If you don’t already know today’s guest blogger, you’ve definitely met several hundred of his relatives in your lifetime. This guest post comes from Reggie, author of The Housefly Chronicles. Reggie, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, is a Chicago housefly who enjoys the finer things in life. From the Logan Square Market to trendy gastro-pubs. He was kind enough to review Jessica Harlan’s new cookbook, Ramen to the Rescue: 120 Creative Recipes for Easy Meals Using Everyone’s Favorite Pack of Noodles while I work a little more on my book. I’ll be back next week with my contribution to CakeSpy’s Blog Tour!
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with Candied Noodles
Hi everyone, Reg the Housefly here. When Natalie proposed to me the idea of reviewing a recipe from the Ramen To The Rescue cookbook
I shook uncontrollably in shear elation – but also trepidation. Elation, in that ramen noodles are a pest’s comfort food. It’s like what meatloaf is to humans. I’ve spent numerous occasions siphoning up the savory broth and predigesting the curly, fried noodles only to regurgitate it all and swallow again.
This is human food(?)
These wonder noodles take me back to my maggot days when my parents didn’t have much except a quickly-evaporating latrine and a leftover pile of Maruchan ramen to feed us. It was filthy sustenance, and I was thankful. But reviewing a recipe implies that a dish be constructed, and this is where the trepidation comes in. I CAN’T COOK! I have 6 legs, none of which have opposable thumbs. My lifespan is counted in days. So why waste precious time slaving over an oven when I could be eating other people’s food? What’s a fly to do? Find a stupid human to do the work for me, that’s what. This is where Jake comes in. He actually enjoys cooking.
So, I’m gonna let this imbecile tell you his spill regarding “Ramen To The Rescue,” and then I’ll give my review of his assuredly blotched product. Enjoy, I guess.
Hello all, this is Jake. This clever little book offers over 100 recipes utilizing the humble, plastic-wrapped noodles known as ramen. Only a handful involved baking, but since this is Bake and Destroy, I found the one that seemed most exciting and went with it. On page 209 was a recipe for “Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with Candied Noodles.”
You need thumbs to assemble it.
You will need:
- 1 package ramen noodles, any flavor
- 1 (20-oz) can pineapple rings
- 1 (18-oz) package yellow cake mix
- 3 large eggs, or as instructed on the cake mix package
- 1/3 cup oil, or as instructed on the cake mix package
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 (14-oz) jar maraschino cherries
- coconut or vanilla-caramel ice cream, to serve
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cook the ramen noodles in boiling water for 3 minutes, or according to the package directions (discard the ramen seasoning). Drain and set aside.
Strain the juice from the can of pineapple rings into a liquid measuring cup. Add enough water to make amount of liquid needed in the cake mix instructions. Make the cake batter according to the package instructions, using the cake mix, eggs, and oil, and the pineapple juice plus water.
Place the butter in a glass 9×13 inch baking dish, and put the dish in the oven as it preheats until the butter melts. Remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the melted butter. Arrange the pineapple rings in two rows of four in the pan. Place a cherry in the center of each ring, and add more cherries around the pineapples. Spread some ramen noodles around any spaces in the pan that are uncovered by the pineapple. Spoon the cake batter over the fruit and noodles in the pan, spreading it with a spatula to make sure it is even.
How sweet it is.
Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out dry, 45-55 minutes. Put a heatproof platter or baking sheet upside-down over the cake, turn the plate and the cake over, and leave the pan over the cake for few minutes to let the caramel drizzle onto the cake before removing the pan. Store the cake covered loosely with plastic wrap for up to 2 to 3 days. Serve warm with scoops of ice cream.
That’s it! It was so easy to make that even a housefly could’ve made it. Speaking of which, I’ll now turn it back over to Reg.
Jake the human
This is Reg again (isn’t Jake such a tool?) So, now to the most important part of this blog entry, my opinion. Aesthetically, the cake was very pleasing. My compound eyes scanned this baked good and gave it a stamp of approval. The ramen actually added a creepy almost – I’m getting verklempt – maggot-like appearance to the cake. Good looking cake, no doubt.
As for the taste, unattractive. I’m a fly, and flies LOVE sweets. But this cake was way too sweet. I think the over-sugary boxed cake mix was the culprit for this. I didn’t know flies could flirt with diabetic comas until I ate this cake! Also, the texture was a little too moist for my liking. I haven’t tasted something so moist than that time I landed on a pair of panties at the Springsteen concert. But to my surprise, the candied noodles were crunchy, and added a nice counterpart to the uber-moistness of the cake. Would I eat this cake again? Probably not. Will this cake deter me from eating ramen? Never! You can’t put a price tag (even if it’s 12 cents) on comfort.
Thanks Reggie and Jake! I’ll see you all next week with a review of CakeSpy’s new book Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life
written by me, myself and I… and possibly a guest appearance by Teno.