.) Tangy citrus disaster

It had to happen one day. Disaster had to strike. There had to be a cake that you fed to your friends not out of joy, but out of spite (unintentional of course). Yesterday was that cake. The culprit is pictured above. It looks pretty unassuming, doesn't it?

With no eggs in the house, I decided to embark upon an 'easy' recipe for Tangy Citrus Cake. Self-rising flour, sugar, salt, orange juice and zest, baking powder. Easy enough! We've conquered home-made pie-crust, we can do anything! Oh wait. There's no such thing as self-rising flour in France. Fortunately, the handy-dandy internet tells me that I can add 1.5 tsp baking powder and .5 tsp salt for every cup of flour and that's equivalent to self-rising flour. (Readers beware - you don't have to buy self-rising flour! It's cheaper to make your own!)

I creamed sugar and butter, I mixed, I tasted. . . hmm, salty. I added some sugar and more orange juice to compensate. Well, stick it in the oven, maybe we'll get lucky. It comes out and I flip it out of the beautiful Flexipan. It's a beautiful golden brown, the flexipan has given it a great sheen on top, and it just looks to die for. But. (Of course there's a but, this wouldn't be a disaster story without the 'but.') But the crumbs still taste salty. I whip up a quick orange juice/powdered sugar/butter glaze, poke holes in the top of the cake, ladle on the not-salty goodness and hope for the best.

My LSB (long-suffering boyfriend, see previous entry on petits palmiers au saumon) and one of our friends, let's call her Clara, gamely agree to try the cake later that evening and what can I say? I have a great LSB and a really good friend! They didn't spit it out, whine, cry, or beg me to stop trying to bake. They simply said, "Wow? Really? Can I have a glass of water please?" and "Normally what you make is good . . ." Those dot dot dot moments are really killer!

Later that evening, an impromptu bbq broke out at the house. Four new unwitting suspects to foist my cake off on. LSB serves one friend on his dinner plate. Our friend takes a big bite. Then another!! I'm thinking, maybe it's not so bad! Then he says, "I thought Antoine had put the cake in some salt already on my plate from dinner. But no no, it really is the cake!" His girlfriend just looks at me with pity in her eyes. Those eyes seem to say, "Thank goodness LSB is already yours because you'll never get anyone with your cooking!" And finally, another friend who says "WOW!" Like an amazing discovery, "It's even more disgusting with fruit juice!"

Oh well. This is a little adventure after all. It wouldn't be fun without a few disasters to write about!

Thank you LSB and Clara - you can have first dibs at the next cake I don't mess up!

PS. I followed the recipe to a T, so if you run across a Tangy Citrus Cake in your travels. . . be forewarned!

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