Santa and all his elves were very good to me this year. Very good. I love everything that was given to me, it was all really thoughtful -- and all so very "me". But I have to say, the biggest surprise was the one gift that I've always wanted and yet just never took the time to get for myself because 1.) it's rather expensive; and 2.) I just always hesitate on buying stuff for me.
I got a Kitchen Aid Artisan Mixer in"Metallic Chrome". To say I was psyched is an understatement. As I've mentioned many a time, baking is not my strong suit. I can cook like nobody's business, but for some reason baking from scratch is a struggle for me. But I've been convinced that this mixer will save me from all my baking mistakes.
Today, I attempted to make my favorite thing: White cake. Not yellow cake, not vanilla cake - but white cake. I got the recipe from my "Better Homes & Gardens" cookbook, and went to the supermarket yesterday to get all the ingredients I needed. And today, for the first time in 14 years - I was making a cake from scratch.
I heard the angels singing as I opened the box...birds were chirping as I mixed and blended my ingredients to the perfect consistency. And then, I poured the batter into the pans.....which is when I realized, I used the wrong attachment. See, it comes with the wisk attached -- and I didn't realize that there is a specific mixer attachment for cake batter. (oops.) So, imagine my surprise when I realized there was a little bit of shortening and sugar still clumped at the bottom of the bowl, which my rubber spatula didn't get to, because naturally I assumed my mixer was getting it all. Yes, I put on the cake attachment after it was cleaned to discover just how much longer that attachment truly is...but I figured, eh - that shouldn't make too much of a difference. I mixed into the batter that was in the pan and off to the oven they went.
Thirty five minutes later, I had two of the most delicious pancakes you've ever had.
Yes, pancakes. The cakes didn't rise. And I'm not exactly sure why? I followed the ingredients to the letter, and was very thorough -- so I can only suspect that my baking powder wasn't fresh enough? Funny thing is -- this is what happened the last time I made a cake from scratch 14 years ago. But that was a double chocolate pancake and truly, not quite so good as the one that the kids and my parents and I ended up eating this afternoon -- with lots of maple syrup, might I add.
Just goes to show that the mixer doesn't make the baker. But I'm not giving up. I'll just keep practicing until I get it right. And I'm sure the mistakes will taste good anyway.