Top 100 Cake Blog

Top 100 Cake Blog

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cake Soup & Magical Thinking

Doesn't Brown Sugar Pudding sound delicious?  I thought so, too, and decided to make it to bring to a dinner party Saturday night.

Boiling up the brown sugar, water and butter.

The recipe was quite unusual, which added to the intrigue.  I had never encountered this technique: boil up some brown sugar, butter and water, and then add dollops of cake batter atop the liquid and bake in the oven.

As I prepared this oddity, I had the sinking feeling it wouldn't work.  But you know when you're positive you failed a test, and then engage in magical thinking, i.e., praying that some miracle occurred and you passed with flying colors?  That's what happened to me.  Although the further I got into the recipe, and less confident I became, once it was in the oven, magical thinking took over.   I was hoping for some radical, pastry world rocket science physics-defying transformation in my oven.

The cake batter looked normal enough.

Ready for the oven.
But it what emerged from the oven was not some smooth and delicious Brown Sugar Pudding.  It was Cake Soup.  A crunchy cake layer floating on a soup of liquid brown sugar.  Although it actually tasted pretty good, there was no way I was going to take this soupy mess on the subway to a swanky dinner party in Chelsea.

This recipe card is from a filled-to-the brim recipe box that DH bought on ETSY and gave to me for Christmas.  It was full of promise, and nearly 150 recipes.  But now I'm a bit suspect, for the first recipe I made from the box  also failed.  Sweet Chocolate Cupcakes did taste good, but the batter cemented itself to the paper liners, making it impossible to eat the cakes without ingesting a bit of paper too.  That's the kind of fiber you don't want.

My sister-in-law Margaret (and A Cake Bakes enthusiast) who was visiting and witnessed these two disasters, put forth this theory:  As soon as the owner of this recipe box died, her family all said: Quick, let's get rid of Granny's recipes, she was such a horrible baker.

The failed Sweet Chocolate Cupcakes, above.


  1. Or maybe this stash was the baker's intentional archive of disasters, to never be tried again, but only she knew that. I think you need to try at least one more before giving up on the whole lot.

  2. @Anonymous: Thanks. I took your advice and tried something from the box called Dixie White Cake and it was a winner! Will post that recipe soon.