My First SHF! Also - Quite Possibly My Last SHF!
|I have always wanted to submit something to SHF, but quite frankly I've been afraid.|
SHF is HUGE - EVERYONE knows about Sugar High Friday!! Why on God's green earth would I want to put myself and my far from stellar baking skills in with a group made up of so many talented sugary masters?? Hell Nos! Why don't I just sign up for a bikini contest next?? It might be less embarrassing.
Okay no, it wouldn't be less embarrassing.. it'd be horrendous - the hundreds of people who would instantly go blind - or turn to salt - once they laid their eyes upon The Flab.
Anyhoo.. so then I got to thinking.. "Dude! You're a Daring Baker! You Dare to go outside your normal baking friendly zone.. you bake outside of the box now!!" Well there you have it. How could I turn my back on my Daring Baker status? How could I literally shame the rest of the Daring Baker crew?? I could not! So I am joining in on SHF for the very first time. And I will not be ah-scared! (yes I will)
This month's SHF is being hosted by the lovely Domestic Goddess who created Sugar High Friday almost 2 years ago. For this month's theme she chose "Cravings" - the one dessert that you can't live without. This was pretty much a no brainer for me.. because for the past 2 months, ever since the organized chaos of The Martha's Crepe Cakes, I have been CA-RAVING that Italian Meringue Buttercream filling I made. *swoon* and even before that, every now and again I'd be craving "The Mothership" even though she is evil and I have been afraid to mess with her wicked temper again.
Look at that.. deep dark (possessed) cake with KILLER buttercream.. and notice how it looks like it just lost a fight with a hoodlum wielding a switch blade? All jagged edges and not balanced well at all.. I think my lil slice o'cake needs a drink. =(
But I am a brave and daring baker.. so I got out my sugar, flour, cocoa powder & eggs and I set to making the cake. Everything went smooth as silk, no problems whatsoever. I filled up my two 8" rounds with the extra dark and lovely batter and set them, oh so gently, into my warm and inviting oven. Then I went outside to feed the fish in our pond.. 20 min. later, I'm walking back into my house and I smell something that could not be categorized as "April Fresh". In fact, I was smelling something that was burning. "F*ck!!" I yelled as I opened the oven door to see that The Mothership had landed once again, only this time she did not wait for me to frost her - she decided to explode inside my oven. My clean, warm and what was inviting, oven. That bitch.
As I have shared with many of my friends, I now truly believe that this recipe is, indeed, POSSESSED BY SATAN. What I remembered in that 5 seconds it took for me to recognize that I had chocolate cake batter smeared, plopped and ON FIRE in my oven, was that this recipe made WAY TOO MUCH batter for two lil 8" rounds. I had forgotten that when I first met "The Mothership" I had enough left over batter for a dozen (ONE DOZEN) cupcakes. I thought it seemed a lil strange when the batter filled those rounds ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP. Oh yeah, I definitely thought it was strange. But did that stop me from stepping back a moment, assess the situation and think it'd be prudent to maybe bail a cup or two of the batter out of those filled pans? No. No it did not. Hello? I had a batter eruption in my oven for crissakes. No, I definitely did not use any brain power What. So. Ever.
Seriously? How does one frost a cake with even layers? Why can I not accomplish this? It looks like The Mothership is sucking all the delicious buttercream into her black vortex of hell.
And yes, I do understand that what happened was not the fault so much of the recipe's but more so because I am a complete moron. BUT I STILL BLAME THE DAMN RECIPE. So Shoosh!
An hour later after I had scooped and scraped all of the raw batter, as well as the batter that was spot welded to the inside of my oven, into my garbage and had all the dishes washed I looked around at my kitchen and said to my self, "Yo Moron! Are you going to let a silly cake show you who's boss?? Besides, you have a pound + 3 TBS of diced butter in the fridge! You must reign victorious over the hell bitch!" 'kay well I didn't really talk like that in my own head.. it was probably more like a whimper and an emotional fight between making the cake again and going to watch The Bridge to Terabithia on DVD.
So after careful consideration, I poured myself a drink.
And then I went about rounding up all the ingredients again. I remade the cake, filled the two 8" rounds a little over half way full and instead of cupcakes I made four cute lil cakes with my mini heart and round shaped silicone pans, making sure to fill those only half way as well. I carefully placed the mini's on a cookie sheet and then slid those in on the lower shelf of the pristinely clean oven, then even more carefully slid the 8" rounds in while saying a prayer under my breath.
Lotta good that did me.
That MOTHER HUMMING cake did it me again!!!!!!! I can't fakkin believe it! I didn't fill the pans nearly as full! WHOT? THE? FRIG? At least this time there wasn't lava like chocolate goo all over my oven, this time the 8" rounds were only dripping down onto the cookie sheet where the minis were - and the lil heart shaped cakes were completely flowing out of their lil heart shaped silicone pans onto the cookie sheet too. Joy.
I remember saying that I would get my payback one day soon. Officially? Yesterday was THE day.
I did manage to salvage these cakes.. and the taste & texture was spot on.. they did break on me, but that FanFarkingTastic buttercream came to the rescue, just like it rescued my The Martha Crepe Cake. I even have buttercream left over and frozen -so you know, when I feel like an Italian Meringue Buttercream (I just like calling it that) sundae, I'm all set. :P
You'll notice that my frosting skills have not improved much and that basically, I still ended up shaming my fellow Daring Bakers with my inability to reign victorious over a fakkin cake recipe.. (and if you aren't shamed fellow DB's - you should be!) heee! But I was really jonesin' for a good Kitchen Disaster's installment so all of my cravings were met for this month's Sugar High Friday! I got my cake, I got my buttercream and I got my embarrassing post. Go me. =)
You can find the directions for the "Far From Disaster Cake" (Yeah right!) on Molly's blog, Orangette
Recipe by Jacques Torres (I heart him)
I don't know exactly how much this makes - but it's a lot. ;)
Scant 1/2 cup water
2 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 large egg whites
2 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cubed
Raspberry jam, for assembly
The first step is to start cooking the sugar. Pour the water and sugar into a 1-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over medium-high heat. When the bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan, insert a candy thermometer in the mixture.
Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl and whip with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until foamy and slightly holding soft peaks.
The sugar is ready when it reaches 250 degrees F, what is known as the soft ball stage. Make an Italian meringue by pouring the cooked sugar down the side of the bowl while you continue to whip the egg whites. Do not pour the hot sugar onto the beaters, or it will splatter. Continue whipping the meringue on medium-high speed until the outside of the bowl is warm but not hot, about 5 minutes. Add the butter all at once and beat on medium speed until incorporated. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip until the buttercream is thick, smooth, and shiny, about 10 minutes. At his stage, you can add flavoring, if desired.
The buttercream can be used immediately or can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for several weeks if held in an airtight container. If it has been chilled or frozen, allow the buttercream to come to room temperature before using, then whip it with an electric mixer on medium speed until it returns to its initial volume and is once again thick, smooth, and shiny.