This blog makes me feel better about all of the unfortunate baking/crafting failures I’ve had in the last year, including the one I’m now going to write about. I highly recommend bookmarking it for those inevitable failures we crafter/bakers are doomed to experience (unless I’m the only one?). Thank you, Paper Source for finding me this website!!! This particular entry made me laugh out loud.
Continuing from my 2011 holiday bake-a-thon, I thought I’d write a little jig about the horrid baking day I had on Christmas Eve. The stars were not aligned, as they say, in my (galactic) kitchen. I was to celebrate Christmas with my dad’s extended family over dinner on Christmas Eve, and told him I’d make dessert for us to bring. My (apparently very proud) father told me to make something impressive because he had told all of our relatives that I was quite the baker. I threw out a few suggestions, and he kept saying “no – it should be something a little more impressive, but make sure it’s tasty!”. Beginning to feel the pressure, I threw out suggestions for a Boston Cream Pie and a Bourbon Banana Layer Cake. We settled on the Boston Cream Pie, though he ended up trying to buy a bottle of bourbon – you know… in case I want to make the Bourbon Banana Layer Cake some day.
I made the filling (twice – I messed up the first time) the night prior, and refrigerated it over night.
I made the cake part the next day. Everything was going smoothly. I baked the cake for the time instructed in Martha’s recipe. When I took the cake out of the oven, it smelled great, looked nice and fluffy… I even stuck a toothpick in the middle and it came out clean. But when I cut the cake in half horizontally to make the two layers, I noticed the middle was extremely dense and a little rubbery. It was undercooked.
I tried to figure out if I had enough time to make the cake over again, as I pulled the Boston Cream Pie filling out of the fridge. I stirred it up with a whisk as instructed, but noticed something was a little off…
The custard somehow curdled while chilling overnight. Another key component – ruined! There definitely wasn’t enough time left to make both the filling and cake over again. Thankfully I hadn’t started on the chocolate ganache sauce topping yet. I decided to make the most with what I had and whipped up a new batch of Grinchmas Cookies with what little time I had left, annoyed that I wasn’t living up to the expectations of impressive culinary grandeur.
But the day of disaster didn’t stop there.
I usually only use the top rack in the oven when I bake things, and just do one pan in the oven at a time. On this day, I decided to use both racks in the oven to save time. The bottom rack was only 3 inches lower than the top rack – how much of a temperature difference could there be? Well… apparently enough to torch half of my Grinchmas Cookies, while the half on the top rack came out just fine.
Things definitely didn’t go as planned, but on to more successful ventures!