Taking advantage of California's all-inclusive marriage laws, last week my ex-dance-partner Kyle married Michael, his boyfriend of nine years. I decided to throw them a dinner party to celebrate, and inquired as to what type of cake they wanted. It came down to a white cake, with lemon filling, and buttercream frosting. I cracked open my Betty Crocker Cookbook and followed the directions for the "Silver White Cake."
Much to my dismay, it came out flat and rubbery, like an overgrown sugar cookie. It was then I realized that not only had my baking powder expired two years ago, but also that I had used jumbo eggs rather than large, which resulted in there just being too much egg white in the batter.
No problem, I thought, I'll just buy more baking powder and start again. Sadly, once again, it came out flat and sort of rubbery. At this point I kind of panicked, and decided to use a store-bought white cake mix. I was feeling kind of angry at Betty for her cookbook failing me twice, so I chose Duncan Hines mix over Better Crocker and Pillsbury. I followed the directions exactly, and when it came out of the oven . . . it was still kind of flat, but at least it had good texture and wasn't rubbery. I wonder if there's something goofy with my baking pans: they are non-stick stainless steel, which does not seem to appear on any list of good baking pans that I've seen.
When all was said and done, the came was yummy, with homemade lemon curd and buttercream frosting. I wished the layers would have baked up higher, though.