When Bad Cakes Happen To Good People

I love my fancy Bundt cake pan, but it does have a distressing tendency to refuse to release the cake, even when it’s been buttered and floured prior to baking. Last week for my mother-in-law’s birthday I planned to have her over for a luncheon with the children and me, so I set about baking her a cake. Sadly, but all too predictably, when I tried to turn the cake out on the cooling rack, here is what I got:
I was most vexed. The breakage was such that there was no way I could hide it, moreover I couldn’t get the rest of the cake out of the pan in one piece either. What is a creative cook to do when disaster strikes? Why, get creative, of course.
I have a pretty crystal bowl that sits on a silver pedestal. It’s not a trifle bowl per se, but I decided it would do in a pinch, and be an elegant touch to our luncheon table. After using the dregs of my bottle of silver polish to shine up the base, and giving the bowl a good washing in case it was dusty, I was ready to assemble my impromptu trifle.

A trifle, if you don’t know, is basically just a layered dessert. You can layer pretty much anything in a trifle. It looks best in a clear bowl, but you could use a solid colored one if that’s what you have. I perused my pantry and found that I had chocolate pudding, half a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, and half a bag of toffee chips. Just as well to get that open bag of chocolate chips out of the way so I didn’t wind up eating them plain in a moment of weakness!

First, I broke up some of the cake into chunks about one inch square, and layered them in the bottom of my bowl. I mixed up a box of pudding and poured a layer of chocolate pudding on top of the cake. After sprinkling the pudding with some of the chocolate and toffee chips, I added another layer of cake, then another of pudding, and so on. I wound up using two boxes of pudding and made three layers of the cake, alternating as above. The top of the whole thing is a chocolate chip and toffee chip layer. It tasted delicious and looked very pretty on the luncheon table!
Other trifle options would be to use berries, whipped topping, or caramel in the layers. You can use your imagination, it will probably be delicious regardless.

Many thanks to my mom and my aunt Catherine who introduced me to the broken-cake-turned-trifle idea after a mishap that occurred just prior to my engagement party.

For more creative kitchen ideas, be sure to check out Alaina’s blog!

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