Tomorrow there's supposed to be a baby shower/lunch thing for one of the techs at work, so I thought I'd contribute a little something. After flipping through a few of the cookbooks, I found an apple cake recipe in Alton Brown's I'm Just Here for More Food: Food x Mixing + Heat = Baking. It sounded interesting and tasty, and better yet I already had all the ingredients on hand. I consider myself reasonably skilled at cooking and baking, and the recipe didn't seem all that complex. Basic cake recipe using the creaming method. Still as I was reading through it I had this feeling in the back of my head that there was something missing. Naturally, I ignored it.
This was what I ended up with.
Doesn't look pretty, but it is tasty. Hardly presentable though. Think of what it would do to my reputation as a cook!
While doing the post mortem on the 'cake', I realized what that nagging feeling was telling me. There was no liquid in the ingredient list! No liquid means no gluten formation, and no gluten means the cake has no structural stability.
Duh. I need to learn to listen to those nagging feelings more often. I've made enough cakes using the creaming method that I should have picked up on this earlier. For some reason I didn't and now I have a pan full of proto-cake.
The book itself is great, but apparently I'm not the only one to discover problems with the recipes, as a few of the reviews on Amazon point out. Sadly the list of errata mentioned in the reviews has apparently gone offline. Hopefully they'll come back soon because there are some tasty looking recipes in his book.
I guess I'll have to go empty handed now.