Monday, July 9, 2012

Everything is Not Always Perfect in Blogland

Doesn't it seem sometimes that everything in Blogland is perfect?

Everyone's baking wonderful things, their pics look like they are from a glossy magazine. Stuff you make looks like it came from a box. Cuz....it did. Everyone's feeding their kids wonderful organic meals they whipped up from a local wonderful organic market, and you just shopped at your local Freshmart. And don't get me started on the perfect lines and seams of quilting and clothing and super cute accessories these incredibly talented ladies just finished whilst their children played quietly under a table nearby.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm all for empowerment and the first to shout YOU GO GIRL!!!  And these amazing women are inspiring and I love them all and can't wait to see what they come up with next.

But sometimes, when you're tired, and frustrated, you get a bit worn down about how Perfect things are. Or, you think, Should be.

Well... they aren't always. And that's OKAY!

Here's some of my less than perfect latests.... lol. I thought I'd share.


Pink Lemonade Cake

Sorry; no pic avail. I just couldn't do it.

Oftentimes as I'm looking up a new recipe I will read the comments posted about said recipe for others' tips and tricks. And sometimes; I'll find one or two recipes for the same item which combined, not only make sense but work together to make the final product simply amazing.
Sometimes though; that doesn't quite work out as planned.  And sometimes, if you don't read BOTH recipes completely through there can be DISTASROUS (albeit hilarious) results.

(Don't get me wrong. I absolutely ABHOR wasting food. Especially expensive and essential things like, butter, eggs, vanilla and other specialty things required for baking. Up here, butter is around 4.50 a lb, eggs about 3.00 and vanilla 3.00 for the small flask. So you can see, when I mess up a recipe it can be pricey. )

So back in May, a co-worker brought in a magazine with some recipes in it she thought I'd enjoy. One in particular; Pink Lemonade Cake. I'd never heard of such a thing! How yummy! I love Pink, I love Lemonade, and I love CAKE! So it seemed like a win-win.

Well I don't like to use boxed mixes when I make cakes. Or anything. I find that usually all I can taste are the chemicals. The first recipe was mostly premade preboxed. So ... I googled Pink Lemonade Cake and found a few other recipes; some for scratch some for boxed. Now; I'm a baker. I know that you can't just willy nilly substitute ingredients; that will Not Work. So I'm usually pretty careful.

So I find two recipes I think gel pretty well. I go thru it all, making my cake. Layers bake, batter looks good, smells good as it's baking. But then, it takes a little too long to bake. The middle is still far too gooey; the edges are already browned. Hmm. I let it cook for a few more mins; but the gooey middle is STILL not hardening. By now, the edges have completely browned and pulled away from the sides and are on the verge of burning.
I lower the heat; and leave it for a few more minutes. By now the cake layers that are supposed to be done after 25 mins have now been in for 50. Oh yeah. Well, I thought; wouldn't be the first time I 'rounded' the edges with a knife start on to get rid of the overdoneness.

I pull out the layers. I lay them on the racks to cool; and start on the frosting. Which again, usually comes together quite easily; I don't understand why this frosting is so runny and gross.

Well; about an hour later, cakes are cooled. Frosting is still a bit runny. I frost both layers and sprinkle what I THINK is rock sugar across the layer. Leftover sugar from Christmas cookies, you know. In the unmarked bag. Of COURSE it's sugar.

I finish icing the cake. I even add some "sugar" on the top to make it pretty. I leave it out for a minute; go answer the phone. I come back; the cake is a Leaning towers and is  oozing sideways off the plate. ?????

I am stumped. Wha????

I look between the layers and notice the icing looks weird, kinda 'foamy'. Hmm.

I cut a nice sized piece, and go head into the living room to enjoy my new cake.

Two seconds later I'm head over the sink; spitting out said cake into the sink.

Yeah.
Number One: That WAS NOT SUGAR. << Leftover sugar my bum. It was SALT Kosher SALT that was the leftover that didn't fit into the box when I refilled the box. It was cutting thru the icing and frothing it. Breaking it down.

Number Two: The cake was still not quite cooked all the way through.IT was sludgey and tasted of flour.The exterior however was overdone and solid. It was awful. This cake could not have tasted less like cake if I'd tried.

Number Three: When combining recipes; read the ENTIRE recipe CAREFULLY all the way though. To the end. Then re-read it. Because then you might catch the fact that ONE recipe calls for POWDERED lemonade and one calls for LIQUID concentrate lemonade. So not adjusting the liquids and the flour percentage....or the eggs, arggggh. Yeah. So....yeah. Disaster. Not to mention the complete lack of taste.

I regarded the mess on the plate for a minute; desperately racking my brain to see if there way ANY WAY to fix this horror before me.

The entire thing, I am not proud to say, was upended, still warm, into the green bin out back.

So....lesson learned.
Read recipes carefully.
Things Are Not Always Perfect In Blogland.

This whole thing as I've said, happened a good two months ago. It's taken me this long to reattempt baking and to post about it. LOL. Actually it's also been so ridiculously hot there's been no COOKING let alone baking. Lots of grilling, and boiling, and stove top frying. Lol.

I did redeem myself with some much needed Cinnamon Buns - also by breaking my No Box Mix rule - but this one is TOTALLY worth it. SO YUMMY!!!!!

I hope this made you smile on a sunny monday, enjoy whatever endeavors you undertake today!

I'm going to catch up on some much needed cleaning up down in the Quilt Cave.