This takes the cake
Thursday August 18th 2011, 11:18 pm
Filed under: Food,Friends

I saw the dermatologist again: two new spots on my head. They looked to her like an autoimmune reaction to the surgery, but she made sure I did indeed have an appointment for four months post-op on the skin cancer. I do. Meantime, though, she was relieved and I was too.

She mentioned that a friend of hers had knit baby blankets for her two children when they were born and they loved them; she marveled that her five-year-old was still so latched onto his.

I loved hearing that some other knitter’s work was so prized by that good woman’s children.  What better could one ask for?

And so I came home wanting to celebrate all around. Hey. I’d found some manufacturing cream actually in stock yesterday and bought it; I owed Don a chocolate torte, I could drop one off at his house on my way to Knit Night if I hurried.


The original incarnation of my recipe is dated June 1991. My pair of 8″ springform pans has been well used for a long time.

And they’re showing it. The latch on one is a little loose, the other, more than a little and it’s leaked a bit a few times; I try to make sure the foil lining on the bottom comes up and covers that join.

Nuts, I forgot to do that this time, I thought a little later as I started to smell smoke; I really should spring for those new pans. Oh well, open the oven a crack for a moment to keep the cakes from tasting smokey and hope it burns off fast.

Okay, this is where I’m glad I had my hair pulled back.

Waiiiit… Try that again…

Slam it shut.

NOW what do I do?!! The one torte, if I had an oven free that I could… Are the neighbors home? Right, ‘scuse me, could I borrow a cup of 350 degrees for 25 minutes?

Take a deep breath. (No don’t.) Turn the oven off.  Be glad the smoke alarm system has a timer so you can turn it off for 25 minutes. Hope the mailman going by doesn’t call 911. Take the good cake out. Move the racks. Acknowledge to myself that yes, I really did do that: I put a springform pan in the oven without closing the latch.

And yet half that torte was still somehow in the pan. I poured the unset part of the batter into bowls and nuked its sorry remains. The other torte had to sit on the counter and cool its heels while I scraped and scraped the oven out with a metal spatula (no don’t reach for the nylon one!) and then reheated it, opening it again and again to let more smoke out, waited some more, okay, try again.

I sent up a silent ‘Thank you Larrick Hill’, our architect on the remodel 16 years ago, for the screened open-able skylight he put in this kitchen that even when it’s opened still keeps most of the direct sun away from me. Up, smoke, up. No, mailman…

It was a total guess how long to bake the behaved one.  Note that neither of us who can eat dairy have ventured to cut into it yet, much less waste a ganache glaze on it.

But that happy email to Don in between baking steps around the kitchen about dropping off a torte on my way to Knit Night? That was a half-baked idea. Maybe next round?

11 Comments so far
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When it rain it pours, I know about smoking ovens,The favorite thing here is Pizza, put it in the oven right on the rack and the cheese will drop off and burn on the bottom of the oven, I have a self-cleaning oven , doesn’t help. Take care and God Bless.

Comment by kristy phipps 08.19.11 @ 4:09 am

That “if I hurried” thing will get you every time! Glad you’re okay and nothing major happened except a good story.

Comment by Kathy in San Jose 08.19.11 @ 7:02 am

this reminds me of the first experience with a spring form pan that someone I know had — not realizing what would happen opening the spring without having it sitting on a solid surface — splat


how about treating yourself to a couple of new pans?

Comment by Bev 08.19.11 @ 7:17 am

You owe me a chocolate torte? Who am I to argue.
8″ springform pans, that right?

Comment by Don Meyer 08.19.11 @ 8:48 am

I recall in Sweden they used to “reconstitute” old crumbs into a rolled cookie. Maybe you could be/have been so creative. Imagine mixing those crumbs with Breyer’s vanilla ice-cream, refreezing and scooping into balls. Sounds positively gourmet. Take “Alison’s ice-cream torte balls” and roll in shaved Green and Black’s ice-cream and you might win a prize.

Comment by LynnM 08.19.11 @ 9:34 am

I do believe it’s time to invest in those fabulous pans you’d found a while back… and I think that might top the time I was icing a layer cake and somehow dropped the top layer in the floor intead of on top of the bottom layer…

Comment by Channon 08.19.11 @ 10:37 am

I feel your frustration. I once made Hot Fudge Pudding cake in too-small of a pan. Forever remembered as the Molten Lava Cake….with a good hour of oven cleaning. Ooops!

Comment by DebbieR 08.19.11 @ 12:59 pm

I dare say that torte looks good even as it collapses on your oven floor. And with manufacturing cream and good chocolate, I’m sure it tastes good, too.

Comment by twinsetellen 08.19.11 @ 3:15 pm

Cake-tas=trophy? I’d be happy to help you test the returned to the oven model…:-)

Comment by Ruth 08.19.11 @ 3:45 pm

Hmmm. I don’t even remember the last time I used my springform pans. I think my mother gave them to me. I think there are two. I used to make cheesecake for New Year’s Eve but my friend moved away so …. I had no idea that they might wear out from overuse, but I guess once a year wouldn’t be considered overuse and not at all is definitely not overuse. Sigh. Maybe I should try to find them and even use one? And oh, right, remember to latch it securely.

Comment by sjanova 08.19.11 @ 6:21 pm

P.S. Yup, I have two in the cabinet there.

Comment by sjanova 08.19.11 @ 6:25 pm

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