Baking Disasters and Lessons Learned Therefrom

I’m not worth much in the kitchen. I mean, I’ve gotten better over the years. But I still have some basic flaws that cause me problems.

  • I don’t make sure I have all the ingredients before I start making something.
  • I don’t read the whole recipe through prior to throwing things in the bowl.
  • I substitute ingredients with an alarming disregard to the recipe.
  • And I count wrong.

But I have learned some things. Recently.

When your mom (or my Mom, to be specific) says that boxed cake mixes taste better than making one from scratch, you may be wise to listen. Being that I’m a path-of-least-resistance kind of girl, I would never try to argue this one.

But when there’s been a snow storm, and the only working car is with your husband at work, and you can’t get to the store… you start to think maybe your mom didn’t know what she was talking about. Maybe she didn’t have your panache in the kitchen (ha!).

Turns out, mom’s DO know what they’re talking about. Cakes made from scratch are solid. Solid as a brick.  At least mine was. After trying it, my friend told me, “I don’t even like cake, but I really liked this!” Um, that’s because it’s unlike any cake you’ve ever had before!

I’ve also learned that you can make frosting without using powdered sugar. I’m not saying you’d want to, but when you’ve baked a cake for an event that evening and then check to see if you have powdered sugar… you probably won’t. At that point, other methods of making frosting seem pretty appealing. And if you sprinkle colored sugar on top to “decorate” people probably won’t notice that your frosting is kind of crunchy. Or at least they won’t say anything.

Another thing I’ve been surprised to discover is that more is not always better. When all the cheesecake recipes you read call for 2 packages of cream cheese and then you find one that calls for 3 packages, the cheesecake won’t be richer. No. Actually, it will fail to fit in your store-bought graham cracker crust.

BUT… the extra cream cheese can be poured in a pan, baked, and stored in the fridge for scooping with a spoon whenever one desires.

So I guess not every baking disaster has to end badly.

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2 thoughts on “Baking Disasters and Lessons Learned Therefrom

  1. 1.) I don’t recall telling you that cake mixes taste better than the real thing. I only use them when they are a take-off point for something more wonderful — never use them as a stand-alone.

    2.) You need to get my cheesecake recipe from me. It will make the best cheesecake in TWO pie plates that you’ve ever had (or halve the recipe — but then you have to count right ;-) )

    3.) Great chocolate glaze recipe (for the next time there is no powdered sugar) — 1/3 cup milk, 1 stick butter, 1 cup reg. sugar, and 1 cup choc. chips — bring to a boil for 1 min. and dump over the top of the cake.

    4.) Glad everything turned out OK anyway, Sweetie! (Remember the time we made a cake together, and I thought I was scooping from a bucket of sugar, but it was actually pickling salt? Now THAT was a disaster!)

    • Hannah says:

      I’m pretty sure you said it… I KNOW you told me to make brownies from a box.

      The glaze would have probably moistened my cake up a lot, which would have made it happier. But I didn’t have chocolate chips… so…

      And yes, I remember the salt fiasco. I remember it so well, I tell it to other people randomly! ;)

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