Turning out a cake, only to have it fall apart, is one of the most frustrating experiences one can have in the kitchen. But ugly cake is still cake, and there's no reason you shouldn't eat it.
Photos by Claire Lower.
This doesn't mean it isn't upsetting. When such a tragedy befell me a couple of nights ago, I was quick to complain about it on social media, but my friends and followers were just as quick to point out that I should view this as an opportunity, rather than a failure (even though I had failed). Here are some of the delicious ways you can repackage this baking tragedy into something you'll be happy to eat:
- Build a parfait: Cube the cake, grab some berries, whip some cream, and layer it all together.
- Construct a trifle: Swap the whipped cream for custard and soak the cake cubes in sherry. (Alternative idea: Omit the custard and fruit, and eat booze-soaked cake cubes.)
- Make a bunch of cake truffles or pops: Cake pops should not be made with those stupid cake pop pans, but with broken cake. Mix crumbled cake with a a cup or two of frosting until the mixture can be rolled into balls. Dip or roll the balls in melted chocolate or candy coating, and let dry baking paper. If you want to make pops, impale them with sticks before dipping, and let them dry by sticking them in a piece of Styrofoam.
- Bake some French toast: This suggestion is from our very own Sam Bithoney, and it's a great way to eat cake for breakfast. If your cake is too broken up to be cut into slices, simply place big pieces in a greased casserole dish, cover it with a custard — this recipe should work fine — and bake in a 175C oven until it takes on the texture of bread pudding, with crispy edges (about half an hour or so).
- Toast it into an ice cream topping: Crumble up the bits of cake, spread the crumbs in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake at in a 120C oven for about an hour (until the crumbs are completely dry).
- Mix it into a milkshake: Throw a few chunks of cake in a blender with some ice cream and milk, and blend away.
If you don't want to do any of that, you can always just eat the cake as you originally planned. I ate a good bit of mine straight from the pan while cursing the Bundt pan that had betrayed me. The cursing didn't last long, though; it's hard to stay angry while you're eating cake.