29 Jan 2011

The c.a.k.e. Experiment

This time I made cake-flavoured milk jello by adding a packet of cake mix to condensed milk and gelatine. Then I printed stencils to cut out the c.a.k.e.

Method: Soak 2 sachets of gelatine in 1/2 pint of water. Stir 1 tin of condensed milk into 1 pint of water and bring to a simmer on the stove (do not boil). Add gelatine and stir until dissolved. In a separate bowl pour a little of the milk mixture into the cake mix to make a paste then add paste to the pan and stir until combined. Allow to cool on a flat tray and refrigerate until set.

This is when I learned an important lesson. This is probably such a no-brainer that it doesn't need to be said but have you ever noticed the lack of jello and butter cream icing recipes out there? That's because jello and butter cream icing do not mix. The first layers went together ok but by the time the second layer was added...

Disaster. Not something you would serve at a dinner party. Or even a children's party. Although there was a definite cake flavour to this the texture was more powdery than I would have liked. The icing was the only thing going for it. I had high hopes that this would be my final recipe but once again I find myself staring at a dessert gone wrong. 

I thought creating a purely conceptual cake for The Raw Shark Texts would be fairly easy. Oh, I laugh now at my naivety. It is the 'conceptual' part that is proving most difficult. 

How do you create something edible that resembles the idea of a cake and tastes like the memory of a cake without it actually being a cake? 

As you know I have been using three quotes from the novel as the criteria for this recipe:
'thought ... congealed' (p.4)
'fluid liquid concept ... waves of association and history' (p.59)
'stillness is an idea, a dream' (p.25)
To this I have added the use of words or letters as part of the representation.

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