The non-chocolate cake weeks continue. If you missed my last post, my dad who refuses to consume anything chocolate is visiting. To answer your question, yes. I have thought about snatching a sample of his hair and sending it off for DNA testing.
For my own ‘feel good’ purposes, I pursued a cake made of fruit. There’s something about mashing up a few bananas and zesting a little orange that makes me say, “Hey, I’m eating healthy. Give me just one moment to finish whipping up the cream cheese frosting.”
This recipe comes from The Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten. Am I the only person that wants to call her In A Garden? And what’s with all her friends always coming over to eat? “My friend the florist has no idea that I am making him Rack of Lamb, grilled autumn vegetables and a simple gnocchi I just whipped up. He thinks I’ve just ordered flowers that need to be delivered at exactly 5:30 pm.” Haven’t her friends figured it out by now. If she’s asking for a favor, you best be looking flashy for the Food Network. If someone asked me to come cut their dogs nails for them, I would show up looking like a photo from The People Of Walmart.
Off topic there, sorry. I picked up the recipe from the Food Network website. There’s lots of positive reviews about how it was enjoyed by many 92 year old great uncles and aunts. It truly is old fashioned. I decided I needed this cake and its fruity excuse.
Repeat after me. Fruit in cake = Healthy!
The Cake Batter: Have you ever tried a pair of jeans on at the store and thought that was going to be the best pair of jeans you would ever buy? Then, you get home, slip them back on and think, “What the hell have I done?” It happens and I kind of feel like that happened to with this cake for me. I tried the raw batter (did not die of salmonella, but I’m sure it will get me one day) and thought it was pretty damn good. I was almost hoping this could be a rival to banana bread. I have to admit, in the baked form, I didn’t find the cake as pleasing as the batter. (Note to self, next time just eat the whole mixing bowl of raw batter.) There were a few reviewers who said the orange zest was not so great in this cake. Was it the orange zest throwing me off? I’m uncertain. What I do know, is that my father probably thinks I’ve reached a new level of strange at dinner last night. “I really wish I just saved us the batter.”
Once baked, I removed the cake from the oven. Fifteen minutes into the cooling process, the center of the cake collapsed a bit. I have no idea why this happened, so if a seasoned baker is in the house please tell me! Unless… it is because my eggs weren’t at room temperature. I rolled my eyes when pulling the eggs out of the refrigerator. Ina, please! Let the eggs come up to room temperature? Fuck. It was the eggs, wasn’t it?
Frosting: Delicious, but as thick as tar on a snowy day. This really gave my poor frosting skills a workout! Cake Boss save me! I need frosting lessons!
Overall, I’m enjoying the cake when I get over the mind trap of the batter. I do like the simple recipe that takes cake baking back to a basic level. I am a fan of a dense cake, and this is definitely a thick one! The beau rated this cake at a 7. I was going to ask my dad for a rating, but it is obvious my household already seems a little unorthodox to him (he who eats no chocolate, no red meat, no spicy food, no caffeine). I may file this in the ‘Make Again If Visiting An Old Folks Home’ pile, otherwise my disappointment in the batter/cake difference may be just too much to experience again.
The recipe can be found here.
PS- this is a photo of my actual cake. I usually steal photos from other people because my food photos suck. That fancy ass Food Network didn’t have a finished product photo.