Sweet Sandy B. Bakes

If we are ever to enjoy life, now is the time. Not tomorrow or next year... Today should always be our most wonderful day...

So, let's eat cake!

Notes on my adventure as a mom and baker and life as Sweet Sandy B...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

more carrot caking

I can't get enough... I'm addicted... and have 5lbs of carrots still in my fridge.
I ran to the store to buy more pecans and decided to turn this third batch into cupcakes...

Here is the batter in the mixer. (this is not a shameless plug for a kitchen-aid) but seriously, if you don't have one- go get one. I love it and want another...

I've been traumatized by my bundt cake experience so I've been overdoing the greasing and flouring lately. I sprayed Pam in each of the cupcake cups before I baked... that's why they look greasy, but this cake really isn't greasy... it's actually pretty decent for you...

It's the frosting you gotta worry about! yum yum... it doesn't look so pretty in a cupcake form, but it tastes darn good.

and these are coming to work tomorrow for a happy end to the work week. I think I deserve an award for best co-worker... Just sayin'

Beautiful Failure (aka GET READY part II)

Yesterday I talked about my epic FAIL of a pound cake and promised you the story... Here it is in all of it's gruesome glory.
The recipe name is what got me- it stated that it was THE BEST pound cake you had ever had. It also had some interesting secret ingredients and I became more intrigued. It also required the use of a Bundt pan..I was hooked- this recipe was going down.
I never ever use my Bundt pan, ever... I actually can't think of a time I have used it since I received it five years ago... I've shied away from it because I've had issues in the past with my mini bundt pans and getting the cake to come out cleanly. But this recipe sounded good, it had secret ingredients and required the never used Bundt pan. I was scared, I'll admit. But, this is an adventure so I felt I should be brave and what the heck?

I followed the instructions to a T. In the recipe it states "grease your Bundt pan". I greased. I greased a lot. In fact, I think I over greased! Not anywhere did it say "grease and flour". Just "grease". So, I didn't flour.

I went for a run and left instructions w/ Nanny J to pull it out of the oven when the timer went off if it wasn't 'jiggly'. Let me tell you about Nanny J- she has 6 kids and lives on a farm. The woman knows how to bake better than I can ever dream of. I'm embarassed when I bake around her because she probably is mocking me internally. But she is so sweet and kind she would never criticize me. She just won't eat what I bake! lol.. One day I will have to tell you all about her, because you will be amazed I found this gem of a woman and you will try to steal her from me. But, she's loyal! she won't leave. So try as you may, you won't succeed. So there!

anyhow, I come home and the cake is on the counter turned upside down still in the Bundt pan on top of a cooling rack. The recipe had indicated that the cake would 'plop' out of the pan, easy-peasy. With excited anticipation, I go to lift the pan and am surprised AND DISMAYED that the cake doesn't budge. It didn't plop and it's not moving at all. I look at the cake with disbelief- WHAT is going on? I GREASED!

My evil genius mind gets going and I proceed to BANG the pan on the counter top on all sides in hopes of releasing the suction like grip. Nothing...I'm about to reach for a knife to help loosen it, but think, I'll just bang a little longer. (GET your minds OUT OF THE GUTTER NOW!) It seemed to work, I turn it over onto the cooling rack and this is what happens:

FAIL, FAIL and FAIL. half the cake in the pan, half the cake crumbled onto the rack. stupid cake. stupid pan. stupid grease without flour.

what am I going to do? I despise throwing away treats. Hate it. It still tastes good, it just doesn't look good. *SIGH...sad...

I stared at the crumbled cake. For a good long time I stared, in a standoff with this failure of a cake. Mad that I didn't flour the pan like I KNEW I SHOULD HAVE and mad that the recipe didn't explicitly say "grease and flour". And mad that I failed AGAIN with a Bundt pan. insert explitives here.... *cleansing SIGH...
Then I got my camera and took some pictures... because along with the good I have to share my failures so we can all learn... As I was snapping away, I thought about my proverbial sack of lemons and making lemon bars and realized I could still use the cake and no one would know it was a failure.
I can make strawberry shortcake!
AND!!!!!! and, I have a freaking Trifle Dish. how many people do you know have a Trifle Dish? This is too perfect! I just had to remove all of the sea shells I had in it, wash it out and use it for it's intended purpose...

I got excited- I was turning my FAIL into something awesome. Here is what I did:

put pieces of the failed cake into the dish:

top with a layer of strawberries and fresh whipped cream (2 batches whipped cream = 2 cups of heavy whipping cream, 10 teaspoons of powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla, chill mixing bowl and whip attachment in freezer for half hour, then pour all ingredients into bowl and whip on high until soft/stiff peaks form) and, don't leave it unattended because you might walk up on this....

then repeat layers until you get to the top

And there you go. That my friends is how you turn an epic fail into something beautiful.