Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Follies: My pantry garbanzo cake disaster (link your horror stories, too!)

Friday Follies is a weekly feature here at Frugal Follies, where you can link up your story about a crazy, silly, or just boneheaded thing you did in the name of frugality.Last week I told the story about buying Rome apples for school lunches; the week before, it was about the strange thing in my freezer.

As you may know, I have been doing the Eat from the Pantry Challenge this month. One of the things I wanted to use up were several cans of garbanzo beans, or chickpeas. I had originally bought them (on sale) to make hummus. The problem is, to make hummus you need tahini (sesame paste), which was very expensive at the store and never on sale. So the cans sat and sat and sat in the pantry.

Well, it was time to find a new use for them! I went to the library and found a cookbook about beans. I leafed through the recipes and found, surprisingly, a cake recipe made from garbanzos, flavored with cinnamon and orange zest. How interesting! I thought. This would make a great blog entry, about making good food from surprising ingredients!

The first tip-off that I should have noticed that it wouldn't work was that the cookbook was actually printed in Great Britain, with approximations of the ingredients into American measures. Probably not a good idea.

I started making the cake. The first step was to remove the skins from the garbanzos. Garbanzos have skins? I didn't know that. After removing about twenty, I said, "How bad can it be with them?" and stopped.

Then, I was to use the food processor to make a paste out of the garbanzos. Except they didn't make a paste, just chopped-up garbanzos. Hmm. I added some water - probably too much, in retrospect - and then they did make a pasty concoction.

The rest of the recipe went well. I added eggs, baking powder, sugar, and cinnamon. I removed the zest from an orange I had bought especially for the recipe.

Finally, it was time to put the cake in the 9x5 baking pan. The directions said to line the pan with parchment paper. Oops. I don't have any. Would wax paper do? I didn't want to chance it. So, I just greased the pan as well as I could, put in the batter, and baked it for 80, yes 80 minutes.

When I took it out of the oven, it smelled pretty good! As instructed, I let it cool for ten minutes, then attempted to take it out of the pan. It was stuck. I ran a knife around the edges and tried again.

Shlump! About half the cake came out of the pan, with the other half still stuck in there. Hoping to save the half that came out, I checked the consistency of the cake. It was like a wet sponge, almost completely uncooked despite 80, yes 80 minutes of baking.

(I did nibble a piece of the cooked part of it... and it actually tasted okay, and not like garbanzos at all!)

Obviously, it all went into the garbage. But at least I got rid of two cans of garbanzos, and I got a great story out of it!

Check out more fails at Friday Fails!  What funny or crazy things have you done in the name of frugality? Please leave a link to your post below.  I would appreciate it if you had a link back to Friday Follies in your post!  If you don't have a blog, then leave a comment.  Thanks!

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Ellen January 23, 2010 at 12:29 AM  

hahah that's too funny!!! I have plenty of stories where I thought my substitution or lack thereof, should have been okay, but nope!

Anyhow, get your hands on the book Deceptively Delicious --- there is a chocolate chip cookie recipe that uses garbanzo beans (that you don't have to skin lol) and taste fabulous!

Madame Deals January 23, 2010 at 10:57 PM  

That is so funny! I would have never even thought about using garbanzo beans for a cake. I love you attitude though!

I am doing the pantry challenge too. It has gone pretty well- although I have had to cook a pot roast for the dogs (forgot about it in the fridge) and my oven was turned off half way through cooking a turkey breast!

Myra @ My Blessed Life January 25, 2010 at 7:14 PM  

Hilarious!!!!! I loved how you told the story!

Thanks for linking up to Friday Fails!

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