Post # 103 Baking Day Revisited

March 15, 2013 at 1:26 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 103 Baking Day Revisited

Okay, so I hate to admit defeat.  I hate that I can’t find a relatively easy donut recipe that tastes as good as the ones I can buy.  I hate that I followed a recipe to best of my ability and it didn’t work.  I hate the fact that I’m probably going out to buy a kitchen scale so I can actually weigh the ingredients.  It’s just irksome.

So, I’ll probably c0nquer this recipe, and I’ll probably be very happy with the results, and I’ll probably go to my grave eating donuts that I made myself.

But yesterday, I was still pretty pissed off that there was dough growing in the garbage can.

Yesterday was March 14.  Written out in numeric format, it was 3-14.  It was National Pi Day.  The value of Pi starts with 3.14 and goes on forever.  Some scientists say that the value of Pi is the true definition for a random number set.  On the ‘net and FB and other social media, it was hailed as National Pie Day, and there were pictures of very creative pies utilizing the value of Pi.

I didn’t have any ingredients for pie.  But because of the Great Donut Debacle, I wanted to bake something to prove I still had the chops for baking.  I thought about chocolate chip cookies, but there is no challenge in them anymore.  Then I thought about the basic chocolate cake and wasn’t really in the mood for that.  Then I remembered the Tunnel of Fudge cake.

The Tunnel of Fudge Cake is an impressive Bundt-style cake where the center doesn’t cook enough and turns into a fudgy mass that circles the entire cake.  It has to be made in a tube pan of some kind or it doesn’t work.  It’s based on the basic brownie recipe, but it goes postal after that.  So I decided that if I had the ingredients, I was making the cake.

First, I looked up the recipe on the ‘net.  I reviewed three and selected the one that looked the most reliable.  The recipes were basically identical, with very minor differences, like the addition of vanilla, or the omission of nuts.  Based on memory, I was pretty sure I had everything, although I was a little uncertain of the powdered sugar.  You need 2 cups for the cake, and 3/4 of a cup for the glaze.  I knew I had some, but I wasn’t sure how much.

After printing out the recipe, which was an undertaking of its own (ever notice how much computers and peripherals control our lives?), I looked through the pantry.  I had everything, but even though I was looking at the bag of powdered sugar, I still wasn’t sure if there was enough because the bag was open and some had been taken out.  Oh, WTH, I decided to just do it.  Nike would be proud.

The recipe didn’t really say was machine to use to mix the ingredients so I decided on the stand mixer.  Next time, I’ll use the hand mixer.  Also, I didn’t let the butter come to room temp before creaming with the sugar.  Next time, I’ll let the butter come to room temp before creaming with the sugar.  I’m not a big fan of nuts in cake because I don’t really like my cake crunchy.  But the recipe insisted that the two cups of walnuts were essential to the success of the cake and after the Great Donut Debacle, I decided to err on the side of caution.  I didn’t have to.

I decided to make a project of it and poured myself a glass of wine and put on the “Wicked” soundtrack.  Everything moved simply from start to finish, but there were some “ick” moments.  The butter and sugar mixture was still cold when I added the eggs so they didn’t really blend all that well and clumped on the paddle.  You need six eggs added one at a time for this recipe and by the time I finished adding all the eggs which weren’t combining with the butter too well, it was a soupy mess, looking treacherously close to the donut mixture from the day before.  Only this mess was yellow, not brown.  But, fortified with wine, I forged ahead.

Turned out I had more than enough powdered sugar.  And the cake came out of the pan perfectly.  The glaze turned out great.  Once it was done, it was a show piece.  The trouble with a Tunnel of Fudge cake is you can’t really check it until you’re serving it.  You don’t know if it was successful until that first knife cut.  But it looked beautiful!

Later, in the early evening, Partner/Spouse and I went over to my sister’s house, just two houses away.  Thursdays are a potluck gathering there, but really only one friend turns up every week.  We don’t usually go over because Partner/Spouse’s schedule is erratic and we never know exact arrival times.  But last night we went over, and I had a glass of wine with everyone.  She had not heard of the Great Donut Debacle so I entertained them with that story and concluded it with “So today, just to prove I could, I made a Tunnel of Fudge cake.”  She said that I had to do some other cooking besides baking.

But she was happy to help eat the cake.  Here’s what’s left.

tunnel of fudge

I’ll post the recipe I used this weekend for anyone who want’s to try it.  It’s really very good!  Enjoy!

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