Monday, November 2, 2009

The Atom cake project

Thursday night my kid says to me "Hey mom, I have an extra credit science project to do..."

I’m pretty sure any mom reading this knows what comes next... so I asked my kid “well, when is it due?” Um... November 3rd. That’s Tuesday! Arrgh! So, what’s this project about? “Atoms” ok, so what are you going to make this atom of? “Well, I told the teacher that I was going to make it out of cake and share it with the class” Oh, so loosely translated this means that mom has to bake the cake and put some icing on it and then he will decorate it as the atom of his choice. *sigh*

Science is 4th period, which means it’s 10:07-10:50 so I figured ok, I have some super ripe bananas and I was going to make banana bread anyway, so lets make a banana cake.. At least it’s kinda healthy-ish for that early in the morning.. Banana is fruit after all, right? (LOL. Like the 13 year olds really care)

So I collect all my ingredients and I realize I’m short on sugar, I have 1½ cups and need 2½ cups grr.. Fine, there’s a bag of ‘splenda for baking’ in the cabinet so I use a cup of that to make up for the rest of the sugar... that was my big mistake, my total downfall in this cake making process. Now, I should have known better.. I’ve made this mistake before with the lemon bars but the result was not this... um... disastrous, at least those were edible... these.. Um, notsomuch really.. More of hockey pucks. They were dense and chewy at the same time, yet I’m sure had I tossed one on the floor it would have bounced.

This is the recipe:

Banana Cupcakes
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/8 cups canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard sized muffin pan with muffin liners or spray with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients. Mix until just blended.Fill muffin cups a little more than 3/4 full. Bake for about 20 - 24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely.

The failed batch..they baked for almost 40 minutes because after 25 minutes they were.. GLUEY and then the cupcakes stuck miserably to the paper cups.. I had greased the aluminum pan with Crisco and so it slid right into the trash can with ease *sigh* maybe I should have tossed it out to feed to the birds.. but then again.. I don't think they would have eaten it either.

Ok, so good thing I decided to do this Sunday night when the project is due on Tuesday.. I was leaving time for the cake to rest and cool so that it could be decorated as an atom today.. But no, that wasn’t going to happen with that frisbee.. So off to the grocery store I went on my way home tonight to get more bananas and another bag of sugar and there we went again.

The result...

Moist and fluffy and perfect.

This recipe makes a TON, I made a 9" round cake and 12 cupcakes (this recipe makes 36 cupcakes!)

Cake is cooling now and it will be iced & decorated later by the kid and I'll get a pic before it goes off to school tomorrow :)


The finished cake:

(BTW, it's a Potassium Atom)

Finished cake = kids report & presentation =90%