May I tell you a story about a lazy baker and a can? I hope so, because it is a fabulous tale of consequences and perseverance. And perhaps you have a similar story you could share in the comments below… But first, read this tale of woe.
A cake baker, we’ll call her Tara, baked a cake. But not just any cake! She baked a cake because the season of chilly air and “pumpkin all the things” was upon her and hey, she was a food blogger. She kinda had to. But she didn’t want to. She was feeling kinda like a tantrum-y kid shuffling her feet around the kitchen with a sour puss smudged across her face. “I don’t waaaahhhhnnnnaaaahhhhh!!!”
Yeah. She was being that bratty about having to do her work. Don’t be like Tara.
So, Tara decided to half-donkey it and spent a good hour thinking about how she could doctor her first ever boxed cake mix. (No getting all cake political, peeps… Sometimes we do what we do like
I did Tara.) And she came to the conclusion that she could in fact make this work, and maybe even pull of a super awesome cake when all things were said and done.
So she collected her boxed yellow cake mix with trepidation, grabbed a can of solid packed pumpkin, her little container of pumpkin pie spice and headed to her mixer.
And that was the end of the easy-way-out part of her cake creation.
Now that her cake was in fact baked, cooled, torted, and ready to be filled, iced topped, sliced and photographed to share on her blog with the world – she encountered her nemesis. Yeah, this is getting dramatic!
She went to her kitchen drawer that held her 20 year old, trusty Tupperware can opener. It was the one she got as part of her starter pack for selling Tupperware long ago. Yeah, Tara was one of those, and famously unsuccessful at it as well (one party with one person who she pretty much had to badger into saying yes). This little handheld kitchen companion had never steered her wrong. It’s white, sleek and curvy, and fits in her hand like it was made just for her. Tara was passionate about her can opener.
Pumpkin can, lickety split and it was wide open ready to surrender it’s contents.
Over to the dulce de leche can (we’ll call it caramel for sake of common terminology). This would be a pleasure to peel open knowing that some of the delicious, sweet, caramel-y goodness inside would inevitably make it to her fingers and then of course, into her mouth. Tara is a sucker for caramel anything!
Grip. Twist. Turn. And time to open the lid.
Or maybe from the other side.
Or maybe Tara just didn’t have a good grasp on it.
Or maybe she needed to go around again with the can opener. She must have done something wrong.
Okay. Maybe she should try the bottom rim.
Or this was the can from he** and no can opener was ever meant to open it.
Spoiler alert: it’s the last one. Nestle finds it funny to tease those who eagerly buy cans of dulce de leche and drool as they run their incompetent can openers aimlessly around the rim. Nestle, you need to give us very specific can openers with every purchase of this magical and untouchable stuff. Seriously – get to the drawing board.
Alas, after peeling, prying, squeezing, a butter knife and a pair of pliers, this is what the can became. And it took all I had in me. Er, it took all TARA had in her. There was room enough to stick a mini spatula in and get the goodness out.
This took a good 40 minutes out of the day.
This was the cake Gods getting even for being lazy about creating a cake for the blog. “HaHA! We’ll show you, lazy caker! Give us that time back in the form of unopenable cans of key ingredients!”
They really said that. I heard it.
In the end, Tara was able to complete her project, pictures and all. And it only took 2 hours longer than if she had just made the thing from scratch in the first place.
Lesson learned, Tara. Lesson learned.
And if you want the recipe, I’ve transcribed it just below for you with some additional tips 🙂
I (and Tara) rarely dam a filling inside my layers. Very rarely. But while the pumpkin pie filling takes some time to set up, it needs to be contained within the layer. Damming with the buttercream you choose is the best way to keep it from creeping to the edges and getting into your white buttercream.
The buttercream I chose to use for this cake was a simple one that would taste more like a sweet whipped cream (of course heavier in consistency). It’s my Bright White Whipped Frosting. It left it just as made in the recipe with no additional flavors other than vanilla. It’s perfect!
Adding little poofs of frosting around the top edge using an M1 tip was simple and added a nice boarder to contain all that pesky caramel. Sorry. Still totally hung up on those 40 minutes of my life lost to a CAN.
I also dusted them ever so lightly with Pumpkin Pie Spice. The details… Success is in the details, folks.
Look at that thick, deep layer of caramel!!! Mmmmm!!!!! The can opening efforts were worth it.
I have three links to recipes you’ll need to make this cake:
As well as a can of Dulce de Leche