Something very similar happened to me once. Oh no, I did not attempt a ten layer cake and I wouldn't for the life of me think of it, because if I did, I would probably get a nervous breakdown.
I invited a friend and her family over for dinner. It was her b'day the previous day so I wanted to bake a cake for her. After contemplating on what cake to make, I proclaimed to my husband that I would make a swiss roll with custard and jelly filling.
The swiss roll required baking a sheet cake and making some custard. Since I was busy with cooking a few other items for dinner, I thought of skipping the custard and applying just the store-bought jam on the cake and rolling it. So I made the sheet cake, spread jam over it and as I started rolling it, my dear beloved husband entered the kitchen and with a disappointed look on his face mumbled, 'No custard, only jam?'
Now how could I say no to that face? My husband loves custard and I thought of quickly making some.
But ofcourse, it took a good 15 minutes to make the custard and another few minutes for it to cool down (even though it was dumped into the freezer for quick cooling). By the time I started applying jelly and custard, the cake had completely cooled down and hardened and there was no way I could roll it neatly. I went ahead and tried anyway, but the cake broke in several places as I was rolling it. And ofcourse, a shabbily rolled swiss roll is an absolute no-no, definitely not for a b'day girl!
There was just about half an hour left for our friends to arrive and I was wondering whether to agree to my husband's proposition of getting a store bought cake or to pull a Chef Sasha and convert the cake into a pudding. And me being me, the store bought cake idea was smacked down.
Cake pieces / crumbled cake
Custard powder (I used Brown and Polson)
Jam/ jelly (optional)
[The quantity depends on how many pieces of cake you use.]
Prepare custard according to package instructions - Measure 1/2 litre milk. Make a paste of 2 tbsp custard powder and 4 tbsp milk. Bring the remaining milk to a boil. Add 3 tbsp sugar and the custard paste and keep stirring till custard thickens. Remove from heat. Cool. [ I eyeballed the measurements, so my custard was a little runny].
Microwave jam for 30 to 40 seconds till it becomes easily spreadable. Cool.
Spread jam on the cake pieces and place in a glass bowl. Pour half the custard on top. Make another layer of cake and remaining custard. Sprinkle chopped nuts (I used walnuts). Refrigerate for two to three hours.
Luckily our friends liked the pudding and the b'day girl didn't seem to mind pudding instead of cake. Whew :).
So if you bake a cake anytime and if it crumbles or doesn't come off the pan neatly and falls into pieces infront of your earnest eyes, do not worry. Just make some custard, or whip some cream and layer it with whatever you can think of - jam, nuts, fruits - and convert the cake disaster into a yummy pudding :)!