Sunday, October 9, 2011
Sharing Failures as well as Success- You never know when you might be in a situation where you won't have the luxury of boxed cake mixes, fresh produce or cases and cases of beautifully packaged, precooked meals to pop into your microwave oven. I have decided to occasionally try recipes from the past, ones that use limited ingredients. I took out Plantation Row Slave Cabin Cooking: The Roots of Soul Food that we picked up on a trip we took several years ago as we traveled from St Louis down to Mississippi, stopping at Vicksburg and Natchez. The Molasses Cake looked pretty good, so that's the one.
I got the ingredients ready, following the directions as written.
Everything is going well and I put it in the oven at 375 degrees and set the timer for 50 minutes.
When I checked back, with 10 minutes left to go on the timer, the cake was burning. The sides had drawn in and were starting to blacken. And 10 minutes yet to go on the timer!
I quickly pulled it out to see if I could save even a little of it. It's pretty dry, but I don't know exactly how moist it would have been; however, it's way too done, burnt to a crisp on the bottom. If you cut that part off and take a taste it would be similar to gingerbread, probably not too bad if it wasn't burnt.
I have to say 375 seemed a bit hot to me, or at least a bit hot if you're baking it for 50 minutes. There's a misprint somewhere. I checked newer recipes and they all call for 325 - 350 and less time. The lesson here, don't walk away and rely on a timer when making a new recipe, particularly one that is from the 1800s.