Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A vision not quite achieved

I was noodling around the internets and I found a recipe for a single serve microwave cake. I don't cook in the microwave so much as heat things up, but the idea of a single serving cake appealed to me.
Cooking as a single person is all about dealing with leftovers. Most recipes make enough for six, and while having extra chicken, or roasted vegetables around is not a problem, having dessert for eight is a temptation I don't need.
And suddenly, I had an idea, a vision, of a cake split in two, the middle filled with curd, the top covered with a beautifully rustic frosting. And I was going to flavor it with grapefruit, because I love grapefruit.
I spent Saturday afternoon making a grapefruit curd, which is just like lemon curd, but with grapefruit juice. I was slightly disappointed that it was a pale yellow, even though the grapefruit juice itself was pink. But food coloring fixed that.
I should have known better when I saw that the ingredients for the cake included spelt flour. Who has spelt flour on hand? I did it with all purpose flour and this is the result.

The most depressing vanilla scented pucks ever to come out of a kitchen.
But the vision had taken hold of me and I was not ready to let go. Besides, I already had the grapefruit curd.
I went to the supermarket and got a cake mix, and while it was baking, I put together a grapefruit frosting, flavored with zest from the grapefruit I had juiced for the curd. (I'm frugal like that.)
Sometimes, cooking is an exercise in figuring out what you did wrong, so that next time you can do it right.  These aren't bad, they are relatively tasty, but they are not the grapefruit cakes of my imagination. The curd is grainy. The cakes are lopsided and I wish they were browned on the edges. I would put zest in the cake next time, instead of the frosting. And obviously, I need to learn how to frost a cake.

Next time, these will be much, much, better.

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