Amanda Cade

Worth It! (Things to try, read, watch, hear, and discuss)

Screenshot 2019-03-23 at 7.52.24 PM

When I heard about the Great Bloggers’ Bake-Off (read all about it here) I knew I had to participate. I love baking, and I had a birthday party this weekend, so the timing was perfect. I’ve been hooked on cooking competition shows for a long time, and I sometimes imagine myself as a contestant, especially when I’m trying a new recipe. I could picture it all in my head…

Meet the Contestants

ingredientHost: Amanda, what are you going to make for this challenge?

Me: I’m making a chocolate mousse cake.

Host: Have you ever made this before?

Me: Not exactly, but I’ve made cake, and I’ve made mousse, and I’ve made frosting, so I think I can pull this off.

Host: And who is your partner in this challenge?

Me: A great cook, awesome teammate, and all-around wonderful person…MOM!

Host: Hi, Amanda’s mom! Are you excited about this challenge?

Mom: Absolutely! This is going to be a lot of fun.

Host: And are you bringing some baking expertise to the team?

Mom: Actually, Amanda has a lot more baking experience than I do, so she’s taking the lead, but I know my way around the kitchen.

Me: She’s being modest. Mom almost never fails.

Mom: That’s partly because I don’t do a lot of complicated recipes. That’s more your department.

Me: Which is why I frequently fail.

Host: Sounds like we’re in for an interesting evening. Let’s get started!

Phase One

First things first: we needed to get the cakes in the oven and the mousse base chilling in the fridge. We used a tried and true chocolate cake recipe, and it went off without a hitch.

batterinpans

For the mousse base, we beat four egg yolks, then combined them with cream and chocolate on the stove top. No problem.

 

The air was thick with the smell of victory. (Victory smells like chocolate.)

Interlude

cakes-cooling.jpgHost: So what’s the next step?

Me: The mousse has to stay in the fridge for about two hours, and the cakes need to cool completely.

Mom: So we’re going to do the first round of dishes and then make dinner.

Host: Are you feeling confident?

Me: So far.

Host: Do you think you have a shot at winning the challenge?

Me: Absolutely not.

Host: (Blinks in surprise) Amanda, you’re a very optimistic person. I’m surprised to hear that from you.

Me: Oh, I live in hope, but…you know how Tom on Top Chef always says “You eat with your eyes”?

Host: Yes.

Mom: Amanda isn’t great with presentation.

Me: Mom’s a lot better at it, so we might be able to pull it off, but usually my food comes out tasting good-

Mom: Tasting great.

Me: -but looking, well, somewhere between a little odd and “just close your eyes and pick up your fork”.

Host: So you’re hopeful, but realistic?

Me: Exactly.

Host: Well, I’m rooting for you. We’ll check in after a few hours.

Phase Two

To finish the mousse, we whipped up some heavy cream, and folded it into the chilled base. A quick taste test showed we had been successful, and we were ready to put the cake together. So far, we were killing this challenge.

mousse foldingmousse folding 2more mousse folding

We carefully cut each cake round to give us four layers (and for once I actually cut them evenly), and then stacked them with mousse filling. We finished by coating the outside with mousse.

cake-assembly.jpgcake-assembly-2.jpg

Then we ate everything left in the mousse bowl. (I am proud, not ashamed, to share that with you.)

We put the cake in the fridge to set, and made the frosting (milk, butter, cocoa power, and powdered sugar).

frosting-stove-top.jpgfrosting sugar

Interlude

Host: So it looks like things are going well?

Mom: You bet!

Host: What’s next?

Me: We have to let the frosting cool for a while, and then we pour it over the cake.

Host: Did you say “pour it over the cake”?

Mom: Yes. We have to wait until it’s…(checks the recipe) “at a consistency similar to a thick syrup”.

Me: So we pour it on and let it coat the cake, and then it’s going to harden into a kind of soft shell.

Host: Interesting. Is this a technique you’ve used before?

Me: No, but we read up on it, and watched a video, so I think it’ll be ok.

Host: Any plans for decorating?

Me: We have sprinkles. And these “Easy Writer Decorating Pens”.

Mom: Which we hope are actually easy.

Me: Yeah…you should do that part.

Mom: I was planning to.

Phase Three

I will always regret that neither of us was taking pictures at this point. What I really wish is that there was a video.

It went something like this:

“Ok, pour slowly”…”Let me get in there with the spatula”…”Oh, look, it’s coating the sides, just like in the video”…”Ok, let me turn the cake”…”I can’t see that side, is-“…”Wait, there’s something-“…”Is it melting? It didn’t melt the other side-“…”Maybe it’s too heavy-“…”Try to scoop it-“…”It’s an avalanche!”…”Cakeslide! Cakeslide!”…”What do we do?”…”AHHHHHH!!!!!’

cakeslide

giphy

Interlude

Host: Oh, no! And you were doing so well.

Mom: It’s still going to taste good.

Me: And “eating with your eyes” is just a metaphor.

Mom: It doesn’t even make sense.

Me: This cake has so much character.

Mom: Totally original.

Lots of giggles.

Host: Are you still planning to decorate?

Mom: (Still giggling) I don’t think we should even touch that cake again.

Me: (Still giggling) Heaven knows what we would do to it.

Host: What are you going to take to the birthday party tomorrow?

Me: This, of course!

Mom: It’s a masterpiece.

Me: Abstract art.

Host: Well…maybe you should sleep on it.

Phase Four

By Saturday morning, the cake was working towards total collapse. The layers were sliding, the patchy shell was cracking, and I began to seriously doubt the long term survival of my masterpiece.

Saturday 3Saturday 2saturday-1.jpg

Clearly, that meant it was time to decorate.

SprinklesWriting

PERFECT!!!

The Taste Test

Party Guest 1: What is that?

Me: It’s a cake.

Party Guest 2: Are you sure?

Party Guest 1: What did you do to it?

Me: That’s a long story.

(Five minutes later)

Guest of Honor: I love this cake. It looks awesome.

VICTORY!!!!!!

cake-interior.jpgAlso, when we cut it (on the more stable side) it didn’t look half bad. And everyone agreed that it tasted awesome.

Host: Are you ready to face the official judging?

Me: You bet. I’m already a winner.

Hip Hip Hooray

54 thoughts on “The Great Bloggers’ Bake-Off (aka: Why I Will Never be Top Chef)

  1. How cute! Congratulations for going the distance Amanda! Cooking and baking is not my forte 😨. I’m the one keeping restaurants with revenue each year! LOL. Blessings, my friend✨💛

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’m going to try this one again sometime, and try to get it right, but I’m actually kind of glad things went wrong this time. So many people got a good laugh out of this cake, and the guest of honor said he liked it so much more because it looked like such a train wreck. There was a time when this story would have ended with a frantic trip to the bakery, and that would have been a shame. I’m so glad I’ve learned not to take myself so seriously.
      Thanks, Ann. Blessings to you, too. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

      1. You’re welcome Amanda, that’s the secret to staying positive—keeping a sense of humor to laugh at ourself instead of unnecessary angst of mistakes! I’m glad the experience was a good one and you will try it again! You go girl!! 😉

        Liked by 4 people

  2. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

    Amanda, you have me beat by several country miles…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      In baking or in baking disasters?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

        Baking! You did well! I’ve never baked anything in my life…

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Amanda Cade says:

        You should try it sometime. I suggest starting small…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

        I love me some cookies and brownies!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Shalini says:

    Hahahaha 😂 😂 what a fabulous fabulous post. I loved that, you are a winner in cake baking…err…decorating…err…whatever you poured on it….
    But the layers looked super fab. I am not a cake person and I was tempted… Yummm😋

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      The entire experience was so much fun, and mistakes always make better stories. Lol.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh I love this! I thought only my cakes looked disastrous… but it looks FANTASTIC from the side when you cut it. And sounds absolutely delicious! Well done! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Thank you so much!

      Like

  5. This is awesome 🤪🤪 Congratulations Amanda 🥳🥳 Must be really delicious 😋

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Luckily, the flavors turned out great. Even I would have had a little trouble staying positive if it looked like that AND tasted bad. Lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. With all that chocolate definitely couldn’t taste bad 😊😝

        Liked by 2 people

  6. 10 out of 10 would eat 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  7. shellteacup says:

    Lol, A very funny blog and your tenacity won through in the end! I’ve had a few disasters like this, most of them tasted better than they looked. Well done. Xx

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Irene says:

    The slice was beautiful, and I can tell tasted like heaven!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      It’s all about inner beauty.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Lwbut says:

    Loved this post! ❤

    As long as you don't actually LOOK at it I'm sure it would be wonderful! 😉

    Would it be inappropriate to say that the decoration makes the cake look like it has been Branded?? 🙂

    You have your own egg SEPARATOR???? Clearly you are out of my league, chef-wise.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’ve had the egg separator for a LONG time-since the first time I tried a recipe that called for separating eggs. I wasted an entire carton trying to do it by hand (it looked so easy on the Food Network). I called my mom for advice, and she told me to check at the grocery store for a separating tool. Since I had to go buy more eggs anyway, it was timely advice. I don’t need it often, but when I do I’m so glad to have it.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Lwbut says:

        O-Kaaaayyy.. i might have been wrong about the out of my league comment! 😉

        I did have to borrow my Mum’s flour sifter this time though – i may have used one twice before in my life? 🙂

        Good luck with the judging! 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

  10. Thank you for making me laugh! Your ability to laugh at yourself made this post so fun to read. I really enjoyed this it brings back so many memories of my recipes that didn’t work.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      If I couldn’t laugh at myself, I’d be unhappy all the time. 😉 You’re an expert, Diane, so give me your thoughts: the frosting was still too hot, right?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Probably but it’s hard to tell by a picture.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Amanda Cade says:

        Definitely going to let it cool a little longer next time.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Was your cake completely cool? I have frosted cake and the inside was still a little warm and it destroyed the frosting and the weight of the frosting can collapse the cake. I have even put my cakes in the refrigerator first.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      The cake was definitely cool. I think we must have melted some of the mousse. It all happened so fast…

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I absolutely adore your sense of humor and personality that shines through your writing. What a joy it is to read your blog! Have a wonderful day!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I actually thought of you while i was writing this post, because I know how much you like my disaster stories. Thanks so much for continuing to read and comment!

      Like

      1. I don’t see them as disaster stories but more of a real life take with a positive attitude. Besides who is perfect? No one therefore it is fun to see your loving kindness and sense of humor shine through in everything you do.

        Liked by 2 people

  13. rugby843 says:

    Fantastic! I’ve experienced the cake slide myself, but the end result looks great!👍🏻

    Liked by 3 people

  14. theresaly520 says:

    What a wonderful entertaining post! Looks like you had a blast making it, and I’m sure it tasted wonderful!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      It was SO much fun. Mom and I are planning to keep experimenting.

      Like

  15. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post.

    I am an amateur in the cooking and baking department but I enjoy it when I do it.

    Things are a lot more fun when there’s someone to laugh over mistakes with you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Mistakes, like successes, are better when shared.

      Like

      1. Absolutely. Like shared joys and sorrows.

        Liked by 2 people

  16. Hahaha this was fun to read. And I am already craving that cake 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  17. ckennedyhola says:

    Those pictures of the frosting are too funny! It sounds like a delicious cake though–I’d definitely give it a try!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Fisherofmen says:

    Hahaa. That was enjoyable to read wish that you could have made it into a video blog to get the reactions while cooking. 👍👍😂😂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I really wish I had a record of the collapse. Unfortunately, we both had our hands full.

      Like

  19. This post made me laugh so much! I could imagine myself in the kitchen – please pack your knives and go 🙂
    But I’m sure this cake was not that bad, the taste is what counts in the end. And the effort we put into baking it!
    If you have time, I would love for you to stop by my blog.
    Thanks, https://christysdiaryblog.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 3 people

  20. etiliyle says:

    💫✨💫✨💫✨💫

    Liked by 1 person

  21. RobbyeFaye says:

    What a fun post. YOu have a wonderful outlook and great sense of humor.
    The slice looks beautiful, and all of it looked delicious. Congrats!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. RobbyeFaye says:

        You are very welcome!!

        Liked by 2 people

  22. alexraphael says:

    Don’t want to get an appetite going to bed, but the text was so funny and engaging. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Thank you for reading. This was a case of looking at a disaster as a good story, and I love good stories.

      Like

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