Saturday, September 12, 2009
U.B.O - (Unidentified Baked Object)
Can you guess what this is? Have you ever seen something like this crawl out of your oven? Before I do the big reveal, I need to tell you a little back story. You can mull over your guess while you're reading.
I have a thing for shaped pans. Sure I have your standard round and square pans, but what draws me in a like a sucker punch are the pans that have fun shapes. I must have spent a good 15 minutes in Williams-Sonoma once rooted to the spot, admiring a pan that was shaped like garden stuffs. You could make the cutest little Mr. MacGregor's garden cake with it - Peter Rabbit wouldn't have been able to resist!
I've also seen darling train cakes, snowman cakes, Christmas tree cakes, and even a giant Oreo cake. All of these pans make me sigh wistfully, but I try to let my common sense rule. I don't have the budget or the space to buy all these darling pans that are for one or two uses.
But if a friend brings one and says I may borrow it, that's a whole nother story!
My Baking Babe buddy, Tanna, was in town recently and brought along a pan she'd splurged on. Rather than let it sit and collect dust in her pantry, she's circulating it around, sharing the joy that a fun shaped cake brings.
The U.B.O. came about because I had no idea how much batter to put in the cake. I made my standard banana bundt cake from Baking. The batter came really close to the rim. A wiser person than I would have judiciously removed some batter and put it in a smaller baking vessel. Wise I am not. We watched in fascinated horror as the cake baked, rising and flowing like lava over the edge of the pan to plop and singe on the cook surface beneath the pan.
I had zero expectations of a great cake coming out of this fearsome mess. But it released well (thanks to lots of soft butter pushed into every crevice with my pastry brush), and out popped this fun octopus. Au natural it looked a bit bland, so I gave it a bath in a sugar glaze to bring out the details.
What do you think? I think he looks a bit cross. Didn't matter - he tasted great! And, of course, my kids were delighted that we were eating octopus for dinner.
What did you think it was?