Doing things differently can be a piece of cake

Bundt Cake

By April Blake

Plomp. About half of the Bundt cake fell out of the pan. But at least it wasn’t just the bottom of the cake that fell out while the top clung stubbornly to the inner curves, like last time. I was almost mad enough to throw away this iteration of the Coca-Cola cake I was trying to perfect. But I decided to get with the program and form the crumbly mess into cake truffles using the leftover chocolate chips I had and save it from being flung in the trash like the first one I ruined.

Despite the very clear instructions to bake this cake a in a 9×13” rectangle pan, I decided to blaze forward and use a Bundt pan. I wanted a round Coca-Cola cake. The first time it stuck because I did not dust the pan with cocoa powder after greasing it. Okay, my bad. The second time I greased it and threw in a generous portion of cocoa powder to coat every interior inch of the pan, insuring a no-stick bake this time.

I put the cake in the oven and set the timer for 45 minutes. It looked absolutely glorious when I pulled it out. But after loosening it’s edges a bit with a knife and flipping it over, the cake ripped in half, sealing its fate as another failure. Forcing this sheet cake recipe into a Bundt pan was an effort in futility, which ended in cake truffles.

Accepting that I couldn’t make something occur just by sheer force of will and a little grease, I wondered if there was anything else in my life that I was trying to force into a Bundt pan that should be in a sheet pan format. That thought led me to thinking about my job search to reduce or eliminate my very long daily commute. I want it so badly and think about it every day. It’s hard to tell while in the throes of a process if you’re doing it right or wasting time on useless stuff that isn’t getting you closer to the ultimate goal. Unlike a recipe, when trying to find a new job there isn’t a step-by-step process to ensure the end result is what you’re hoping for. My efforts at taking on random freelance work, enrolling in online courses and polishing up my LinkedIn profile are like mixing together ingredients blindly and hoping they would taste great.

My goal is to reduce my commute before the end of the year, but I’ve told myself that before. This time I mean it. That means it’s time to assess the ingredients I’m putting into my job search and make sure to put them in the right shaped pan because I want my next venture — whatever it may be — to be the most delicious one yet.

And by the way, the cake truffles were really great.