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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Another Birthday Cake Fail

Punch with sunflower from our garden.

I can make excellent cakes. Billowy angel food rings, rich New York cheesecakes, Martha Stewart's best devil's food. But when I try to make them lower in sugar [for H.] and then also vegan [for Figgy], they often flop--in a very big way. 

I worked hard making a fresh apple cake for H.'s bday today. It's a recipe my mother-in-law up in Maine makes a lot. She clipped it from the newspaper years back, and for the 9 by 13 inch size, it calls for 8 grated apples [peel and all], 2 cups of sugar, 2 eggs, 1 cup oil and other ingredients. Mary's version is mouthwatering and moist, with pleasant notes of vanilla and nutmeg. 

I replaced each egg with 1/2 cup natural applesauce [a ratio that worked well in Ina Garten's corn muffin recipe]. Everything else was vegan-proof. And instead of just cutting the amount of sugar in half, I halved it and replaced it with a new mix of brown sugar and Splenda that I found in the baking aisle. Seemed like a great idea. 

Everyone hated it. It was a soggy disaster. So after the well-wishing, I promptly cut it into squares, put in a container and froze. I'm not about to waste all that apple-grating labor and besides, warmed up one square at a time, it might make a nice, wholesome breakfast or snack on a brisk day.

Oh well. This ranks right up there with the lemon meringue pie H. requested for his 30th bday. I didn't try to lower the sugar, but I did commute hours to work on a train with it and then bring it to an Italian restaurant at night, where it emerged deflated and pitiful.

"What is that supposed to be?" a pretty friend of H.'s asked another guest. 

One day I will learn to just stick to the Parisian apple tarts he loves, which contain little sugar but a lot of butter and 1 egg. But I would have had to exclude the vegan and was trying to be considerate.

If I had to do it over again, I would make the tartlettes and get a pint of good vegan ice cream for Fig.

Good night.

1. Support group. Couldn't stay whole time bc H. needed car for work, but so glad to see my friends and confidantes.
2. Healthy bkfast and lunch. Brought home half my pasta from dinner.
3. Good dental care.

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