August 24, 2007

Dorie's Delights Disguise Disasters


It was barely past noon and I had already made two kitchen disasters instead of delights. You would think that a White Chocolate Cappuccino cake would be fantastic. It was to be layered and sandwiched with luscious coffee infused whipped cream, all covered in a white chocolate frosting. What could possibly go wrong? Well nothing at all, it turned out perfectly if this were a recipe for glue. A very strong glue. I overcooked the batter, (who’s ever heard of cooking a batter stovetop anyways?) so much so that it wouldn’t spread between two pans so I lumped it all in one and tried to ignore the monstrosity it was becoming. The batter was thicker than glue, it was like melting pavement on a hot summer day. Granted, it was somewhat tasty pavement, (it was full of eggs and sugar after all) but I really couldn’t get past the fact that I thought I could spackle my wall with it. Nevertheless, I tucked it into the oven and hoped for a miracle. Twenty minutes later, it emerged looking exactly as it did when I put it in, although the texture was slightly more dense and rubbery, (I contemplated bouncing it off the ground, just to see if bouncing it were possible). Given the fact that I hate to waste food, I aim to salvage kitchen disasters whenever possible. If I’ve learned anything of late, it’s that all disasters can be saved by churning them into ice cream. This cake is going to join undercooked brownies and a soup of a strawberry mirror cake on my list of baking disaster ice creams. I’m not sure when that will happen though, so in the meantime it’s wrapped tight and resting comfortably in the freezer.



But I had to make a cake, (for a co-worker’s birthday that he failed to inform me of until the actual day, so it was late as it was) so I set about trying another recipe. There doesn’t seem to be any method to my madness. Some days I’ll barely follow a recipe, other days I’ll follow it almost to a T, even if I know it doesn’t seem right. I have a stubbornness that makes me follow through with certain things even when I can see that they won’t turn out, (uh, I think that explains my 4 year university degree that’s gotten me nowhere). Since I followed a recipe for the first cake, I was going to wing it for the second, (although not quite completely). The second creation began with two vanilla cakes that I made from a Dorie recipe because I wanted to guarantee that I would start out on a positive note. And those cakes were a breeze and came out of the oven smelling wonderful. Then I decided to put a layer of homemade peach-nectarine-vanilla jam in the middle along with a layer of white chocolate whipped cream. I didn’t whip the cream enough though so it wasn’t as thick as it should have been and when you combine that with a layer of jam, those two layers did NOT want to stay together. Of course, instead of addressing the issue at hand, I decided to simply coat the entire thing in chocolate ganache and hope for the best. Much to my surprise, it looked good!… for about 5 seconds. Then whipped cream began oozing out of the middle, breaking through the ganache layer. This caused the ganache to weaken and both the whipped cream and ganache pooled at the bottom of my serving plate. I hastily threw the whole thing into the fridge in an attempt to stop the melting process. Damn global warming! The fridge helped somewhat and in the end the cake was fairly edible, though not very attractive.



Seeing as though neither of those cakes turned out to be a showstopper, I figured I’d post pics of cheesecake from Dorie. I started with her recipe for Chocolate cheesecake, (do I really have to repeat that it's coming from Baking From My Home to Yours?) and then decided I wanted it to be marbled so I only added the chocolate to half the batter. This also gave me an opportunity to use my brand new mini cheesecake pans, courtesy of a very thoughtful friend, (thank you!). Aren’t they adorable? Like puppies? Don’t you just want to take a bite out of them? Ahem… Anyways, just because I love the mini cheesecake pan, don’t expect this blog to become Mini Empanadas anytime soon. I’ll be busting out something supersized for you in the very near future, and it may or may not rhyme with Eumbo Jempanadas…



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21 comments:

K & S said...

sorry to hear about the disasters in your kitchen. those mini cheesecakes look really cute :)

timbuck2mom said...

I'm always inspired reading about your cooking adventures - even your "flops".

I'm getting ready to head for the kitchen now. :)

I have to say your homemade ice cream sounds interesting. Will you throw the whole cake in the batter? What kind of ice cream maker do you own?

Elisabeth

Anita said...

Brilynn,
We've all had those days in the kitchen - where you think everything will turn out and somehow everything goes wonky. I admire your perserverance - all of those ideas sounded wonderful and I'm sure they are future winners just waiting for a few tweaks!

Kelly-Jane said...

Sorry to hear about your challenges, but the cheesecakes look fab! Mini cheesecake tins, how cute :)

Lydia said...

The mini cheesecakes are adorable, and as for the rest...well, that's going to be some amazing ice cream when you throw it all together!

Cenk said...

Brilynn - I think kitchen disasters happen to all of us. Whenever I smell one coming, I drop everything and pour myself a coffee. And run away from the kitchen. Also, if I'm on a deadline, I never ever improvise. I just open Dorie's BFMHTY and bake anything. BTW, those mini cheesecakes look fantastic.

jef said...

'cooking' a cake batter on the stovetop isn't all the unusual; actually it's the way I was taught to make a classic genoise. While it does seem strange, it usually works out in the end.

Not too bad of a save, hopefully they tasted ok.

Sara said...

If anyone can overcome such kitchen disasters and be victorious, it's you , I know it!

Peabody said...

You crack me up with your ice cream cakes...they do sound good though.

Cynthia said...

Your disasters and triumphs always help.

Valli said...

When I bake I always cross my fingers and toes. I am more of a main dish kind of a gal. But, I do make a mean cheesecake and yours looks more than worthy of attempting once again!!!There might be hope for these sticky fingers yet.

Ivonne said...

This blog just wouldn't be the same unless it was Jumbo!

While I'm sorry for the disasters, I'm sure it worked out beautifully in the end!

Tartelette said...

I am sure the taste was there in the end. Can't wait to see the ice cream creations! The cheesecakes look fantastic! I did have days like that. At home, it's allright, I am the only one to deal with the disasters but at the restaurant i wanted to throw pots and pans at the ovens!

DaviMack said...

I'm amazed by your positive attitude about these, and am glad that you're able to salvage them!

The Skinny Gourmet said...

I really loved to hear about the disasters. You have inspired me to do a post about a pretty much flopped and ugly effort to make a rolled angelfood cake filled with brandy whipped custard and cherries. the custard wouldnt build volume like alton brown promised me it would. the angelfood wouldnt really roll. the cherries were delicious by themselves but overwhelmed by everything else. ahh instructive flops!

veron said...

Oh bri, as you know I've had my share of kitchen disasters so I guess we can form a club. I do like how those mini cheesecakes look though -- very cute!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Mini cheese cakes . . . wow, those are just incredible.
Is your middle name Dorie? I've made a lot of recipes out of that book but you are really in the lead.

Kevin said...

The mini cheesecakes look like they are about cookie sized. cool

Kristen said...

That is what I do with kitchen disasters as well...put them into homemade ice cream!
Those mini-cheesecakes look fantastic.

Chef Tom said...

Those pictures of this recipe are amazing. My mouth is watering !

s.j.simon said...
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