"If you can't take the heat, don't go in the kitchen". Is that the saying or one of my Ellenism's that I have twisted up?
Today I am suppose to bring dessert to my sister by marriage's home, the amazing cook she is, for our long standing New Year's Eve party. Now any other time I might be able to pull off a flashy dessert but I am in the middle of a head cold so my brain is not functioning to well.
She asked for chocolate cupcakes. Simple, right? Maybe my heart wasn't in it for chocolate or the cupcakes (say what?!), that and I couldn't remember which chocolate cupcake recipe I used last that turned out perfecto. Oh Lord not now, don't fail me. I pull out several recipes and not one clicks in my clogged head. Nothing registers.
I decide in the end, after sifting through my dessert file for a half hour, on the Hersey's Perfect Chocolate Cake recipe thinking that I know that it will taste yummy. I have never made cupcakes with it however. As I prepare the batter I remember the overflow issue when making the layers for the cake. I make sure to under fill the paper liners and put the first batch in the oven. Tick, tick the timer goes. I check through the oven window and notice the rise and then I have my first dreaded feeling. They are going to spill over and why did I forget that the recipe does this? That was why I went to using a Springform cake pan versus a regular cake pan since the sides are higher.
The timer rings and I test with the toothpick for doneness. Yes, they are done but they sure look ugly, all flat and pockmarked. Thank goodness I will have frosting on top to cover that up. I put the next batch in and allow the first one to cool.
After a decent time of cooking I try, yes try, to remove the cupcakes. The tops are glued to the cupcake pan and I am moaning of what to do. I grab a small knife and attempt to lift the edge enough to allow them to come out. Muffin tops anyone? Because that is what is going to happen if I do it this way. Okay.....now I decide to cut off around the rim and the side of the cupcake and forget the glued edges. Did I say they were ugly? Now I have crumbly edges and knife marks in the stupid paper liners. Already I am wanting to chuck the whole lot of them into the garbage. Husband in the kitchen is being ever so quiet and not making a comment one way or another of my endeavor to make simple cupcakes. Oops he finally says it, "It can't be that hard to make cupcakes". He is reading the newspaper and really hasn't been watching me. I grit my teeth as the second batch timer goes off. More ugly cupcakes stare me in the face.
I decide to make the frosting that goes with the recipe. I've done it countless times and it always turns out. Big mistake this time as I softened the butter instead of melting it as the recipe says. What is with me today? I blew it big time now with the frosting that I had hoped would cover the pathetic cupcakes. The frosting is not looking like it should and my tastebuds feel this is all too sweet. This I did chuck into the disposal. Happy to see it melt away under the hot water coming from the tap with the wroom of the blades below.
Advice. If you can't laugh at your cooking...don't cook. How many failed recipes have any of us done? I bet more than we are willing to admit to. Isn't that how we learn? Sometimes our loved ones get to try them as testers, to see if it will be part of the family meal rotation or if it will take a "never to be fixed, ever again" recipe. Like meatloaf, which I do not fix anymore. No one liked it. Stroganoff isn't looked at too fondly either. I liked them but I was outnumbered by the clan. I don't mind in the end. I don't fix Beef Tongue anymore though my husband loves it. I can't bear the smell let alone the texture or color.
The cupcakes and how to redeem them comes from my wise son who says not to waste them but make some new frosting. Yes, I will make a new frosting, a white one that I will follow the recipe just as it says. I still don't want them or like them, they will be a joke for the evening. I did a totally different recipe for tonight....ahhh I will share that one on the next post. It did turn out triumphantly!
I leave you with a fading tradition that dear hubby heard on NPR. Perhaps next year we should do this one for the holidays.
Happy New Years to all!!!!