Hestia-who? What-a-phobia? I thought this was a food blog? What’s with all of the questions? Let me give you some answers…
Hestia was the Greek goddess of the hearth. The hearth is where most of the baking was done in ancient Greece, so those with hestiaphobia have a fear of baking. While I may not suffer from full-blown hestiaphobia, I certainly do have hestiaphobic tendencies. While I may be one of the first to gobble down some delicious fresh-baked goodies, I’ll be one of the last to actually cook them in my kitchen? Why the fear?
Baking is so methodical. It’s so calculated. It’s so precise.
Just add 1/32 teaspoon of baking powder – no more, no less! Wait, is that baking powder or baking soda? Uh-oh. Did you sift that flour? Is your butter cold enough? Are those eggs precisely room temperature? You’re going to try and make that today with this high humidity? Did you adjust your baking times for your different elevation? What is my elevation anyway? I’m practically breaking out in hives already. No wonder it’s a very rare occasion when I actually do decide to conquer my hestiaphobia and crank out some delicious baked goods.
Typically, I don’t shy away from recipes that require multiple steps, lots of chopping and dicing, and plenty of stirring and simmering. With baking though, all bets are off. For this cook, simple is best. The fewer ingredients the better. You can imagine my delight (and skepticism) when I stumbled across a recipe online that claimed you could make a light and fluffy cake with just two ingredients, with a cooking time of only 30 minutes. With more than a bit of doubt, but lots of hopefulness, I set out to the store to pick up the ingredients. Would I be able to satisfy my sweet tooth and quell my hestiaphobia all at the same time? If not, I had a bounty of ice cream in the freezer just in case, so there would be no love lost. Now time for Brantley’s Baking 101 – preheat and pray.
Here are the ingredients:
1 box of angel food cake mix
1 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple
That’s it! Now this is my kind of baking. You don’t need measuring spoons or measuring cups. You don’t need eggs or oil. For goodness sake you don’t need different kinds of flour and baking powder. All you need is a mixing bowl and a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan (sorry for that scary part). Let’s get started.
Empty the contents of the angel food cake mix into a bowl. Dump in the can of crushed pineapple with the juice. Mix it up. Don’t add any water. No eggs. No oil. Disregard anything on the box of the cake mix. You only need the mix and the pineapple with its juice. Interesting things will start to happen at this point. The mix will start to grow in volume and get quite foamy. This is perfectly normal. Once you’ve mixed it for about 30 seconds, it will look like this…
Is this easy enough so far? Believe it or not, that’s about as difficult as it gets. Now just spray your 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan (sorry for that again) with some non-stick cooking spray so your cake won’t stick and transfer the contents of your bowl to your baking dish.
Now just slam that stuff into a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. When it’s done, the top will turn a golden brown. You could insert a knife or toothpick in the center to see if it comes out clean. If it does, you’re good to go! If not, let it have another minute or two in the oven.
Remove it from the oven and slice it into pieces, squares, slices, or whatever shape you like. I served mine with a nice scoop of vanilla bean ice cream that I had waiting in the freezer in case this endeavor turned out to be a failure. I didn’t know what to expect when I had that first bite, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. It may not be the most amazing baked good you’ve ever consumed, but for what it’s worth, it wasn’t too shabby.
For this cook who suffers from mild episodes of hestiaphobia, it was comforting to know that I could pull this off. I think you could too. So are you ready to conquer your fear? If so, I think this recipe is the way to go. It’ll boost your culinary confidence. It’ll impress your family. After all, they don’t need to know how easy this was. But most importantly, it’ll satisfy your sweet tooth. For this hestiaphobic guy, that’s really all that matters at the end of the day.
Until next time,
The Taste Bud