I’ve been thinking back on my first cake — well, I think it was my first — could’ve been my second. I was making a cake for my mother’s birthday — so, June. I made my first cake in June. I cannot recall the year — probably I was nine years old. I made a cake from a boxed mix and I added blue food colouring along with the eggs and water. Maybe some oil. It would have been Wesson Oil, I think. I baked the cake in an angel food cake pan and set the timer so I’d be sure to not fail by over or under baking the cake.
I didn’t over-bake it. I didn’t under-bake it. I didn’t have any breezes in the kitchen — nor did I slam any doors or make any sudden moves that would cause the cake to fall. True to form, in that I cannot do things I’ve not seen done before, I removed the cake from the oven and immediately inverted it on a bottle – on the counter away from any drafts. I had seen my mother do this with her beautiful angel food cakes.
The baked contents of the pan — the blue contents — instantly dropped onto the counter. I suddenly was faced with a dilemma: Uh-Oh! What do I do now? I’ve never seen this part before.
Well, I’ve thought of that little incident from time to time over the years. When I take a cake from the oven, and after it’s cooled a bit, I invert it on a rack. Because I always grease and flour or spray the cake pans and line them with parchment and because I wait a bit for cooling, I don’t have problems with cake falling all over the place or bits of cake staying in the pan.
I’m not sure why I baked that cake in the angelfood cake pan in the first place. Maybe I thought it was just the pan to use. I had seen my mother use that pan. And I sure don’t know why I coloured it blue — maybe I thought it would resemble some sort of summer pool or something beach-like — I don’t know. But I do know that the technique I used that day to form it into a dome on a plate is a technique I just might need sometime — and if I do, I’ll know how it’s done. And I know that day, when it was all said and done, the frosting covered a multitude of sins problems. I use this technique today. On cakes and other things.