Why would anyone bake an ugly cake? I’m not saying every cake needs to look like the outrageous (and possibly inedible) whirling, spinning, moulded, folded fondant creations you see on Cake Boss.
This weekend, I went searching for a recipe to bake a thank you for 2 friends who had helped me with separate projects this week. Kevin suggested trying something German, as both gents are of German decent. Yawohl, that Kevin is thoughtful!
I searched around and found a recipe for German Apple Cake that looked simple and had great reviews. I whipped it together, put it in the oven and waited. I took it out of the oven and threw it straight into the trash. “That can’t be right,” I thought, going back through the recipe to see what I’d done wrong. Maybe I hadn’t measured something right, or perhaps I’d used cake flour rather than all-purpose flour? Could that have done it? I decided to try again, almost immediately, this time being even more precise than if I was trying to defuse a bomb.
2nd try? Still pretty ugly. This is as pretty as I could get it (I added a little homemade creme anglaise to gussy it up a little):
I decided to give it a taste test. Lecker, as they say in Deutschland! I took a piece to Kevin; he agreed. Still uncertain (Kevin knows how to keep the peace), I took a few pieces over to Marty Riemer’s house. Marty tasted and cried, “this might be the best thing you’ve ever baked!” Maybe he was just feeling sentimental for his homeland or maybe I had misjudged my little kuchen.
Is there a better reminder that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Or that being pretty on the outside isn’t everything? That’s very hard for a baker to hear. It’s even harder for a vain baker to hear. So I will keep this in my repertoire, if only to remind myself that being pretty on the inside it what counts.
Vampire Weekend - Diane Young