Four cakes. Two not-so-pretty cakes that I called “cake cobbler” and two good cakes. My tasters arrived on time (those wonderful women) ready to sample the next versions of the pineapple upside down cake that I’ve affectionately named Piña.
After last night’s oven fire and two cake malfunctions, I decided to scale down the samples from two to four. I printed surveys for everyone to fill out and made piña coladas to get ready for the tasting. Here are this week’s results:
1. The piña coladas were awesome. The hard-core drinkers had a nice buzz. However, please serve the drinks AFTER tasting cake. The ladies were hot before I served cake.
2. Parrot Bay, Malibu and Cruzan feel different on the palette and going down the hatch. I wouldn’t buy Parrot Bay again, will use Malibu for cooking because it was smooth and Cruzan for drinks. Cruzan put a little hair on my chest in a straight shot comparison. Now I know where to find all kinds of Malibu Rum now. Who knew it would be Meijer and not the state store I usually frequent (who also told me that Cruzan doesn’t make flavored rum anymore).
3. Double saturating the cake enhanced the flavor. I made two varieties, one with pineapple rum and one with coconut. No one could tell that the pineapple cake had alcohol in it, but they could taste the coconut in the second cake. Neither had a distinct alcohol taste though.
4. Research the effects of temperature on liquor a little more in-depth. I painted and sprayed more than a significant amount of rum on both cakes, yet only one person noted the liquor’s taste. Do I have alcoholic testers or am I doing something wrong? Or is it that the taster’s expectations are extremely high?
5. Related to #4, consider a second glaze on the cake. There’s something missing in the alcohol flavor. Or, again, maybe it’s just that my testers are boozers…. But it’s worth investigating and trying to see how I can enhance the alcohol flavor.
6. Keep the survey, but revamp the questions. The Kid said ‘you asked the questions you wanted to know, but you didn’t ask if the cake was good.’ Wisdom from a teenager. Looking at the questions, they should have included questions about if the taster liked the cake. So I’ll revamp that before the next tasting.
7. Fresh pineapples are 1,000 times better than canned, but I should probably wear gloves when working with them. It’s taken me almost an hour to complete this post because my left index and right thumb are pulsing from unknown cuts that have been soaked in pineapple juice. Ouch.
Despite the changes, I think I’m getting close to figuring out my recipe. I want to move on to another cake, but I’m going to continue working on this cake until it gets to the right texture and consistency.