One of the items I decided to make for Thanksgiving was a German Chocolate Pound cake. Since I was going to be at my daughter's, I packed up all my ingredients so I could make it there. A fresh pound cake is always better. One thing I forgot was my pan, but that was not an issue since my daughter has a well stocked kitchen. She produced a Teflon bunt cake pan for me to use.
The recipe was rich with lots of butter and 5 eggs. The butter cream chocolate icing was going to be even richer. The cake went into the oven with great promise. After checking it several times - with the ever reliable toothpick - it was done and I took it out and left it on the cooling rack. The top was perfect with the crispy part everyone wants to pick off. It was shame I wanted to ice it - but that was the plan.
When I went to take it out of the pan it would not budge. The sides had receded from the edge of the pan but the cake was firmly secured to the bottom. For an hour or so, I would try to remove it, attempt another method, let sit, then try again - to no avail. Finally I deemed it a disaster.
Then my daughter said, "You could always make a trifle, using the butter cream icing and whipped cream."
The only thing that made me mad about that was that I had not had that idea first. I carefully pulled the cake, chunk by chunk, from the pan, Then I made the icing and whipped the cream. I layered it all in a trifle bowl. Voila! A rich rather elegant looking dessert that looks as if I spent hours in the kitchen. The family was impressed.
So when I had to prepare a dessert for my garden club this week I pondered my old standbys - a cheesecake, iced Christmas cookies, pralines, sour cream apple pie, etc. Then it dawned me, you idiot, the trifle, the silk purse from the sow's ear.
So I gathered the ingredients and baked the cake. Naturally this time the cake came out perfectly from the pan, not a crumb missing. But I still tore it apart and assembled the trifle. Then the cloud of doubt came over me, What if the secret of my prior success was the way the cake stuck to the pan? What if the chemical reaction of the Teflon coating (which my pan at home does not have) together with my daughter's electric oven (I have a gas convection oven) created the special effect that bonded the cake to pan causing a molecular change in the cake that best suited it for a trifle? Where as my pan in my oven just produced a regular cake. Or maybe I am over thinking this.
Which ever the case it is a win win. If the cake comes out of the pan - I have a cake. If it sticks - then I have a trifle. Lemons you make into lemonade and an obstinate cake you make into a trifle.