Month: March 2015

One Million Muffins

Or, How To Make Three Kinds Of Muffins Without Doing Every Step Three Times Because Oh My God Who The Fuck Has Time

The universe likes to kick people. I like to kick the universe. The cycle goes merrily around, with lots of chest thumping and yelling about don’t tell me what to do and what do you mean that’s illegal and JUST WATCH ME.

When the cosmic pain machine turns on one of my friends, though, I turn off the yelling and turn on the oven. I can’t stop life from kicking anybody, but I can hand out baked goods (+5 to emotional resilience). This past week saw not just one, not just two, but three friends become cosmic soccer balls. And that calls for One Million Muffins. They taste like cake, they can pretend to be real food, and they make handy projectiles in case of emergency.

(more…)

Summer Cake

I am sick to fucking death of complaining about snow. Which is remarkable, because I love complaining. Let’s talk about this cake instead. It tastes like summer! It’s stuffed with fresh strawberries and orange zest and whipped cream. The strawberries are out in Florida, according to my parents, and so they’re three pounds for five dollars at the grocery store. With the power of my Safeway Club Card, I can eat this cake and pretend I’m hanging out on the beach. I can’t punch winter into submission, but I can sure as fuck ignore it.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I will tell you that I made two cakes that taste like summer. That was a mistake. One of the cakes was a disaster, but it would have been a mistake even if it had turned out perfectly. I hate baking multiple cakes at the same time. I neglected to keep this in mind and promised two separate sets of people dessert. I enjoyed being a person who bakes so much that I didn’t set myself up to actually enjoy baking. I ended up taking a bunch of breaks from the second cake to fling myself on various pieces of furniture and whine. I just wanted to finish the fucking cake and go to sleep. That’s no way to bake, and it’s no way to live. So I’m not blogging that second cake. Let it remain an untested ideal in our minds.

On the other hand, I actually really enjoyed playing with meringue, so I’ll be repeating that experiment sometime in the future. It’s a great way to use up the egg whites from pastry cream, or the bastardized genoise layers here.

(more…)

The Rubble Cake, or, What To Do When You Fuck Up

Shit happens. Has shit happened to you recently? Have you been the shit that happened to your kitchen?

Did your overly ambitious chocolate layer cake unravel in a dramatic lesson about man’s hubris?

IMG_1887

Did your attempts at making tiny sandwich snack cakes in charming winter patterns end up looking more like mayonnaise sandwiches on Wonder bread?

IMG_4387

Are you, like your cake, crumbling with feelings of inadequacy due to an inability to meet self-imposed deadlines?

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 11.38.51 PM

Are you, like me, asking a series of questions in the second person to reassure yourself that you aren’t alone in the universe?

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 11.45.43 PM

You aren’t alone. It’s going to be okay. In a world with butter, sugar, and brandy, all things are possible. Here’s how we fix it.

(more…)