Cake #36, Martha Washington's Great Cake, baked 1.31.2011, was my biggest disappointment to date. Apparently I took too much cake baking time off (over the holidays) plus my cake journeys restarted with a more difficult cake. Overall I wasn't happy with this cake...it appears to be baked fine but the taste is off...a little too much mace or maybe I measured badly. My (mis)adventure began by forgetting to prepare the pan correctly...I totally blanked on putting parchment paper in the bottom of the pan but I sprayed it liberally with the flour baking spray. Next was my lack of a scale in order to properly weigh the fruits and nuts called for in the recipe. I did my best conversion over to cups as I could but the cake lacked the flavor I was expecting. I had lemon for the zest but my lemons were not giving me a whole lot so I am not sure I had a full teaspoon...it was close. This recipe called for 10 eggs (yup, you read that right) seperated and the whites beat to soft peak. After that you start folding them into your creamed butter. I had done what I was suppose to in letting my butter come to room temperature...the problem was that room temp was still pretty cool since I don't blast the heat in the house. So the eggs and butter had issues coming together. After the creaming everything was folded into the batter and I am folding challenged at best. I did manage to get everything incorporated and the batter looked like it was suppose to. I poured it into the pan and put it in the oven, only to immediately realize that I had forgotten the raisins. So out it came and the raisins hastily added and poorly mixed. The recipe called for it to be baked 1 hr 15 minutes but because I was really concerned about this one getting overcooked and my oven runs hot I took it out at 1 hr 5 minutes. After it was removed from the pan (thank goodness!) I started worrying that it was still overcooked because it is such a dense cake. After it had cooled I beat up the frosting (more egg whites) but it never reached a stiff stage. I did manage to get it all over the cake and it back in the oven to bake at 200 for a hour for the merignue to harden. After an hour I took it out and it wasn't fully hardened but I didn't dare keep baking not knowing what it would do to the cake. I let it cool again before partaking. It is edible but it definitely isn't my favorite cake. There are so many areas I could have made a critical mistake but I think it was more a lot of little issues that made this cake disappointing. I don't think I'd recake this one either because the recipe itself is a pain in the neck.