Thursday, October 11, 2018

Discussion: I Review A Thousand Perfect Notes Cake

The 2018 Discussion Challenge is hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction & It Starts At Midnight


I’m a book reviewer, not a food reviewer, but it’s good to expand your horizons, right? Today, I’m going to take the skills I’ve learned from reviewing 464 books and apply them to fruitcake.

Yep, I’m going to review a fruitcake.

No, I’m not running out of blog post ideas. Why do you ask? *Nervous laughter.*




Have you ever come across a yummy-sounding food in a novel and thought, I want that in my belly right now? It happens to me pretty much every day. (I really love books and food, okay? Don’t judge.) Luckily, there are talented wizards on the Internet who can transform fictional meals into real-life recipes.

One of those food wizards is Alison Walsh, who came up with a fruitcake recipe based on C.G. Drews's novel A Thousand Perfect Notes. I read A Thousand Perfect Notes earlier this year and enjoyed it immensely. When the weather finally cooled down enough to turn on the oven, I dusted off my nonexistent baking skills, kidnapped my mom’s stand mixer, and made fictional cake a reality.




I Made A Thousand Perfect Notes Cake, And It Wasn’t A Complete Disaster






I’m not going to post the recipe here, so if you want to see it, head over to Paper Fury.

When I set out to make fruitcake, I smacked head-on into two problems right away. First, I couldn’t find chocolate chunks. I had to use chocolate chips. Most of them sank to the bottom while the cake was baking. Second, the recipe doesn’t come with high altitude modifications, and I’m not smart enough to figure them out by myself. I just followed the regular directions and hoped for the best. Your results may be different from mine. 

(Seriously, if you’ve never tried baking on a mountain, you’re missing out on a frustrating experience. Earlier this year, I accidentally made chocolate chip cookies that shattered when I bit them. It was like eating a delicious chocolate car window.)

As long as you have a stand mixer and a way to grind almonds, A Thousand Perfect Notes Cake is pretty easy to make. You mostly dump stuff in the mixer and let it do its thing. The recipe says to bake for 45 minutes, but it took closer to 60 minutes for the toothpick to come out non-gooey. (This is probably because of the altitude. Cooking takes longer here.)


Yes, I stirred with a knife. Knives are for everything.




Mix, mix, mix, mix, etc.



The cake tasted pretty good! I only got one piece before the hungry scavengers in my house gobbled the rest. The cake is crunchy on the outside and chocolaty on the inside. It mostly tastes like almonds, dates, oranges, and chocolate (all things I like). You could probably cut back on the almond extract if you want. I apologize to any hardcore almond extract fans, but I think that stuff smells like poison. If I make this recipe again, I’ll put in less extract.

This isn’t the best cake I’ve ever tasted, but I’d eat it again. If you like almonds, chocolate, and fruit, I recommend giving it a try.


Right out of the oven. There's almond dust on top because I ground too many almonds and needed to use them.





Is cake reviewer a job? Because I could get used to this. Have you ever made a recipe that was inspired by fictional food?











32 comments:

  1. The last time I baked was with my mum when I was about eight and I only helped so I could scrape the bowl and lick the spoon! I do hope to try and get baking simple cakes and maybe try my hand at crusty bread for a few giggles. One thing I never eat is fruit cake as I hate raisins and sultanas and nuts in my cake!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck with your baking! I want to do more baking, too. Especially if I can find more food from books.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  2. Hah, making / eating food I read about in books was a standard part of my reviews for a while but it got too time-consuming and too much of a chore instead of fun so.. yeah..
    I do know that my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE THING I discovered because of that.. Oreo truffles! Seriously! It's very easy to make as well since you don't even need your oven and they're delicious. Definitely recommend looking into that. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oreo truffles sound amazing. I’d happily eat that!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  3. I'd recently been considering an ad-hoc blog post series of food recipes where someone had eaten that food in a book. I do like novels where people eat interesting meals!
    Must read A Thousand Perfect Notes soon. I'm waaay behind the curve on this one

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I can find more bookish recipes, I’ll write more posts like this one. It was a lot of fun. I’d like to make some Harry Potter food.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  4. Books are great. Food is great. Food is books is the best! The cake looks good :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES! This post was a lot of fun. I want to make more bookish foods.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  5. Omg this made me laugh so much 😂😂I'm so glad you enjoyed making it!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. As always, this was a hilarious experience for me. The cake looked nice though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cake did turn out pretty good. Better than most of the stuff I make.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  7. Love it! :) I never bake because baking usually = sweets and I don't like sweets so me + baking + sweets = sad face. And that is the extent of my math skills. Which are basically on par with my baking skills.

    I especially like the term "almond dust." :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I didn’t like sweets. I’d be a lot skinnier. Sugar is my favorite food.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  8. Almonds, chocolate, and fruit sounds like a yummy combo! I'm such a bad baker, I overbake everything because I never think it's done enough.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've never thought about high altitude baking before but I can see why that would be really irritating. I've made a few bookish recipes before the biggest hit was Lembas. I still get asked to make those for my friends

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, I vaguely remember lembas. That’s probably a fun bookish thing to make.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  10. This totally reminded me that I want to make November cakes this fall. I'm not a fruit cake fan--I loathe raisins and the like in my food--but otherwise this does sound yummy. I suppose I could try it without the dates? But I don't have anything to grind almonds in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don’t usually like fruitcake, either, but since dates were the only fruit in this one, I thought I could handle it. I used a bullet blender to grind the almonds.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  11. I love this post! I've never made a fruitcake (I don't believe fruit belongs in cake, thank you), but this looks pretty good! I'm glad it wasn't a complete disaster! XD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (I agree that fruit should stay out of cakes.)

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  12. I believe these are called creative posts and not running out of idea posts ;) Also, I love when there is a good food mentioned in a book and I want to eat it and then I flip to the back of the book and find the recipe. It never fails to make my day :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a book when I was a kid that had Wild West recipes in the back. It was stuff that cowboys ate on trails. I always wanted to try making some of those recipes. A few of them were gross, though, like calf brains. I don’t even know where you’d get a calf brain nowadays.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  13. This is quite possibly one of the best "reviews" I have ever seen! I high key want to make it with just the almonds and chocolate because fruit in cakes gives me the willies, but I love me some almond and chocolate!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It’d probably be good with just chocolate and almonds. Any cake with chocolate in it is excellent.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  14. Wow. I had no idea baking was different on a mountain! Of course, it makes sense, but it's just one of those things you never think about unless you've encountered it.

    It's so absolutely cute you made the cake from Cait's book though, and blogged about it too :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I actually bake a lot since my husband and daughter both have to eat gluten free. I haven't done a fruitcake yet. I think this looks great.

    ReplyDelete
  16. As a Southerner who has made his own fruitcake (and who loves chocolate), I must say there is something wrong about chocolate in fruitcake. I use lots of dried and candy fruit (candy orange peel is easy to make) with plenty of nuts and then you need several weeks or a month or so to soak it in bourbon!

    www.thepulpitandthepen.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. How fun!! I love Alison, and I actually bought her book when it came out, but I haven't made anything from it. So sad. And I had somehow missed this post on Cait's blog, so I'm glad you pointed it out. Love that you did a review of her fruitcake. :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    ReplyDelete
  18. It sounds delicious! Too bad I've cut way back on sugar... Also loved your comment about the shattering chocolate chip cookies. My parents now live at 7000 feet, so I've encountered the high-altitude cooking issues when I visit them. It can be a challenge to adjust recipes to work right, especially for baking.

    ReplyDelete