Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Ugliest Cupcakes and other disasters

Doug's birthday was last week. We went out for dinner to a fancy-schmantzy place inside the perimeter (I had a gift certificate). Since we left the girls with my mom, Annika and I made cupcakes the next day to celebrate the birthday with the family.

Because a cake mix makes a million cupcakes and I'm not a terrible baker, Annika and I decided to make the cupcakes from scratch, using the Small Batch Baking cookbook. We made the fudgy chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing. As the cupcakes finished baking, I tested them with a toothpick to be sure they were done. No problem until the cupcake deflated as I removed the pan from the oven. That has never happened to me before, so I crossed my fingers and hoped that I could just take the ugly one. Nope. Soon enough, all four cupcakes deflated, leaving a crunchy burned rim around the top of the pan and sunken centers (like the craters of volcanos). Crossing my fingers, I whipped up the peanut butter frosting. It tasted lovely, but my spatula broke off in it. Sigh. I frosted as best I could and you can see the results. Annika had one cupcake and enjoyed it, but the others were a loss. Doug didn't even taste them. I spent two days beating myself up about not being exact enough to bake in small batches before tasting (in a fit of hormone weakness) the monstrosities and realizing that they were AWESOME. Doug missed out.

A week prior to this event, we went to a bring-the-kids party at which I was to bring dessert. After contemplating the chocolate flan cake and nixing it as too "flan-ish," I consulted with Tara (who suggested some lovely desserts) and Anna (who suggested a red velvet cheesecake and a three-layer cheesecake). Since it was a party, I went with the festive cheesecake. It wasn't a difficult recipe and turned out very nicely with delicious topping, but no one at the party touched it. No one, until I begged for opinions (and then only two of us tried it). Let that be a lesson - at a party where people are chasing kids, finger food is better. Then, we dropped the remainder of the cake on the neighbor's driveway on the way home. Oops. Hope that it didn't stain.

This past Sunday, I went to a work party. Mindful of the untouchable cheesecake, I planned my dessert selection around what the other dessert-bringer was doing (Buche de Noel from Gabriel's). Thinking that something simple would make a good foil for the cake, I baked banana bread with peanut butter chips and walnuts and pumpkin bread and paired them with chocolate chip cookies and some leftover oatmeal cookies. No dice. My desserts tasted and looked pretty marvelous (if you ask me), but no takers. Everyone ate the cake (except for Steph, who doesn't like cake) and left the breads and cookies.

I was only able to run 2 miles yesterday (sore knee) and today's cold/low-grade fever are making my appointment with the Billy Blanks CD unlikely. So, I've wasted two 18 packs of eggs and a lot of effort in the last two weeks for nothing except to expand my own waistline. I love the holidays.

9 comments:

Dorothy Gould said...

Steph, How could people not touch the deserts? I don't get that. I would forego other things in order to have desert, something that I don't have everyday. And peanut butter and chocolate is a great combo, I will have to try those. Kudos to you for making them yourself, Annika will always have great memories of cooking with Mommy.

Steph Bachman said...

I'm with you. I'd much rather have dessert than anything else!

Those cupcakes were ugly but very tasty. I think next time I would just cut the edge parts off and keep the nice fudgy middle.

Annika and I made potatoes au gratin today. It's very fun to sprinkle the salt and pepper and arrange the potato slices, apparently. : )

Anonymous said...

Man, those folks missed out- I would never turn my nose up at home bakin-

Anonymous said...

I am very impressed with so much baking. I wouldn't worry with who ate what, though. I am sure it was all great. People just get carried away at parties and forget to eat!

Dorothy Gould said...

Steph, Do you find that when Annika helps you in the kitchen, she is more likely to try what you made together? I have heard that is the case, but haven't found it to be true in our house. Just wondering if it works for you....I am really desperate to find a way to broaden Sophie's taste buds....

Steph Bachman said...

Actually, I would have thought that Annika helping would encourage her to eat more, but no. It doesn't help us at all. I keep thinking that maybe it will kick in eventually but for now I just make her try a bite of everything.

Anna said...

Steph, sorry no one ate the cheesecake :(. Hopefully, you were able to freeze what was left. I've had things like that happen too.

GrandmaMaier said...

Steph, Your cookies are delicious, many thank. The people who did not have your desert were truly missing a lot. Keep baking.

Colin said...

I hereby volunteer to be the taste-tester for all of your future baking "screw-ups."