Or they should have.
Ginger Maple Spice Cake with Creme Fraiche Frosting and Salted Maple Caramel Sauce.
There isn't a word in there that I don't like. I love Maple. I love Caramel. I especially love Salt and Spice Cake. The reviews on Epicurious were mixed at best. But I thought I'd just view them as advice and cautionary tales. One criticism was that the cake is dry. I figured it just needed more frosting. Instead of two 9" layers I made three 8" layers. I made 50 % more frosting. This was going to be wonderful. I was so excited.
I was so disappointed.
The ginger comes from Candied ginger that you grind into the flour. The spice is 5 spice powder which I like, but it turns out, only in savory dishes. The maple was maple sugar and real maple flavor. The recipe specifies artificial flavor, but Yuck! And the frosting has creme fraiche in it and more real maple flavor. All of those flavors are gross individually and they were all even worse together. The candied ginger was too sweet and not all that gingery. Creme fraiche tastes fermented, like cheese, not rich and slightly sour, like sour cream. The maple sugar and maple flavor imparted a musty burned flavor. Imagine you burned some sugar and then left it in the attic while you went off to college for 4 years.
And then there was the texture.
Because the frosting is really just whipped cream, the cake has to be chilled, so the cake is quite stiff while the frosting stays soft. And all that frosting doesn't penetrate and moisten the cake, it just squishes away and smears around the plate and away from your fork, not that you care because it has that nasty fermented flavor. But the experience is akin to a disconcerting episode with an ice cream sundae where the ice cream is too hard and the toppings are too soft and there is no melding. And it's all rum raisin anyway.
The salted maple caramel sauce? That burnt sugar you left in the attic, well, add some salt to it.