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My Cake Obsession

I’m obsessed with making the perfect Puerto Rican cake. I guess it’s what most folks would recognize as a butter cake, but it has a certain consistency and moistness that I’ve never found in another cake. It’s topped with merengue. Unusual. Super delicious. Melts in your mouth. Feels like home. Kinda like love.

So I’ll make this connection up front – baking the perfect cake is like being in the perfect relationship. And when I say perfect, I mean perfect for me. Everyone’s got different tastes. That’s why God made the rainbow.

All cakes require the same basic ingredients – butter, eggs, flour, sugar.* Sometimes milk, baking powder, baking soda and flava e.g. vanilla, almond, lemon, etc. Each ingredient contributes to the science of baking. One ingredient provides texture, another softness, another moistness. Together in the right combo, KAPOW! – yummilicious.

My basic ingredients are honesty, loyalty, compassion, intelligence, wit – the minimum RDA for yours truly. What makes this cake more delicious are emotional maturity, eco-consciousness, success, athleticism and sensuality. If you love music and dance, that’s the merengue.

As I’ve evolved, I’ve learned a few things. Your cake is only as good as the ingredients you use to make it. Cake flour is imperative cause it’s lighter – has less gluten and protein. You’ve got to sift, baby! Three times. Makes the cake less dense and blends better with the other ingredients. Organic, unbleached cake flour is not an easy find. Keep looking. It’s there.

All organic for me, of course. I like my ingredients free of toxins. I don’t need to pollute my temple while I’m enjoying my treat.

And if an “extra” ingredient goes bad – say your baking powder gets crusty – just buy a new tin. If one of the essentials goes bad – like your eggs – dump that cake and make a new one. Rotten eggs permeate the batter. You can’t save or fix a cake with bad essentials. You need fresh eggs for a new cake!

So far, my batters have been FANTASTIC. My ingredients free of toxins, my love poured into each cake. BUT, the cakes haven’t come out right. I’ve adjusted cooking time. Researched the science. I’m close, but still fine-tuning the right mix of ingredients and the right BAKING PROCESS.

Yes, I’m learning what to do with the ingredients I’ve got. How to mix, blend, warm. How long to cook, how long to cool. It’s definitely a PROCESS.

My last cake had a few excellent qualities. Somewhere along the way, however, things soured. A couple of the essentials went rancid and one of the essentials was never fully satisfying. Back to the drawing board.

My next cake was really yummy. Chocolate. I’m working on it now. A little more chocolate, maybe more eggs. It’s good, no doubt. Tinkering to get that WOW. It requires patience, time and faith.

For my next cake, I’ll use what I’ve found works and adjust what’s been missing. My goal is to drool as I slice that cake – see, smell and feel the moistness. Taste that just right blend of ingredients. Get transported to La Isla. Ahhhhhhh. Smackin’ my lips just thinkin’ ‘bout it. Wish me luck. In the meantime, happy eating!

*OK smarty pants, I know you can make a flourless chocolate cake! Let’s stick with the basics for now.

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