Sunday, December 30, 2007

Adventures in Baking...

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.


McSwain said...

My sister-in-law got one of those, too, and she was SO excited! I'm jealous.

Glitter said...

I've always wanted one of those but my mom told me to wait and register for it when I get married. She always says crap like that to me.

Sarah said...

when my cakes go flat (as they have more often then i care to admit!) its usually because i overbeat the batter - something that is so easy to do when you use a mixer!

Rebecca said...

Yes! Sarah, I totally think it's because I "whipped" my batter! hahaha.. oops!

Rebecca said...

Yes! Sarah, I totally think it's because I "whipped" my batter! hahaha.. oops!