This is the second installment of Edible Monstrosity. If you haven’t read Part I: How Old Do You Have To Be To Acquire Common Knowledge? Check it out here first.
When we last saw The Indoctrinatrix, she had made a double batch of yellow cake batter, poured it into two 9-inch round baking pans, put them in the oven, set the timer for 30 minutes and was waiting with satisfaction for her first cake-from-scratch to emerge triumphant…
While I waited for the cake to bake I turned my attention to making chocolate frosting. Even though Betty Crocker offered a recipe for companion frosting in the yellow cake recipe, I had something else in mind.
I don’t know why, but I did.
I had heard of a tasty cake frosting made from chocolate pudding. So I decided I could that.
Without a recipe.
Even though I’d never done anything like it before.
If I remember correctly, I basically made Jello pudding and added something more to make it frosting…
Maybe flour… I honestly can’t recall at this point. But I do remember expecting it to firm up and become frosting while it sat in the fridge for an hour.
By this time the warm and sweet smell of cake was starting to fill the apartment. This tickled my soul…
But after another 10 minutes or so that sweet cake smell started to take on the undertones of burning…
“Uh oh,” I remember thinking, clearly understanding that something was wrong, but not wanting to face it.
Just ignore it. It’s like Shrodinger’s cat. As long as I don’t look in the oven, the cake is doing just fine.
There’s no smoke filling the apartment, but the subtle burning smell doesn’t let up.
I decide it’s time to see what’s really going on here, so I open the oven and…
The sight that greets me is one I had never seen before, or since.
In both cake pans, the batter had risen. But with nowhere to go, it mushroomed up over the edges.
The pan on the right was drip, drip, dripping batter onto the bottom of the oven, thereby baking another, smaller cake on the oven floor. This is where that burning smell was coming from.
Horrified, I slammed the oven door, turned the oven off, ran into the living and flung myself onto the couch.
“I fucked it up! I fucked it up!” I kept repeating, devastated. I had so wanted it to be perfect for my friend’s birthday.
After a few minutes of self-pity, I decided maybe it could be saved. I turned the oven back on and decided to wait out the timer and see what happened.
When the timer went off, I pulled two enormous muffin-looking things out of the oven and set them on the stove to cool.
I poked at them. They seemed to be cooked. Aside from their horrible appearance, it tasted fine when I swiped a nibble.
I decided to move forward with these crazy cakes once they cooled…
What’s the moral of Part II of this story?
You may not know you’ve messed up until the results roll in.
But don’t give up at the first sign of trouble! If you’re not getting the results you want with your indoctrination strategy, hang in there.
If you have all the correct ingredients (see the 5 C’s of Indoctrination), but biffed the execution, you can usually make adjustments to get better results.
Oh, and it doesn’t do you any favors to ignore problems in your marketing. If you sense something is amiss, address it head-on.
Next week: Part III: Where the pudding meets the malformed cake