What the heck is that

Today, a cake was born.

Actually, two cakes were born. Chocolate cakes. In the microwave.

Maddie S (www.girliesayswhat.blogspot.com) and I decided after a long discussion of our love of cake, we should throw a cake party. With only ourselves invited. Unfortunately, we planned this adventure when we were unable to utilize the oven, so we had to compensate. We tried two cake recipes and two icing recipes and we are here to share the results. Here to join me is Maddie S herself (in the italics). Welcome to our world of what we do when there’s no school and we’re both available…

We might as well start at the beginning. At 7 o’clock last night, I was NOT partying. Gosh no. I was at my local supermarket, in the aisle where they keep the flour, squinting at the labels of about a million different brands of the white fluffy stuff. Apparently, cake flour is different than regular flour, and this recipe called for cake flour. In case you kids at home want to make such a recipe, here it is:

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons cake flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten (USE AN EGG, NO ALTERNATIVES. SERIOUSLY. Reason to follow.)
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
2 -3 drops of vanilla (optional; we went without it.)

The first cake we made, in the works.

Directions:

1. Mix all dry ingredients together.
2. Mix in the EGG.
3. Mix in the oil and milk, too.
4. Grease the mug that you will eat the cake in and pour in the mixture.
5. Microwave on high for 2.5 – 3 minutes.
6. Then eat…if you can hold it down, that is.

Alright…so after we combined all the dry ingredients together, we were suddenly struck with the realization that the eggs were nowhere to be found!

Guess Daddy had eggs for breakfast. Thanks, Pop.

It was admittedly a little grody shoving mushy banana into a measuring cup. With your fingers.

To Google we went, typing “egg substitutes” in the search bar. After sifting through a seemingly useless article ranting about how and when to use substitutes (without actually revealing what the substitute was) we found that bananas, mushy and slimy and all, were usable substitutes for eggs. We concluded that since we were making chocolate cakes, bananas would taste fine…

Have you ever had a chocolate-covered banana? I have, and it’s good. So, why not banana chocolate cake? Yum…?

After two and a half anxious minutes, the cake was finally ready and we we let it cool while preparing the second microwave masterpiece.

A bird's-eye view of the creation. Except for the gooey, pooey center, not bad, right?

See those cute little eyes on the mug? It's lookin' atcha...

So, the second cake also involved the banana (well, dur…the eggs didn’t magically appear). Recipe, anyone?

Ingredients
4 tablespoons plain flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg (or one quarter of a banana….NOT RECOMMENDED FOR SAFETY PURPOSES).
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
Small splash of vanilla (MAKE IT SMALL).

Directions
1. Mix in dry ingredients.
2. Mix in egg.
3. Mix in milk and oil, too.
4. Add vanilla (A SMALL SPLASH)
5. Microwave on high for 2.5 – 3 minutes.
6. Eat it. It will be only moderately difficult to hold this one down.

See, it’s good to keep the splash small, because my splash of vanilla was pretty massive. And, a little icky.

If you can see by the picture above, there is a small, yellowish chunk in the batter. Banana. We popped this one in the ol’ microwave, and instead of biting our nails, waiting for the heavenly (er, maybe not heavenly) aroma to drift into our nostrils, we took a picture…

And then we started on the icing.

Oh Lord.

Now, we tried to make icing.

Three times.

All missing some ingredient(s).

Somehow.

The first time, we couldn’t find the confectioner’s sugar and did not have whipping cream to whip. We, thinking outside the box, used granulated sugar and whipped cream. We squirted some Reddi-Whip in a measuring cup, without any expectations.

That’s Maddie’s hand, holding the measuring cup, with the blue nail polish. Her other hand is squirting the “whipping cream”, the one without nail polish.

To make, listen up!

Ingredients
2 cups whipping cream, whipped (WHIPPED CREAM IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE.)
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar (GRANULATED DOESN’T COUNT!)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cocoa

Directions:
1. Beat cream until slightly thickened (Uh, we forgot to do this. Hey, it was already screwed up to start with.)
2. GRADUALLY add the sugar (We also forgot the “gradually” part.)
3. Add vanilla and cocoa, too.
4. Beat until stiff peak forms (This definitely didn’t happen!)

What? Icing always looks like this...

After stirring, we realized we did not beat the cream in the beginning. Whatever. We were past fail. So, we decided to beat it later on, with all the other ingredients. Who knows, maybe stiff peaks could form anytime? (Nope)

So, after breaking our arms with the whisk, trying to forge some sort of peak (“I’ll take any peak! Just give me one! Please, we need some success, somehow!”), we gave up and gave it a taste.

Baaaaaaaaaaad idea.

There were three things wrong with it:
1. It had these crunchy pieces in it, due to the granulated sugar. Literally, we had to chew it.
2. No stiff peak came near it. It was more of an anthill.
3. It was just….plain disgusting. It was like chocolate milk that had sat out in the sun for a week. How do we know what week-old, sun-fried chocolate milk tastes like? You’ll know after you have this.

So, a second attempt was obviously going to be made. We are ROCKSTARS! We can make anything! We just had a bad flop, that’s all.

I, being the explorer I am, went searching through a very deep cabinet (you thought I was going to say cave) to find a mallet, to pound the poor granulated sugar to possibly make it more confectioner-like. Sounds perfect! When I pulled out the vinegar, there to my wondering eyes should appear….

Hands? Or WINGS? Because THIS SUGAR is GOD-SENT!

C-could it be?? CONFECTIONER’S SUGAR! And NO, it was not moldy or anything! The first success of the day!

Round 2. Since the Reddi-Whip was running low after our previous failure, we moved on to a more sophisticated version of cream: Coffee Mate.

We debated whether to try Hazelnut or Original. We were slightly afraid of how a Hazelnut cream would result, and Maddie’s mother did like that hazelnut…so we went with the Original.

At first, we had high hopes. We whisked it, attempting (notice how we use that word a lot, to display our lack of faith in the recipes) to create a thicker cream. Our arms fell off once more, so to get some more leverage, we chose the “shake-it-up-in-a-water-bottle” route. Smart.

Trying to get Coffee Mate to become thick and cream-like is quite a challenge, so we turned to…THE BOTTLE.

 We were convinced that we had somewhat made the cream thicker, so we returned it to the bowl to add the sugar (actually confectioner’s this time), vanilla, and cocoa. Then, it was returned to the Bottle. (for stiff peaks). Once we had exhausted our arms for a third time, I remembered that to make cream fluffy, one is supposed to allow air into the mixture. So, once more, our plans had failed. Gosh, darn it!

Stiff peaks, here we come! Or go...far, far away.

After tasting THAT disappointment, it was sort of a unanimous choice to wash it down the sink (it was, in fact, liquid). So we did. Next, we tried to make a glaze that we actually had every single ingredient to! Such excitement could not go without an attempt.

How to make glaze!

1/4 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1. Melt the butter via microwave (it only needs about 30 seconds in there).
2. Sift the sugar into a bowl of your choosing (Um, I did, admittedly, not sift it. I don’t have a sifter! Gosh!)
3. Add the butter to the sugar.
4. Add the milk.
5. Stir.
6. Eat. (It’s actually tasty!)

See, appararently, if one does not sift the sugar, one has to chew the glaze. But, it had good flavors, so therefore I give myself an A+. FINALLY!

After all this drama, we decided to taste the now-cooled cakes.

The top view...

See that smile? He's faking. He honestly wants to escape.

So I emptied out the mugs, and cut each cake into two. I gave Sam and I half of each cake, all while poor Samantha was doing the dishes.

How delicious those heaps of crap look!

The first bite was taken by poor old Maddie. While scrubbing a dish, I heard her yelp, “Oh, God!” She folded over and almost gagged. I said, “Oh, no. What?” She replied with a disgusted, “It’s BAD.” “How bad?” “HORRIBLE.”

I needed to taste this by myself. So I did. And my dear friend was not wrong. She was inexplicably correct. Dear, Lord, save us from this vile creation from the microwave. We saw the comments the recipe page that degraded the cake, but we decided that since we were already here, we should give it a go anyway. Maybe if we had eggs and used an oven, we would not have bullied our taste buds so. To see if this couldn’t get any worse, I tried it with some of our successful glaze.

Still awful.

Even delicious, sugary glaze could not mask its horrors.

Another alarming discovery:

Does anyone see the last ingredient?! C'mon!

Alcohol? 35%? What is this world coming to?!

In the end, though, this was definitely a very fun day. From the poor icing failing so bad and hard it was beyond the point of failure, to the cakes tasting like vegetables covered in chocolate, with a hint of diarrhea, to the banana substitute going miserably, miserably wrong: it was such a fun day.

In conclusion, I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever make a cake in the microwave, no matter how much someone could pay me, this will never happen again. I suggest you do the same. Save yourselves!!

But it made for a pretty darn-good blog post, didn’t it?

(*edit* Some eggs were found after we finished. Figures…)

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2 thoughts on “What the heck is that

  1. I’m sorry, but I pretty much laughed my way through this. I love the P.S. at the end, though. I hope Hope reads this and frowns upon us!!

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