This is a post about mistakes. Delicious, frustrating, chocolate-y disasters.
Once upon a time, I made this really awesome chocolate cake recipe from Orangette. It worked perfectly that time, I remember it!
Upon getting back from the beach (at about 4 pm), I decided I would make the cake for my friend's 20th birthday that night. I was supposed to be there at 9:30. 5 hours is plenty of time to make and bake and frost the cake. I wanted it to be chocolate cake with raspberry filling and raspberry frosting (I know, I know--so much chocolate and raspberry! People keep asking for it though...).
The funny thing is, the recipe is called "Far-from-Disaster Cake".
I was in that crucial moment of adding all the dry and liquid ingredients when my neighbors came over. I got totally distracted, and completely forgot to put in the chocolate/coffee mix. I thought the texture of the batter was a little wonky, but figured it was just a different recipe than I was used to (there is both cocoa powder and the chocolate/coffee mix, so there was definitely still chocolate in the cake).
I rescued one of the two layers (both were somewhat dry) by pouring a coffee glaze over the cake and topping it with raspberries and powdered sugar.
The other one fell out of the pan.
But you know what? For a lot of people (especially four year olds whose eyes double in size at the site of cake--whether it has fallen apart or not), chocolate cake is, simply, chocolate cake.
So then I made it again, this time correctly (9:30 inched closer and closer). This time it turned out just fine--I filled it with raspberry jam mixed with raspberries (I used defrosted ones, separating the liquid from them after they melt and using it in the frosting). It looked fairly pretty when it was all together (not that you can tell because there is no appropriate light under which to photograph food after dark in my house)--albeit a rushed icing job.
But, as I remembered, it tasted AWESOME. And my friend said it was the most delicious cake he had ever had.
If you haven't guessed it already, here is the moral of the story: appearances aren't everything, especially when it comes to chocolate cake.