Thursday, January 28, 2010

Baking Has Highs and Lows

You may have noticed that I love to cook. Well. I love love LOVE to bake. Budgets and nutrition aside, I'd bake all the time, if I could.

At the Holidays, I have been known to hole myself up in my mom's kitchen (praise her double ovens and big counter tops) to bake upwards of 15 dozen cookies. Peanut butter crinkle ones with chocolate kisses. Sweet sugar cookies with jam. Brownies. Peanut butter cookies with Snicker minis stuffed inside.

Sometimes, I like to make cakes instead of cookies. You might recall that this fun stadium cake is a fav of mine for football tailgates, since you can personalize it for each team. This one was sans-team colorings for some reason. I think I was out the night before and forgot to finish it day-of, haha.

Speaking of cake molds, I love them because they have endless possibilities for decorating!

And sometimes, I venture into pies. More recently, the pumpkin apple butter pie for the office Thanksgiving. That turned out pretty well for my first ever pumpkin pie.

But here and there, I have a baking failure. Mostly just in presentation rather than in actual taste, but for me, that's half the fun. So I hate it.

Like the cake balls I made from Bakerella in 2008 for my housewarming party. They really ended up being like cake blobs, red velvet insides with white chocolate-slash-turned-somewhat-pink outsides. Not cutesy and round at all. They tasted just the same (people loved them!), but honestly Bakerella, you should put a warning up on the site that there is no way a beginner can make cake balls as pretty as yours. Like those sweet little chick ones or the adorable sheep. Jealous baker over here... 

Or the time that I made the flourless chocolate cake last year for a February dinner party at which I was a guest. The silly thing stuck in the pretty heart-shaped pan despite my best efforts at following the recipe's instructions to line it with parchment paper. Boo. Again, tasted awesome, but presentation was all off. Thus why I have no picture to share here. It was not picture-worthy :(

But I try to take the failures in stride. Mostly because I know that most desserts I whip up are usually wiped out in no time by my friends and family that love them. So with Valentine's Day rapidly approaching, I am going to be taking out that heart-shaped pan again, and making something new, but something maybe not as complex as the flourless cake (that recipe wasn't all that great anyway). It will be something lighter, perfect for the end of a dinner party, but with the same V-day flair I am looking for. Stay tuned - hopefully it will be picture-worthy :)