Friday, August 17, 2012

Red Wine Cake Donts

After the fiasco of the vegan brownies I wanted to cook something that would not explode or sink or turn into powder under pressure – and restore my personal sense of kitchen confidence thereby.
            My mother-in-law's birthday is coming up, so I had an excuse to start baking.  I was thinking of another red velvet cake; a proper one, loaded with eggs and brown sugar and dairy products (I'm a cooking snob, okay?) but along the way to choosing a recipe, I became distracted by something I'd never heard of before: Red Wine Cake.
            Red Wine Cake is a chocolate cake where the moisture is provided by red wine instead of oil or butter. It sounded fantastic, and the whole entire internet was raving about it.  I had to try it.
            Yesterday I baked one - a tester cake.  The batter, once mixed, was amazing– a rich, chocolate-y cream that tasted like the best glass of red wine you ever had served with a side of almond panforte.  I restricted myself to half a cup or so of the batter before I popped it into the oven, and the cake settled down to rising happily and giving off rich alcoholic smells –
            But after all that, and in spite of its batter-y glory, the cake was unequivocally not a success. To look at, it was a lovely chocolate sponge, but the rich, winey flavor had an acrid, acidic aftertaste, and and the cake was dry dry dry – we found ourselves sucking our tongues for moisture as we ate.
            It also had a rather...awkward side effect.There was very little dairy in the cake, relative to most of the things I bake, but even with lactaid tablets to help the dairy go down, the lactose effects were outsize.  I ate a bite or two, and had to lie down. I felt wretched, nauseous.  My stomach was churning and I tossed and turned in my bed - I just couldn't get comfortable.  Mr Tabubil came into the room to check on me and I rose to meet him, and caught myself in the mirror and stared.
            Mr Tabubil yelled. “I've never seen you look so bloated! You look as if you’re five months pregnant. Are you allright?!?!"
            As I turned away from the mirror to answer him, there was a… let's just call it a spontaneous, gaseous dorsal emission, shall we?  Like a trumpet exploding. Mr Tabubil stared in shock. I turned back to the mirror and understood why - my bloating had reduced by seventy-five percent!!!!!
            So possibly we will not be making this cake for my mother-in-law's birthday.
            And Mr Tabubil may stop laughing sometime next week.

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