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TWD: rum drenched vanilla cake

June 29, 2010

Several years ago, I had a revelation.  I was mid-lunch, eating while working at my desk, probably in an effort to get everything done so that I could go home earlier, I decided to become more spontaneous.

Of course, I am an engineer.  I am systematic.  I like plans.  When plans change, or people unexpectedly show up, it can take me a bit to regain my composure.  I love knowing what is going to happen and why.  I think they put is through some sort of class freshman year turning us into these machines which expect the world to run in a careful, precise, controlled manner.  Hah.

So, being the observant person that I am (and anybody who has known me for a while will recognize the sarcasm the first part of this sentence was drenched in), I quickly identified the problem and found a solution.  After all, I am an engineer.

The solution, of course, was to become more spontaneous.  More random.  To force myself to adapt, to change my plans on a moments notice.  To stretch myself to the very limits of my being.  What did I do?  Right then and there, I started.  I ate my corn…randomly.  Not side to side.  Not in nice neat circles trending from the left to the right side of my cob.  But randomly: a bite here, a bite there, and so on.  After all, I was in the middle of my lunch and a girl has to stay on schedule!

Seriously, though, I have made efforts since that day to expand my flexibility so that when disaster strikes and things do not go my way I am able to cope.  I think it is working.  Take, for example, my efforts in making this cake.

First, I have all of my dry ingredients mixed together when I open the refrigerator to realize I have only 3 eggs.  The recipe calls for 6!  No worries, I can easily halve the recipe by splitting the well mixed dry ingredients into two parts by weight.  Done.

Then: horror of horrors!  My cream has gone bad!!  This really put a damper on things.

Luckily, I quickly regained my composure and realized the beauty of the situation.  There I was, equipped  with two equivalent bowls of my dry ingredients, perfect for experimentation.  If something went wrong, I could pick up some cream when I headed to the store for more eggs.  This was a low stress kitchen experiment if I had ever heard of one!  The fix was a simple sub of an equal part (by volume) yogurt for cream.

It worked!  The cake cooked up nicely, received rave reviews, and (!) had no further complications.  This cake was a winner by itself or served alongside some fresh berries.  Great choice, Wendy!

From simple corn on the cob revisions to baking adaptations, I would say I have come a long way with my flexibility!

15 Comments leave one →
  1. June 29, 2010 7:02 am

    Your cake is beautiful. And I’m making note of the yogurt substitution in my own cookbook. Yogurt almost always does wonderful things for the texture in baked goods.

  2. June 29, 2010 7:33 am

    Yogurt was a great choice to save the day.

  3. June 29, 2010 7:36 am

    Your cake looks fantastic! I love the presentation!

  4. June 29, 2010 11:48 am

    The cake looks absolutely lovely, and at least it didn’t stick like mine did.

  5. June 29, 2010 1:25 pm

    You’d never know there were any “subs”! Great looking cake – I freak when the cream goes bad, and grab a can of evaporated milk, and then freak some more. I halved the recipe too – and loved the one-bowl (more or less) aspect of this recipe. Your baker’s twine presentation is fabulous!

  6. June 29, 2010 1:39 pm

    love the simplicity of the first picure. great job!

  7. June 29, 2010 2:41 pm

    beautiful job – so nice and golden (mine was almost burned)

  8. teaandscones permalink
    June 29, 2010 3:29 pm

    Sometimes the subs are better than what is called for. Good to know about the yogurt.

    YEA!! For spontenaity.

  9. Wendy permalink
    June 29, 2010 10:13 pm

    That is so cool. I would have thrown a tantrum and then go to the store. I’m glad the yogurt worked. Thanks for baking along with me!

  10. June 29, 2010 10:14 pm

    I loved the backstory. Great save!

  11. June 30, 2010 6:04 am

    I’m glad to know that yogurt works in this recipe. Your photos are lovely!

  12. June 30, 2010 9:43 am

    I love how you were able to adapt. So calm under pressure. The cake looks beautiful.

  13. June 30, 2010 10:11 am

    Living life (baking at any rate) on the wild side I see…yogurt sounds like a great substitution…The tang would work very nicely…

  14. June 30, 2010 10:59 pm

    I will have to remember the yogurt trick! Great looking cake! 🙂

  15. July 1, 2010 4:05 am

    The cake looks wonderful – substitution or not! Great job!

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