there are few scents as intoxicating as the smell of a spice cake in the oven. immediately, the house feels warm and inviting. once it comes out of the oven, very few can resist the urge to grab a knife and slice a thick slab. just be sure to take it out of the pan first…and speaking of that pan, if the directions call for you to grease and flour it, please, for the love of cake, heed the warning.
sad but true, i did not do as the directions instructed and the results were a lovely cake coated pan. sigh.
doubly sad since not only do i bake for a living, but that recipe was one of my own; i broke my own rule. my excuse, i was in a hurry. even worse, i needed the cake for a meeting and there was no way to hide this. so, off i went, head hanging low and my lame excuse at the ready for anyone who dared to ask.
funny thing is, no one seemed to think much of it. sure, they were a little surprised that i could have such a mishap, but none were the least bit shocked. it was if they knew something i didn’t and had just realized…regardless, i came home with a tray holding just a few small chunks and some crumbs. apparently, they liked it.
when they learned the cake had a secret ingredient, they went back for a little more. it was fun making them guess. spice cakes are easy to hide unusual ingredients in since the spices tend to mask the flavors of the other ingredients. are you curious about that ingredient? well, believe it or not, it was a can of crushed tomatoes. once baked, the tomatoes are not obvious in either appearance or taste. they do add some wonderful color and lots of moisture.