The course of true baking ne’er did run smooth…er… even.
All leavening agents make baked goods crown to a degree. Variations in temperature in different areas of the oven and subte tilting of oven racks can also lead to extremely lopsided cakes… which must be eaten to destroy all evidence.
For a layer cake to sit flat it needs to be flat, which cakes aren’t unless something’s gone terribly wrong (like the time you wondered what a brick would taste like covered in chocolate…not too bad, really). Level is achieved 99.5% of the time by cutting.
The best tools for cutting are cheap:
There are fancy cake cutters out there, but unless cakes are being made en masse, they’re not really necessary. A bread knife and a good sense of what’s level will work.
Here’s what you do:
It works just the same with dental floss, only you wrap a good bit around your fingers like you’re about to give a woolly mammoth his annual dental cleaning. You saw gently back and forth, while occasionally singing, “Brusha, brusha, brusha.” Et voila. Flat cake layer.
Some people are clever and use rulers. Some people also wear pants and have jobs and are productive members of society with families who still speak to them. You’re not some people.
*NOTE: For the layer that’s to be the top of the cake, you’re cutting the side that will go on the BOTTOM of the top layer. The cut surfaces should face the middle of the cake to keep crumbs down.
If this doesn’t work, 99.5% of what’s pictured on TV cake shows is made entirely out of Rice Krispie treats. Make Rice Krispie treats instead. Eat them alone.Tell no one.
Hang on. Now you’ve got a hankering for cake. Five cakes. And a woolly mammoth to share them with.
Once, many moons ago, you had a torrid affair with a sly little maple syrup buttercream. Oh, that buttercream. So flirty. But alas, she left you for a passing bacon pancake, like the trollop she was.
But, on lonely nights when the stillness of summer heat leaves you restless and longing, you remember her thusly:
Maple Syrup Buttercream (very small batch for cookies):
Like most things, you threw cake pie together while half asleep and in a flavonoid induced stupor.
The easiest way to go about it:
1)You like to work with a basic cake brownie recipe, or very simple single layer chocolate cake. A good place to start. If you’ve managed to not devour all the batter before oven stage this time, you take the brownies out a few minutes before they’re done. This is also when you remind yourself that oven mitts are important, as are working fingers. Though you find the ER docs adorable, they’re getting a sick of you.
2) Pie crust. Your favorite no-fail crust is from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking and essentially amounts to:
You like rollin’ that crust out like red carpet for a trashy awards night.
3) You then cut the crust into rounds (top and bottom) slap that dough into a pie press, scoop the scalding cake brownie batter into it (pausing to lick your chocolatey wounds) mash on the top covers, close the lid, say three Hail Marys and wait 6-8 minutes.
4) Abandon. Pure abandon.
*Should a pie press not be available (tears, actual tears), this in theory can be done as a double crust pie in the oven, though the standard baking time for cake brownies will increase. *In Theory* averaging bake times and temps between a Pecan Pie and an Apple Pie would do it.
If not, you specialize in eating your own failure. Failures. Everything. All the time. Alone.