Have you ever had really great aspirations?
I have them daily.
My latest was to turn this blog into something of a DIY/doing a lot with a little/jack of all trades blog that centered around design, culinary arts and projects of the crafty variety (I have a great plan for making a bench!). I decided that the first blog should clearly be an undeniably gorgeous and extremely satiating cake. Yes. It could not be paralleled. But first, I had to create a very different, never-before-done batter and frosting. Now, I love frosting. I do. I love it. I like making it, I like experimenting with it, clearly I like eating it... I like it all. But I couldn't use anything that was based on someone else's recipe OR even something run of the mill that I had already created myself. So, I decided to make a blind batter and frosting. Yes. I literally threw things in a bowl and proved my insanity by honestly believing in my heart of hearts that it would magically come out as the greatest culinary creation of all time. I could see mouths salivating all over the world. Sadly. It was not to be.
No... this is the story of a good cake gone bad.
Things started out really well, and to be honest, the cake batter wasn't so awful. The cake turned out quite well. I added .25 c butter to 1.5 c sugar and blended. Mmm. Delicious. There isn't much to rival the smell of sugar and butter combined. Next I separated out my dry ingredients (flour- 3.5 c, baking powder- 3 tsp. and salt- 1 tsp) and set them aside with some very cold water (1.25 c).
After my sugar-butter was delightfully combined, I added in some fruit preserves (.25 c) and blended again in sheer bliss. My latest obsession is baking (and eating!) duck eggs. They are INCREDIBLE! I don't have space to detail the bennies of using duck eggs, so that will be saved for another blog. Just trust me for now. So, I added in two of those along with 1 tsp each of vanilla extract and almond bakers emulsion (this is much better than extract).
It was finally time to add in the dry ingredients, so after really blending them I began to alternately beat them in with the cold water until everything was combined and it began to look like this really WOULD be the greatest summer cake the world had yet seen.
Lastly, I added in the blueberries (1 c) and stirred them in before transferring everything into two well-greased glass pans. I could feel the pride building up in my heart. Yes! Success! Everything went into the oven for 30 minutes at 350 F. They came out a lovely shade of golden brown. I turned them over to cool so that they'd be flat for decor and stacked them on top of each other with a layer of preserves in between. Thankfully, I used my Martha Stewart Silpat for this, which is great... because it cleans really easily. Easy cleaning became essential in the next few moments...
You see... while the summer cake was baking in the oven, I had begun to create the frosting. Generally speaking, when doing something totally new, it's good to have a plan. Especially if you intend for people to EAT it. However, I don't really enjoy taking the time to fabricate plans for things like this... so... I just threw some ingredients into my Kitchenaid and let it whirl.
You may have noticed that I gave the recipe along the way for the summer cake.
Not so with the disastrous frosting. I'm afraid of the lawsuits I'd incur as a result of people actually attempting to recreate it. No. You'll just have to see the chaos that resulted from my ill-fated ambition. First of all, the frosting was way, way too thin. I've only once had a frosting come out that way before and that also happened to be an entirely new self-creation. That recipe also happened to never be repeated. I was really anxious for this to go well since once I get an idea in my head, it must be done. I scrambled to add various things from my kitchen... but to no avail. This was clearly never going to be a frosting that even the most skilled of bakers could pipe with. So, I gave up. I decided it would look just as nice cascading over the cake as a glaze and preceded to pour it all over the cake.
Big. Mistake. Apparently this was a super heavy, super sticky, super powerful substance that grabbed and tore at the cake as it writhed it's way down into pools of white at the bottom of our counter. The cake was literally falling apart; huge craters were forming in the middle and breaking out all around like mini earthquakes. Or cakequakes.
... it was a good cake gone bad.
We ate it anyway.
And I brought it to work. While it definitely didn't turn out the way I wanted to, I honestly laughed ALL night about the experience. It was really funny to me how badly it ended. Things don't always go the way we want them to in life, but if we keep a sense of humor about them we'll have the heart to "try, try again!"
So... to all of you aspiring bakers out there... be encouraged! There's always tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, maybe I'll try to create something successful to blog about :)
** Ps- if you didn't notice, most everything I bake is relatively healthy. There may be a shocking lack of fat and sugar in this recipe, so I understand those who wouldn't naturally enjoy it :)