August 22, 2008

a happy accident

Remember those s'more bars? I'm sorry to report that they didn't turn out quite as well as I let on...


...but they ultimately became something better.

Yes, my friends, I'm sorry to say that you've been deceived. Hoodwinked. Bamboozled. Although those bars looked fabulous and tasted great initially, they were rock hard the next day. Not even the microwave could return them to an edible form. So, I did what any frustrated cook would do. I dumped 'em into a bag and beat the fire out of them with my rolling pin. The results of this momentary loss of calm were a glistening layer of sweat, a renewed sense of peace, and a bag full of buttery graham cracker-chocolate chunk clumps and crumbs.


Now what? Since I refused to waste the bag full of goodies, I began to look for recipes requiring graham cracker crumbs that wouldn't be fouled up by the presence of those globs of chocolate. (I picked the marshmallows out and ate them myself.)(This also helped with the recovery from the temporary tantrum.) I finally found an Oatmeal Breakfast Cake that I decided could be mangled to suit my needs.

Frankly, the cake couldn't have turned out any better. It smelled exactly like brownies, but had the texture and appearance of cake. It's too bad I couldn't preserve some for posterity because I'm sure I'll never be able to replicate it, and it truly was a delicious creation.


Because this is clearly an original recipe, forged out of frustration and desperation, I'm submitting it to Lore from Culinarty for her Original Recipes roundup.


Salvage Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup quick oats
1 cup previously rock-hard, crushed
s'more bar base
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice, left to sit for 5 minutes)
3 eggs
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chocolate chunks from
s'more bars

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a bundt pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, demolished s'more bar base, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cranberries, and chocolate chunks.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, and eggs. Add this buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes, then extract it and leave it to cool completely on a wire rack.



(Good thing I got my slab early--this was all that remained after sitting out for less than an hour at work.)

58 comments:

Lore said...

Well Grace if we were in karate you would've received an updated belt!!! Looks like rolling pin anger does magic in your kitchen :D Your story fits perfectly with the Original Recipes concept. Thanks for sending it my way!

OhioMom said...

LOL .. love the name "Salvage Cake", how many of us have cooked/baked something that was later destined for a landfill? Good re-purposing of food! Oatmeal and chocolate .. yum!!

Lori said...

good save! i just hate it when a recipe turns out to suck, in one way or another. i feel cheated and ticked off and usually don't think to "repurpose" it (a big word in publishing, these days) like you did. this looks great!

Lucy said...

Grace... I almost sprayed my coffee all over my computer just imagining as you're beating up your s'more bar in frustration!! Not funny though when a recipe turns into a bummer!!

And..... kudos to you for making something even better, your "Salvage Cake" looks and bet it tastes amazingly good... ;)

LyB said...

Yay! for food bloggers! Grace you are way creative, I love how you can come up with the most fantastic recipes and names for them too! :)

Lorraine E said...

Oooh clever you! And you managed to get out your frustrations too :lol: I like the name too!

Kim said...

Grace, leave it to you a smart Southern gal who can bang the heck out of stale cookies and turn it into something irresistable. So, I guess these means since I am working hard at cooking Southern that I too get to bang the heck out of something also?

Jeff said...

Good use of the rolling pin and way to stick with it. I would have just said screw it, poured a drink, and forgot about them.

That sounds and looks amazing and if I was at your work I would have just grabbed the pan and greedily ran back to my cubicle.

Ann said...

Brilliant! I love it when a recipe gone bad can be rehabilitated!

Marilyn said...

LOL Grace, half of good cooking is pulling off tasty and clever and saves. Nice one! From the look of the beaten-up crumbs, it must have been delicious.

Mary said...

Way to make lemonade out of lemons! Your cake looks mighty delicious!

Sandie said...

I love that you turned a "next-day disaster" into a raging success! This cake sounds delightful.

That's the upside to failures---some of the best recipes have come into being out of sheer desperation, i.e. good use of your rolling pin!

Prudy said...

It's so frustrating when something doesn't turn out, but good for you for making it work!

Dawn said...

You have the touch Grace! That is for sure.

outnumberedlisa said...

It must be amazingly fun to be you. :o) I just wish you could have posted this recipe about 2 days ago!! Stephanie used your s'mores recipe to surprise me for my birthday, and then left the rest with my family. Had I known there was a use for the remains after the boys stuffed themselves to illness, I would have tried it in a heartbeat. But alas, I'm not nearly as clever as you.

I'm really jealous of all your co-workers too. Are there others that bring in goodies as often as you?

Rayrena said...

Salvage cake! You're hilarious! I probably would have given up, put a chunk in a bowl, poured coffee over it and eaten it like cereal ;)

Deborah said...

I'm sorry the s'mores didn't work out, but look at what you got instead! You are brilliant!!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

I would have thrown the rocks away, but this is a better idea! The salvage cake looks soft and moist!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Sounds frustrating, lol, but you're better than me. When things go south in the kichen, I tend to lose my cool and start hulk smashing things, lol. Looks like you made a graceful recovery and it sounds like ti tasted great.

Marjie said...

A happy accident indeed! My husband smashes things when he's annoyed: his favorite statement is "I have a hammer the right size for this!"

noble pig said...

Oh hello? Is this the frustrated cooks hotline? I've got some rock hard pie crust problem, can you help me? Ha! You are like a cooking Florence Nightengale.

Lisa said...

Great creation, Grace. Waste not, want not. My grandma would be proud!

The Blonde Duck said...

I love the name. Salvage cake!!!

If only I had your culinary creativity!

Mrs. L said...

I see a new psychology fad sweeping the nation...get all your frustrations out by beating on s'more bars! And then get calm by making the Salvage Cake!

Bunny said...

Good one Grace, The cake really looks, good beaten up s'mores and all!

Peabody said...

I have created many a salvage cake in my lifetime. Looks like a good one you have created.

Pam said...

Beautiful! I love that you took something not so great and turned it into something fantastic. My mouth is watering.

Pam said...

Wow great job on salvaging those bars!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Brava, Grace! Very clever and resourceful! It looks delicious and I love the name!

Krysta said...

good job grace! you can come to my house anytime you want to help me salvage some of my cooking disasters.

Erinn said...

You "repurposed" your cake, how eco friendly of you. You're downright green Grace!
Oh, and a damn fine baker by all appearences!

Paula said...

Please have mercy on my thighs! This looks so scrumptious, that I'm glad that your rolling pin moment occurred. YUM, YUM, YUM!

cookinpanda said...

S'mores bar bottom with a rich cake on top. Hmm. Yes, please. This is the sort of stress eating food I neeeeed. Now.

Tiffany said...

Sometimes the best recipes come out of incidents like this. And, as always Grace, you just make me laugh!

Sarah said...

You crack me up, Grace! Way to salvage the situation :)

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

I love you even more now knowing that you didn't waste the food. My mom would love you too....and you even got a delicious cake out of it!

Sarah said...

On the one hand, I'm not happy your original recipe didn't work out. On the other hand, I so am because this cake sounds so delicious, with such good ingredients in it! And yes, oatmeal and chocolate is such a good combo.

Gloria (Canela) said...

These look absolutely tasty and nice, I had have many "accidents" dear!!xxxxGloria

kat said...

lol, I love that you've come clean & turned your mistake into something good

Bellini Valli said...

I like the name Salvage Cake..great save:D I would have thrown my away not being as resourseful:D

Emiline said...

You're so smart! Looks yummy.

Cakespy said...

Oh man, why don't MY cake accidents end up like this? You did a wonderful job of salvaging it! :-)

eatme_delicious said...

Aw that sucks the smore bars didn't turn out as well as you thought. But wow what a way to save them!!

Elle said...

Grace, you're a genius! Good save! I'd have loved a slab of that cake.

Psychgrad said...

Sounds like ingenuity at its best. I think I need to try harder figure out an alternative with my cooking failures.

kellypea said...

I am totally familiar with a "glistening layer of sweat" unfortunately. And I can picture you bashing that stuff to smithereens! It would have been perfect in one of those cheesecakes I made last weekend. Totally! Looks like you found the perfect home for your "s'more bars base." Smart woman.

Sophie said...

Grace, you are awesome! I love it when I can use leftovers to make something tasty, but I gotta hand it to you, this is one delicious dessert! Great save! :)

giz said...

Did you say salvage or savage? What fun to take your stress out and create something good at the same time.

Vera said...

This one certainly doesn't look rock-hard :) The texture is just perfect. Great save!

My Sweet & Saucy said...

What a great name for such a yummy looking loaf cake!

nicisme said...

Creative, clever and a great name!

Y said...

Brilliant. Utterly brilliant. I love the way your mind works!

Rosie said...

Oh you are really smart and I love the title "Salvage Cake"!!

Rosie x

Jacque said...

Very clever! Pounding on the bars sounds like "therapy for bakers", lol.

Kevin said...

What a great idea. This cake sounds really good.

Jaime said...

hahah! great use of the hardened up smores bars :)

Jeanne said...

Bravo! Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat! Cake looks fantastic - who could guess it's a salvage??

crunchLin said...

hahah. the salvage cake looks great! great name! great rescue!