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…