I was perusing the Cake Wrecks Facebook page the other day (where every follower gets a free invisible puppy!!) when I came across a rather unusual request:
Ahh, so you want to pop open the hood and take a gander inside the wrecks, is that it, Jennifer?
Well, I'm glad you asked.
Hey, Jennifer, you ever wonder how cupcake cakes (ptooie!) keep their icing from falling through all those big gaps?
NOW YOU KNOW.
We just saw last week how a gender reveal cake failed to actually reveal anything - other than plain yellow cake - but here's the opposite problem:
The cake was blue inside with pink icing.
Now I'm going to show you my absolute favorite cake cake wreck of all time, Jennifer, and which I've been hanging onto for just this moment.
First, though, let me explain what (we think) happened:
A bakery was unable to sell a Halloween cake in time, but they didn't want to throw it away or reduce the price. So instead, they simply flipped the entire cake over, icing side down, and re-decorated the other side to make it into a generic birthday design.
CW reader Shannon had no idea of the skullduggery at work until she cut the cake, and found this:
That's a whoooole lotta icing, right there.
(And think how fresh!!)
And finally, I know I posted the video of this over on FB a week or two back, but here's a quick .gif reminder of the importance of proper wedding cake support:
(Watch the original video here to see them both continue to laugh hysterically, which is just adorable. Cutest couple ever!)
Welp, I hope that satisfies some of your blood lust for caketastrophe, Jennifer!
And hey, for the rest of you, the request line... IS OPEN.
Thanks to Cherie O., Leann S., Jaunna, Fribby, Sarah, & Shannon G. for reminding me of those times bakeries accidentally left scissors, a paring knife, and other various cutlery in their cakes - because that was a HOOT. (And also because "TRAUMATIC BIEBER" *still* makes me snort-laugh.)
Aw, look at the sweet cake for Sarah-Maude's second birthday:
Although, those balloons look a little odd, don't they? Let's take a closer look...
[eyes bulging] Great Scott! Hide the children!!
And I KNOW you see what I see, people, so don't even try to accuse me of having my mind in the gutter. It's the Fireman cake all over again.
Eric N., thank goodness this was for a safely oblivious 2-year-old. Still, given how obvious those balloons are, I'm pretty sure I'd steer clear of this bakery in the future. Unless it was for a bachelorette party, of course.
Monograms can add that perfect crowning touch of elegance to your wedding cake.
Or, they can look like this:
Proof that sometimes it's better to quit before letting your five-year-old write on the cake.
Still, it could be worse.
The monogram could match the rest of the cake:
Hey, it's not easy to make tinfoil look this good.
If you do find a mistake in your cake's monogram, don't panic. There are plenty of seamless ways for your baker to fix the error.
This isn't one of them.
Now, I'm all for sharing new words, broadening folks' horizons, furthering education, etc, but if you have to explain to the baker of your wedding cake what a monogram is - a "T, J, and H" put together, for example - then maybe, just maybe, a few alarm bells should go off.
Or I suppose you could just take your chances.
After all, what could go wrong?
At least the quotes add a little something "extra."
Thanks to today's wedding wreckporters Anony M., Hilary R., Cyndi P., & Cyndee M., who think all bakers should be required to ask, "Can I quote you on that?"
"Okey dokey, let's just double check that order form."
Decoration: Chocolate dipped strawberry, ganache swirl and chocolate shavings over buttercream.
"Check, check, and check!"
Inscription: Leave blank
Thanks to Ross E., the bakery manager who managed to catch this before the customer arrived. Great work, Ross!
Anyway, I had a kilogram of medium oats, so I made parkin according to Andy's recipe. It's unlike most in that it doesn't call for flour, only oatmeal. I don't know what Andy would say about the results, but I was very happy with it, and gave some to Lydy, who also approved.
But the recipe (as originally posted at my request in rec.art.sf.fandom, IIRC) has a note at the end: "This version keeps very well, and is very nice after a couple of weeks wrapped in greaseproof paper (don't keep it in a tin or plastic container it dries out)."
Why should greaseproof paper (which I assume is equivalent to waxed paper) be more desirable than an airtight container? Is the high sugar content supposed to cause it to suck out moisture from the air?
This batch is just over a week old, and I haven't seen a noticeable change after storing it in a tin. If I make another batch, I'm tempted to experiment by leaving some open to the air, some wrapped in waxed paper, and some in the tin as usual. Assuming it lasts that long, of course. This recipe makes parkin with the approximate density of very tasty neutronium (so I cut it into small pieces), but it's very moreish.
I'll add the recipe below, just in case anyone is curious. I don't own a 7x10 pan (I think I converted all the units from the original when I put it in my recipe file), so I use a 9x9 one -- and that overflowed a bit. I might try a 9x13 one next time, and cook it for a shorter time.
(By the way -- back to that common language thing -- I was always curious why black treacle was an optional ingredient if it was treacle parkin. Then I saw an episode of Great British Bake Off where the technical challenge was treacle tart, and it called for golden syrup. Apparently golden syrup is considered light treacle in the UK, and molasses is black treacle.)
Andy Leighton's Treacle Parkin
16 oz Golden Syrup
8 oz Butter
24 oz Medium Oatmeal
8 oz Brown Sugar
2 tsp Ginger (if you like lots of ginger add another tsp)
Warm the Golden Syrup and butter until just melted and then mix in the rest of the ingredients. Grease a medium tin (about 7" by 10"), and throw the lot in a low oven (gas mark 2, 300F) for 2 hours. It is done when it springs back when touched, although don't be worried if it is a bit underdone and gooey in the middle.
Note: the above recipe is more or less how I (Andy Leighton) make Parkin, although sometimes I use less sugar and a bit more oatmeal -- I just throw approximate measures in and go from appearance. You can use half golden syrup and half black treacle if you want a more treacley taste. This version keeps very well, and is very nice after a couple of weeks wrapped in greasproof paper (don't keep it in a tin or plastic container it dries out).