Five days ago I wanted to bake an apple pie. I had a copy of the recipe on my netbook so it shouldn`t be a problem. I had checked if all ingredients were present and the things which were missing had been bought. What did I need for this rather simple recipe? Apples, rice milk, wheat, brown raw sugar, baking soda, margarine and salt. Additionally I planned to add some raisins and cinnamon. The cake was meant for a birthday party of Liz’ family which took place at her mother’s house in Brisbane. She had told everybody about my cooking skills. This put a lot of pressure on me. Of course I wanted to do my good reputation justice but then it became a struggle.
No cake trays! Liz bought two casseroles , thinking it was what I had requested. We brought them back but and searched for a standard round 28cm cake tray. Not only the trays we found were always smaller, the tray at Coles was 25 $. Kmart saved us: We bought a 25 cm and 23 cm cake try package for 18 $. – Next bad surprise:
No weight scale! Also the neighbours had none. Most supermarkets had already closed and Coles which has more extensive opening times had no cake trays in their assortment. Normally I had just improvised – I really like it – but if you bake seldomly it is hard to guess how much 300 g wheat is. I researched online for a conversion formula (gram to millilitre) because Liz’ kitchen offered two bowls with an integrated ml scale. The results I investigated differed up to 30%. Not too helpful but better than nothing. -Trouble ahead:
The margarine I had bought was salted! I took the easy way out and abdicated the pinch of salt which was mentioned in the recipe to compensate. …and last but not least:
Super slow baking oven! A half hour later I had set up the dough and peeled the apples. It was about 10:50pm when I powered the oven on. 45 minutes on 175 °C were suggested by the recipe but my old mini-oven in Berlin did it in about 30, so 35 to 45 minutes should be fine. After 30 minutes the cake had not changed its shape or appearance in any way. I increased the heat to 200 °C. While I fought with my lousy internet connection and tried to upload a bunch of pictures for this blog, my cake still lay inactively in the oven. No crust, no darken of the surface, the dough still too soft. I waited: After 60 minutes I was too scared that something could go wrong with the cake and took it out, put some raisins on top for a prettier look and pushed it back into the oven. After 70-75 minutes I was too annoyed. I took it out again but immediately made a virtual list what to change next time. – I really like improvisation but this was just going too wrong.
In Brisbane I was in heaven when the family members were truly delighted about the cake. For my personal taste the bottom and the dough at the edge were too thick but I was the only one complaining so it seemed the cake had no severe deficits. YES!
Yeah, I know, the story wasn’t that exciting, no tough action, no unexpected twists, no epic fail, but if you have ever baked something which HAD TO BE YUMMY, you know how quickly your sorrows rise, if only half of my trouble occurs. And to be honest: I am quite thankful that my life is easy-going at the moment and to have such problems of extravagance. 😉