August 19, 8:14 p.m.: Receive e-mail from the lovely Kate, a dear reader from Sacramento. Kate tells Cream Puff about Slashfood’s contest to celebrate its first birthday. Kate recommends that Cream Puff should enter.
August 21, 12:23 a.m.: Cream Puff responds to Kate’s lovely e-mail and thanks Kate for alerting her to Slashfood’s contest and for the vote of confidence. Cream Puff decides to enter.
August 21, 12:30 a.m.: Cream Puff takes down her new favourite cookbook, The Cake Book by the unbelievably brilliant Tish Boyle and begins interviewing recipes. Cream Puff decides to to hire the the White Chocolate Raspberry Almond Cake.
7:30 p.m.: Cream Puff prepares to bake cake. Pans are buttered and floured. The oven is preheated to 350 degrees F. Eggs are separated. Flour is sifted. All is at the ready.
9:01 p.m.: Cream Puff begins baking. Flour and almonds are combined in the food processor. Egg yolks and sugar are whipped until thick and light. Egg whites are whipped until stuff. Batter is produced.
9:35 p.m.: Pans are filled and deposited in the oven. Cream Puff catches a tiny whiff of gas when she opens the oven door but thinks nothing of it.
9:41 p.m.: Cream Puff’s mother asks her if she smells gas. Cream Puff says, "Don’t be ridiculous!"
9:42 p.m.: Cream Puff smells gas.
9:43 p.m.: Cream Puff and Mamma Cream Puff panic and run outside. Then Cream Puff runs back inside and turns off the oven. Then Cream Puff runs back outside and continues panicking.
9:45 p.m.: Cream Puff and Mamma Cream Puff figure out how to turn on the cellphone and call the gas company. Gas company tells says inspector is on the way.
9:58 p.m.: Brother Cream Puff comes home and wants to know why Cream Puff and Mamma Cream Puff are standing on the lawn with the doors wide open. Sad yet comic re-enactment of night’s events ensues.
10:45 p.m.: Inspector arrives. No gas leak. Oven igniter wasn’t working properly. Inspector leaves.
10:46 p.m.: Cream Puff stands in front of oven and stares at two unbaked cakes. Family conference ensues. A decision is made to try and bake the cakes.
11:00 p.m.: By some miracle, oven ignites properly and cakes bake. Cream Puff does the happy dance.
11:45 p.m.: Cream Puff decides to unmold cakes before heading to bed. Cakes are fused to pan. Cream Puff huffs, puffs, digs with knife, scratches pans and removes clumps of cake. Cream Puff hangs head in sadness and goes to bed.
August 22, 7:50 a.m.: Cream Puff looks at clumps of cake, hangs head and goes to work.
7:00 p.m.: Cream Puff decides to make the best of a bad situation. She cuts out circles from the clumps of cake. She piles on white chocolate ganache. She adds a raspberry. She lights a candle and wishes Slashfood a happy birthday. She blows out candle and eats cake.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how NOT to bake a White Chocolate Raspberry Almond Cake.