I test every recipe that runs with my weekly column, Everybody Eats. I figure if you take the time to read what I wrote that week, I should include a recipe I have tried at home and can stand behind if you have questions.
My column is published Thursdays. The deadline is Monday. I usually test the recipe over the weekend, write a rough draft on Sunday and give it a final read the next day before passing it on to my editor.
I did not, unfortunately, have time this past weekend to make the Apple Cake with Butter Sauce recipe that ran in today’s Gazette. I’m in the middle of The 2012 Apple Challenge and testing that recipe was lost in the midst of all the other apple recipes. I figured I’d make it Wednesday night, take a picture and no one would ever know the difference.
Imagine my surprise late Wednesday when I realized I left an important line out of the recipe: Pour into a greased Bundt pan.
I was too late to catch the mistake in The Gazette, but I was able to change the online version. I freaked out for a bit, then told myself it would be OK. I’d write a correction for Friday’s newspaper. Those who wanted to make the recipe would call me to check on what kind of pan to use.
Taking a deep breath, I began to mix the cake batter when I had my second freak out moment of the night.
I don’t own a Bundt pan.
That came as quite a shock to my husband, who is convinced I own every cooking and baking tool in the world. He asked if I needed one. I stupidly said, “Nah, I’ll use something else. It will be fine.”
Lesson learned. When a recipe SPECIFICALLY calls for a Bundt pan, use a Bundt pan.
My first attempt was baked in a 9-by-9 cake pan. It burned.
My second was baked in a mini loaf pan. It didn’t burn, but it was a mushy mess that didn’t smell the best.
I went to bed around midnight, pretty bummed. I wasn’t going to attempt the recipe again. Maybe it wasn’t the pan. Maybe it was the recipe. Maybe it was me. It wasn’t supposed going to happen – move on.
Then I got an e-mail from a reader.
“Can you tell me what size pan to use for today’s recipe?”
I received a phone call with the same question. A few hours later, another e-mail arrived.
I told everyone to use a Bundt pan. I wanted to tell them more, but I didn’t know anything else. That’s when I realized I had to make the cake.
I purchased a Bundt pan, bought more flour and more apples, and went back to the kitchen. I watched a YouTube video on the proper way to grease a Bundt pan and the best way to fill it. I took a before photo of my cake and held my breath as it was baking.
I think I left it in a few minutes too long, as I forgot to set the timer, but it looked OK coming out of the oven. I let it cool, flipped it on to a plate and it looked like a Bundt cake. I made the butter sauce, drizzled it over the top and had a piece before making my family’s dinner.
I spent eight hours, $21.97 (on a new Bundt pan), and peeled 18 Granny Smith apples to make one apple cake with butter sauce. I hope any of you who decide to try this recipe have better luck with it on your first try than I did.
Just be sure to use a Bundt pan.
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