Iron Chef Hoboken

Recently I hosted the last Hoboken meeting of the Authors and Alcoholics Literary Society (a.k.a my book bitches).  We try to be a book club but often its really more of a wine club.  Not that we spend a great deal of time discussing the wine or comparing it to other wines, we just spend a great deal of time drinking it.  We are all avid book readers as well.  Sometimes we just get a little distracted by the wine and forget to discuss the book of the month.

Anyway, we haven’t met since I was diagnosed.  First, chemo brain makes reading anything other than a comic strip or US Magazine pretty impossible.  Second, nothing like loss of appetite and nausea to get you craving the vino.  Third, who doesn’t want to show off a sexy steroid moon face, hairless head, and onion skin?  So between selling the condo and going into remission, it seemed time to have one last hurrah in adorable wine soaked #3F before her new tenants moved in.

While I’m no master cook, I do OK in a kitchen.  I don’t generally make anything too fancy or ambitious, but I think it’s always tasty (atleast edible) and somewhat nutritious.  When one of the book bitches was celebrating a birthday, we’d serve a cake.  Since I missed so many birthdays over the past year, I thought I’d bake one more for our last shindig.  Well, to be completely honest, there’s also the matter of trying to clean out the pantry in anticipation of moving.

In one of my nothing-but-organic-and-wholegrain tirades a few months ago, I’d purchased a Bob’s Red Mill Wholegrain Chocolate Cake Mix.  I like Bob.  He makes really tasty healthy stuff.  This shit was not good though.  This shit was down right weird.  Though it might not have been entirely Bob’s fault.

Seems my cake pans are already in storage.  But I do have a rectangular decorative bundt pan thing that I decided to use.  I don’t have any cooking spray.  But I do have canola oil and paper towels.  It all seemed like even swaps to me – let the mixing commence!  Where I come from, an idea this brilliant is usually prefaced with a “Hey y’all, watch this!”

The mix was weird, but I followed all the directions (for the non-vegan version), rubbed down my daisy pan with an oily paper towel, and set things to baking.  I licked the spatula and thought things were tasting a little off but chalked it up to some weird pre-baked ingredient taste issue.  Meanwhile, I started mixing my icing.  I love cream cheese icing more than…well…damn near anything.  A cake is not a cake with any other type of icing.  If you could snort, huff, or inject this icing, I’m quite confident I would do so on a regular basis.  One word – yum.  I’ve made this icing countless times with much success.  Not this time, baby.  At best this was a cream cheese lumpy sugar glaze.  I have abso-smurfly no idea what happened.  Clearly the baking gods were quite angry.  Then ominously the cake timer went off.

I have no idea what the hell that thing that came out of the oven was.  It was thin and hard and had no intention or releasing from the pan ever.  After an hour of cooling and ritual offerings to the baking gods, we attempted removal.  Rocco nobly stepped in to help and proceeded to break that bad boy into about 917 pieces.  With book club only an hour away and knowing we’d serve the cake after a minimum of 6 bottles of wine, I followed my mother’s sage party advice  – “oh, what the hell!”  I bunched those pieces together in a tight little wad and poured over the cream cheese glop.  It was by far the single sexiest cake I’d ever seen.

The sickest thing is, we actually made it through 8 plus bottles of wine, some scotch, and more than half of that weird ass cake.


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