Saturday, June 14, 2008

This seems doable, guys

This is a delightfully simple baumkuchen rig. And it's from Los Angeles!


I have some errata on the early posts. Regarding Preparatory Research, has changed its catalogue and presently offers only the UA-343 model. Regarding my introduction, there are people who make rotisserie baumkuchen at home. At the very least, there is one person who does. I now know of a friend's friend's mother who makes the cakes on an antique German contrivance. However, reports on the quality of her 'kuchen has been less than stellar. Clearly something is wrong. Nevertheless, she will be my best new source of information when she returns from holiday this August!

...Crap, I can't wait that long. I'll continue flyin' blind in the meantime.

EDIT EDIT EDIT: About ten minutes after writing this post, I recalled that I hadn't actually searched for antique baumkuchen ovens for more information. Lo and behold, I'm already Google's #1 stop for baumkuchen antiques. Is this a victory for me or a failure for mankind?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Genuine progress!

So I got and dismantled a camping stove. Now I have a variable propane regulator and a decent burner! Unfortunately, it's only about 16 inches long, so it needs a smaller case. I'll look for a small metal drum.

Now I have a good idea for spinning the spit! Imagine two rubber wheels on each end, outside of the oven itself, spinning slowly in the same direction. The wooden spit can rest on top of them and spin at a similar rate. This way I don't have to worry about hooking gears into the spit itself; all the chains and necessary things are attached to the wheel rig. However, I'd have to make two wheel rigs, one for the oven and one for applying batter.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Another interlude: 15-minute chocolate cake

I made a cake in the microwave. It took about 15 minutes, and it was so good that my cooking instructor literally stole the recipe from me so she can make it for her family. I take that as a good omen.

It's based off of this recipe but there are a few glaring changes. For example, I tripled the quantity of sugar used. This is not a typo.

So, ingredients:

  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup regular granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 7 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream

So, you melt the stick of butter and add the sugar and stir well. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Let the butter and sugar cool a little bit so the eggs don't cook when you add them in. Mix in the eggs and the sour cream. Add all that to the dry ingredients and mix until as smooth as possible.

Pour into a microwave-safe bowl that's been buttered and floured on the sides or something, some measure to prevent sticking. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and then cut some slits to allow steam to escape. Microwave it for 3-4 minutes. I ran mine for 3:30 and it turned out beautifully.

Oh, and be sure to let it cool before you take it out of the bowl or else it will crumble and you will be sad.