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Polymerase chain reaction is a cornerstone of molecular biology research. Using short pieces of single-stranded DNA called primers the previously invisible becomes tangible.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

After Action

Are there any Carribean bakers out there? I could use some advice. This was my rum raisin cake (ver. 1.1). Version 1.0 was deemed by an ad hoc panel of experts to be more like a muffin than a cake. The panel also said the cake lacked depth in rum flavor despite my generous hand in the measuring of both rum and vanilla extract.

In version 1.1, I switched from Bacardi White rum to Meyer's Dark rum. I also creamed the butter more vigorously to try to get a smoother batter. Some mistakes to look out for next time:

  • Cooking time was 56 minutes at 350˚F. I checked it at 50 minutes by wooden skewer. The middle of the cake hadn’t set and left residue on the probe. However, by 56 minutes the cake was overdone. The crust was too thick and the cake was a little dry. I’m thinking bain-marie next time.
  • I burned out a $7.00 hand mixer while attempting to cream the butter. Two mistakes here. I didn’t leave the butter out long enough to come to room temperature, and I added the sugar before actually creaming the butter. I ended up using a large serving fork to finish the job.
  • I didn’t soak the raisins.

Before you get any ideas, #3 will not be my epitaph.

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