Malto Mario


The Lady & Sons

1,000 Italian Recipes

Monday, June 25, 2007

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.

Far From Disaster Cake (Yeah Right!) & Italian Meringue Buttercream
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.

Far From Disaster Cake (Yeah Right!) & Italian Meringue Buttercream
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.

Far From Disaster Cake (Yeah Right!) & Italian Meringue Buttercream

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

Far From Disaster Cake (Yeah Right!) & Italian Meringue Buttercream
I half expected the tines on my fork to start melting once it made contact with Her Evil Highness

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. =)

Far From Disaster Cake (Yeah Right!) & Italian Meringue Buttercream

You can find the directions for the "Far From Disaster Cake" (Yeah right!) on Molly's blog, Orangette

Basic Buttercream
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.

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Comments on "My First SHF! Also - Quite Possibly My Last SHF!"


Blogger Callipygia said ... (6/25/2007 5:17 PM) : 

No one would believe "it" could be capable of such wickedness...because this looks so moist and delicious! And the first real buttercream I made, oh yeah pure heaven! You make us proud sweetheart.


Blogger Caribbean Dreamer said ... (6/25/2007 6:45 PM) : 

Lis - you are TOO much. Entirely TOO much. LOL!!


Blogger breadchick said ... (6/25/2007 8:00 PM) : 

Lis, I have to write myself a sticky note and attach it to every computer I own. The sticky note will read the following: "Do NOT read Lisa when you have coffee or milk or beer or wine or any other liquid in your mouth".

Now, before I wander over to my little ole CT kitchen to get a wad of paper towels to wipe off my monitor let me tell you something. You absolutely do not SHAME the rest of us DBers. Hell, you started DBers!! And the texture and colour of your cake is spot on my dear. And let's not even say how much we HEART Jacques buttercream!!1

You are specatular luv!



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6/25/2007 8:19 PM) : 

It looks pretty good to me!!! As always ... you're so funny! And I'm glad to see that you finally took part in SHF!


Blogger Peabody said ... (6/25/2007 11:31 PM) : 

Lol- you are always good for a laugh Lis. You cake lookes yummy and I feel no shame for you!


Blogger Dolores said ... (6/26/2007 12:25 AM) : 

You certainly know how to brighten up a mundane Monday evening. Your cake is *gorgeous*. You can tell it tastes divine, and its unique look give it *character*. There's no substitute for that!


Blogger Beth said ... (6/26/2007 1:05 AM) : 

Don't usually leave comments, but I had to with this post. You are hilarious! I've had a similar 'situation' with a hell cake... every time I try to make the darn thing, it fails (to put it mildly!). I have also had thoughts similar to yours about my 'evil' baked goods! Keep trying, you will defeat the evil witch!!


Blogger Meeta K. Wolff said ... (6/26/2007 1:45 AM) : 

SHF is a killer every time - then you can be sure that many blogs have posted incredible creations. Like this one. OHHHH! I think I just heard a few million kilos getting stuck to my waist!! Lis, you make me drool!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6/26/2007 5:26 AM) : 

Sorry but your adventure with this cake is so funny. Btw: my better half was drooling after your delicious cake. :) It sure looks yummy and I'm sure it taste heavenly delicious. :)


Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said ... (6/26/2007 7:45 AM) : 

Oh the shame of it all -
I have those sticky note on my computer and I still tried reading this with coffee this morning. Yes it is shameful when you ignore all the warning signs you/ve put up and get coffee up your nose and all over your nighty trying to avoid getting it on the computer.
The cake however - the proud cake - all the deep chocolate to dive into with all that beautiful soft buttercream to cushion you! Looks divine to me.


Blogger Jenny said ... (6/26/2007 8:34 AM) : 

No shame here for you Lis, if anything I am proud that you persisted and went on to victory in th end! You go girl! Enjoy that icing! hehehe
Jagged edges or not, I'd still eat your cake.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6/26/2007 9:02 AM) : 

Holy mackarael, that cake looks wicked! Sorry to hear that it gave you such a headache, but surely the end product is worth the painful journey? And I am HAVE to going to give this buttercream recipe a try - it looks infinitely smoother than the one that I use :D


Blogger Cheryl said ... (6/26/2007 11:10 AM) : 

Holy crap, you are the funniest thing in food blogs. The Mothership. I will now refer to chocolate cake with white icing as The Mothership cake. You are such a trooper.


Blogger kellypea said ... (6/26/2007 12:11 PM) : 

"A hoodlum wielding a switchblade?" Uhhhh....You never fail to make me hoot out loud, Lisa. And the cake looks absolutely drooliscious. I LOVE dark chocolate cake. And that frosting? Sheeee-----ttttt, girl. I could really just stick my finger through my screen to scoop up a bit of it -- but I know I couldn't just stop at one scoop. YUM!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6/26/2007 2:04 PM) : 

And then you complain of letting go of evil desserts in favor of salads? Come on, Lis! This looks amazing, no one PMSing should read this entry, I need chocolate NOW! And you had me laughing out loud as per usual.


Blogger Helene said ... (6/26/2007 2:24 PM) : 

Oh man! That is the Mothership...I see what you're doing...making it right before I come visit and whip your thighs with evil you! That cake is truly fantastic and I had to check my glasses when you told me you made it 3 times! That's what I called a craving!
I'll show you a good trick to get even layers when I'm up there!


Blogger Mandy said ... (6/26/2007 2:50 PM) : 

thanks for sharing this. It's refreshing to read something so real as opposed to the always successful baking attempts of others. I can't recount how many times I screwed a recipe. But your end product proved that it's worth the effort. Wonder how the heart-shaped cupcakes look like?


Blogger Kirsten said ... (6/27/2007 1:20 AM) : 

Lis - I am DYING!! I adore your hilarious ability to be honest and real, and to pour a drink and try the cake again is WAYYYYY beyond my patience level.

I adore you - AND THAT CAKE!



Blogger Lis said ... (6/27/2007 5:06 AM) : 

Callipygia - Thanks sweetie =) But yes, do not doubt for a moment that the recipe is possessed by Beelzebub himself. For I have looked in the face of evil and watched it explode in mine oven. *shudder*

Alison - heee!

Mary - HAR! Sticky notes are sometimes invaluable. hehee And THANKS! But seriously, uhh.. did you see my frosting abilities? teee!

Ivonne - Thanks sweetie! Me too.. if at least just this once. hahaa

Gracie - Awww thanks =) I hope one day I can make my baked goods look 1/4 as nice as yours =)

Dolores - You rock! My cake has character.. I like that. ;)

Beth - !! I'm so happy it's not just me who has danced with the evil cake batter devil! And oh heck yeah, I'm on a mission now - I don't know when - it could be years before I'm over this trauma, but I WILL conquere this fakkin cake before I die.. hahaha

Meeta - hehe Thanks honey!

Cooking Ninja - Please tell your hubby that he's my new best friend! hahaha I'm tickled you enjoyed the post, thanks for stopping by. =)

Tanna - You crack me up!! Hmm.. bigger signs next time? hehee

Jenny - Aww thanks sweetie.. I wish I could make you one for your birthday next month! (Sans evilness, of course)

Ellie muh luv - Hi sweetie! you know, it really is worth it in the end.. which is a really bad thing right now as I'm trying to lay off the bad juju foods.. but yeah, heavenly this cake is.. and that buttercream.. ohhhh lala BUT I have to say, I've not tried this buttercream "as is written" so I can't really vouche for how good it is using unsalted butter. I'm unusual though because I truly enjoy salty/sweet - so that's why I love this buttercream so much.. but maybe unsalted I wouldn't like it? I have no idea - but try! try! and let me know. ;) xoxo

Cheryl - hahaa! I just really wish you could have been in my kitchen with me the first time I made that cake, months ago.. to literally look down at a normal looking cake, freshly frosted with a luscious ganache and then all of a sudden see it start to quiver and then shake and then erupt and crack.. hahahahaaa! I really did expect lil aliens to come flying out of it. ;)

Kelly - Yeah it's true.. this time I didn't just use my finger to clean out the mixing bowl, I DID stick my head in there. *blush*

Marce - hahaha I know! I pretend to be all excited about salads while I'm secretly just waiting for the moment when I can make something OH SO BAD! I'm an addict, what can I say? hehehe

Helene - Ohhh you must get up here and save me! lol I took some of the cake to work.. you'll notice I said "some" mmm hmm.. I couldn't let go of all of it.. *sigh* So I'm thinking if I exercise like 23 hours of each day, I can keep my dark chocolate/buttercream cake habit? I CAN'T WAIT FOR YOU TO GET HERE! :D

Mandy - Thanks! These are my favorite posts, I'm not ashamed to say.. I love reading when things go wrong.. it makes me feel slightly less than horrible when it comes to my own skills (or lack thereof) knowing that I'm not the only one.. so I figure if I feel that way, other's must too, eh? =) The heart shaped cakes did come out nice after I unmolded them - I didn't think they would since they overflowed too.. I haven't frosted them yet, I just wrapped 'em up and froze them for now. I've got plans for them in the near future. ;)

Kirsten - The feeling is mutual!! I adore you too sweetie =)

Thanks, everyone, for your kind words.. ya'll know how to make a silly gal feel better!



Blogger sher said ... (6/27/2007 5:07 AM) : 

It is wicked, because I have fallen under its spell. I'm in a trance, walking to my car to get the ingredients to make it..........


Blogger Brilynn said ... (6/27/2007 9:31 AM) : 

Oh Lis, I wish I had taken a picture a few weeks ago when I made a loaf cake that erupted in my oven. I think there was more cake outside of the pan than inside...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6/27/2007 1:46 PM) : 


I'm just finding this post now, and I literally have tears streaming down my face from laughing so hard! I almost died at the caption about the fork tines... LOLOL! Your sense of humour is second to none, and you attitude just cant be beat!


Blogger Alpineberry Mary said ... (6/27/2007 5:17 PM) : 

I love Jacques Torres too. Ever since I saw him make a tiny cake and a mini chocolate oven to put the cake in.


Blogger Sarah M said ... (3/12/2008 12:31 PM) : 

drool...and I love your comentary.


Blogger MelissaDaams said ... (8/05/2010 4:46 PM) : 

why is the chocolate so dark? it looks like an oreo cake.


Blogger Lis said ... (8/06/2010 8:56 AM) : 

It's because I used dutch-process Hershey's "Special" Dark cocoa. (you're not supposed to use dutch-process in this recipe, but it was all I had). :)



Blogger Ana C. said ... (2/27/2012 11:56 AM) : 

I completely understand that feeling of watching your cakes (or cupcakes for that matter) super explode in your oven...oh the cleaning, the scrapping, the internal emotional fight of starting over... They can become oh so terrible monsters those indefense looking creatures :S. However the cake and the buttercream looks delicious and your frosting skills are great 'cause you use a lot of frosting and that's what matters :P (sugar addict xD). Much love Lis from a non-ashamed DB :).


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