So it was Andrea’s 20th birthday lunch and of course I had to make a cake!! I wanted to try something new and usually when I do, I don’t start with a brand new recipe that I’ve never worked with before… rather, I take something I already know how to make, and I tweak it! haha.
I knew I wanted to make it a layered cake because that’s something I haven’t really done much and I decided to use my round cake pan figuring that cutting the cake in half would be easier with a circle than with a 13×9 rectangle. So I knew that much. Then, when I was in the supermarket a few days before I was going to make the cake and I stumbled upon a pudding-like mix (in Spanish it’s called “natillas” which to me is just like vanilla pudding but it is a bit more soupy). I had the choice between the “mega instant” kind where you just add water and stir for 3 minutes and pop it in the fridge or the 8 minute-add the amount of sugar you want and use milk. I chose the latter. I usually don’t like buying desserts in a box… but pudding is probably one of my only exceptions!! 😉
Once I got the vanilla pudding cooking… I slapped it in the refrigerator ASAP and then got to work on the batter. I used the typical yellow cake Better Homes and Gardens recipe… I don’t usually need to alter that recipe too much. Once I got the cake batter in the oven I checked on the pudding. It was way too liquidy so I put it in the freezer overnight. (((I usually tend to bake a cake the night before the event just in case my experiment fails and I need to fix it the day of the event or I need to whip up a classic favorite instead of my initial experiment cake!)))
The next morning, the pudding was frozen solid so I set it out to thaw out a bit while I sliced the vanilla cake in half and made the icing. In the picture you can see that it’s chocolate icing… but I really just started mixing good ingredients together to see where it led me. I started off with the standard powdered sugar, shortening, and milk icing base. Then I added in some Valor unsweetened cocoa powder and some whipping cream. It turned out really well even though it really wanted to stay a solid instead of being light and fluffy.
So I had icing that was too hard and pudding that didn’t really “pud” if you will. I decided to put the frozen pudding on top of the bottom layer of cake a little bit at a time and freeze the whole thing after putting on more and more pudding. Once I got a decent amount of pudding to stay (frozen) on that bottom layer of cake, I put the top layer on and frosted that cake as fast as I could so that I could get the whole cake back into the freezer. While I was waiting for the whole thing to harden, I made some powdered sugar icing and colored it purple (Andrea’s all time favorite color). I kept the decoration pretty simple so that the cake wouldn’t be out of the freezer that long.
About an hour before we left to go to Andrea’s house I put the cake in the fridge so that it would begin to thaw out a little. However, since it was a nice sunny day, it was starting to get ally melty by the time we got to her house (and we weren’t going to eat it right then and there… we still were going to have lunch first!!!). So we put the cake in the fridge and it held up surprisingly well. Despite the fact that I truly believed that this was going to be one of those “it doesn’t look that appetizing but I’m sure it’ll taste fantastic” type of desserts… it actually still looked good when it was time to put the candles on and sing 🙂 Oh, and it tasted pretty darn good too! The birthday girl cut herself two slices, one to eat with us, and one to have for breakfast the following day on her actual birthday!
I will admit though that before serving it (and taking this picture) I scooped the excess pudding that had oozed out of the middle of the cake onto the plate so that it was a bit more presentable!!! 😉 I love trying new things!! (especially when they turn out well!)
Do any of you have any good “experiments gone badly/well” when it comes to baking?! I’m sure you do… I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment!
Thanks for reading!!!!!
Oh and by the way, my next experiment is going to be to try to crack the code on Auntie Anne’s pretzels. We brought a make your own pretzel kit from the US to Spain and we made them while we were with Andrea for her birthday… They turned out really well!!!