Wednesday, March 11, 2009

devil's food

The first time I made mom's chocolate sheet cake, I had forgotten to write "EGGS" in the recipe. It didn't turn out so well.

The second time I made the cake, I accidentally doubled the amount of powdered sugar in the frosting. It didn't turn out so well.

The third time I made the cake, I was following a newly written recipe (don't know where the first one went) and I completely skipped over the steps to melt the butter and heat the cocoa for the batter. Again: it didn't turn out so well.

The fourth time I made the cake, I didn't melt the frosting ingredients properly. The resulting concrete-like boulder of chocolate was both un-re-meltable (not a word and I don't care) and unspreadable. Hence: didn't turn out so well.

The fifth time I made the cake, I didn't even make it. I took out the recipe, considered my past attempts, and gave up before even trying.

The sixth time I made the cake (giving myself a generous wait time in between disasters), I got through the entire recipe - all the way until the last step in the frosting, and I hadn't made a single mistake. The last ingredient in the frosting? Vanilla. And I didn't have any. I made it with Almond flavoring instead. The result was... interesting.

If I keep numbering the times I've made this cake and gotten it wrong, you'll know for sure that I'm crazy. So I'm just going to tell you that I do it wrong Every. Single. Time. This is without exaggeration. I can't get it right. I do something, anything, to sabotage myself every time. I've added too many eggs, not enough water, the wrong amount of cocoa. I've had the cake fall after baking. I've overmelted the chocolate icing (yes, really). I've added too much butter, not enough sour cream, kept it in the oven too long. I don't know what possessed me to offer, but I made the cursed cake for my friend K's little girl's first birthday party. True to form, I hadn't written the recipe down correctly - so I left out the milk in the chocolate icing. Instead, I punted and added extra butter and water... luckily it was salvageable.

Which is the reason I keep making this ridiculous cake. I get it wrong EVERY STINKING TIME and it's still mostly edible. It's even (dare I say?) good. The kind of cake that you can get wrong and still people mostly don't know.

But I know. And the fact that I can't get this stupidly EASY cake right is what has me making the cake again and again and again. Convinced that I will break the curse.

It's been over 10 years. I'll keep you posted.


Chelle said...

Can you share the recipe? Or is it a secret family recipe that you want to perfect before sending it out into the blogosphere?

Kristi said...

I have a dessert that I have been making since I was a teenager, and I do something wrong a lot too. If I make it for a holiday or special occasion it takes like 2 weeks to make a presentable one!

Megan said...

Hey...I am going to go private. I don't have your email to invite you so email it to me... (only if you want! :))

Eleanor Q. said...

Its like me and cheesecake! I can't do it, every time I try I fail miserably and yet once a year or so I try again. FAIL EVERY TIME. I think I'm just going to accept it as one of my baking limitations. Show us a picture the next time you bake it.

stacie d said...

I know why you keep trying...because it's the best cake EVER! I remember the joy of going to your house and finding that cake waiting in the oven. Not cooking, just being stored there. YUMMMMM!!

Alice said...

please feel free to send any failed attemps my way. i bet i will still enjoy them :-)

The Traveling Gublers said...

I've done the same to so many recipes. I totally understand how you feel.

Heidi W. said...

I think I know why you keep trying to perfect your cake. You secretly want to dominate it and show it you are the boss and it won't get the best of you "this time!" Keep trying, one day you will win the battle!