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fail: spent grain cake

Posted by aleta under recipe fail, vintage recipes

I have enjoyed some luck with used book stores and cook books that were sold to housewives for a fundraiser 40 years back. People share treasured family recipes that often turn out great (or are at least interesting enough to try to modify). However, for the record, I’d like to advise all of you against spending $5 on this ditto-machined little avocado number.

Recipe for a successful guild year.

I think that’s supposed to be Julia Child contact-papered to the cover there. Also, there were foil stars, one can only assume for extra pizazz, and a recipe for something awful titled Deviled Eggs Supreme that calls for cream of celery soup.

The guild year poem.

Here’s where the trouble started.

Where the bad idea began.

I thought for sure I could coax this cake into being an acceptable vehicle for the several pounds of spent grain in my freezer.

I call this one "Spent grain in pyrex" for lofty artistic reasons you aren't likely to grasp.

For the uninitiated, that there is a byproduct of brewing beer, and since it seems like everyone we know is a homebrewer, it’s plentiful and free around here. Spent grain is an all-natural high-fiber cereal, neutral in flavour, but similar in texture to cooked rice or oatmeal. You see why it might just work. Once upon a time I posted a recipe for spent grain cookies, but harvette did a much better job of the recipe by excluding peanut butter.

I took a picture of oatmeal too.


I have no good reason for sharing that other than it is a particularly nice picture of oatmeal, wouldn’t you agree? So anyway, I made two cakes tonight, one oatmeal, one with spent grain.

Brown sugar--always gorgeous.

More cakemaking.

. . . and while they didn’t look too bad . . .

Failed oatmeal springform.

Bundt grain fail.

They were best served like this . . .

Spent grain fail.

. . . directly into the trash can. This cake was way too sweet, never ever (ever) finished cooking, was super dense, and lacked any kind of complexity to its flavour, even after I bastardized the recipe (swapping shortening for butter, more flour, maple syrup, etc etc). Yuck. After just a couple bites I suddenly wanted to eat nothing but vegetables for the rest of my life.

So apologies to the faithful who check up on Thursday mornings, I have no recipe to share today because this one is too awful and people might actually expect to be able to eat it afterward, which um, isn’t really a realistic option. I am, however, just putting the finishing touches on an article with a really bad working title like Omnomicon: Special Edition: how to buy spices. I would like to get that post up tomorrow with not only that how-to, but also a recipe to test out all your new spices. Why? Because I would hate to disappoint anyone. I . . . I love you man!