I decided that I couldn't let a recipe get the best of me forever, so I set out on an adventure very similar to that of 15 years ago. Once again I assembled the ingredients and lovingly prepared the cake, even though it is no longer hubby's favorite. I felt sure that the mistake I had made long ago could be explained by the fact that I had folded in the beaten egg-whites with a mixer instead of by hand. This time I mixed everything correctly.
It smelled heavenly while it was baking. My son and I were feeling drooly as we went about our afternoon's entertainment in the room adjoining the kitchen, he playing his video games and I reading. The timer beeped. I sauntered to the oven, mitt on hand, to remove the symbol of my triumph. I opened the oven - it was still wet in the middle.
I decided to leave it in there for another few minutes. I checked on it anxiously every minute or two by peeking through the oven door. Please - oh please, I hoped, let this one turn out.
It was not to be. The edges of the cake, so lovely and moist when the timer first beeped its hopeful message, are not quite as firm as a dried sponge. The middle, that stubbornly soggy realm that cried out for more time, is cooked to an edible consistency, but is not the mouth-watering invitation to gustatory ecstasy that I had envisioned.
I cried a little inside as I saw what had become of my cake, but I decided that I must not let myself be overcome by this failure. I have another bar of german chocolate in the cupboard. I know I will try again someday, and I will overcome this blot on my otherwise excellent baking record.
Maybe next time I should use the three 9-inch round pans that the recipe suggests instead of a 9x12 oblong.