We’ve had an email from Janet:
I love your site – it really inspires me to go to lengths to reuse and recycle things I never thought I could, and since I’m a student, that’s wisely frugal too!
I have a bit of a blind spot with cake baking, and they always come out unrisen and heavy, and doughy in the middle. Any ideas how I can reuse this (and other) lemon flavoured brick-cake?
You did cakes before, but focussed mainly on dry and stale cakes (breadcrumbs, biscotti etc)…obviously this is not going to work for me :D
Since the 3Rs always starts with reducing, we should think about reducing the occurrences of these sad brick-cakes ;)
I don’t make sponges that often so can’t be specific with my advice but one thing I will say that’s good general baking advice is check the temperature of your oven with a separate thermometer. Borrow one if you can but they’re only a couple of ££/$$ on eBay if you have to buy one – and they’re well worth it — everyone I know who has used one found that their oven thermostat was rather wrong: ours was off by about 30°C! That sort of temperature difference can make a heck of a difference when baking. Any more cake-specific advice on why Janet might be hitting the not-rising/doughy middle problem a lot?
As for reuses, could they be served as a heavy tart like pudding with cream? Or warm with custard as a pudding? A few sites also suggest bodging it by slicing the cake in half then stacking one piece on top of the other and adding a layer of cream & jam or buttercream in the middle to fake a bit of height. It still would be rather dense though.
Any other suggestions for using it up?