Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Baking Bummer

Happens every year — a holiday baking mishap of epic proportions.

'07 was the year of the Christmas screw-ups. I still hate Gale Gand over that one. The baker extraordinaire had done an episode on these darling mini chocolate Christmas trees. It involved those triangular drinking cups that accompany water dispensers and a roasting pan that you cut holes into to accommodate said cups. Major work, which made the resulting mess all the more heartbreaking. Trees didn't bake all the way or their tops fell out. Nary a one looked like a tree. I drizzled them with frosting and called them done. I didn't give any away, of course. They stayed in-house.

"They look bad, but they taste good," Oldest Child offered.

#)(_*%)(*)(&*# Gale Gand.

Well, this year I attempted salted chocolate caramels. I've actually made these before, and they were quite good. I figured I'd do it again since the recipe makes a ton, and I'm only baking a few things this year. (It gets harder and harder to do this baking thing. Does anyone really *like* getting treats any more? Seems like everyone's always watching what they eat.)

Well, after half an hour, that thermometer hadn't hit 243 degrees. I figured something must be wrong with it, and figured I'd move forward.

Big mistake.

Five hours and the caramel still hasn't set up. I don't even have enough to scrape into decorative little jars to call it ice cream topping. Sigh. The worst part is, now I feel like I have to prove that I can make this recipe work. I'm sure I'll hit Safeway tomorrow, buy another thermometer and more cream and more chocolate and blow an hour I don't have to prove a point to myself.

Is anyone getting me a gift certificate to a psychiatrist for Christmas?


jacquelyn said...

I feel you. Today we are having company so I made a flourless chocolate cake. It came out amazing.

Not leaving well enough alone I decided to make a chocolate cheesecake, too. The first attempt ended in me tossing out the cream cheese because it did not soften enough. I even nuked it after I started beating it in a futile attempt to de-pellet it (Betty Crocker would be so ashamed). So like a fool I tried again---luckily I stocked up on cream cheese when it was on sale and i had a coupon. This time it was more softened but there were still some pellets. I just gave up and put it in the oven anyway. I told my husband he will act like it is the best damn cheesecake he has ever had.

The cake is still baking, the guests will be here in 2.5 hours, and it needs to cool and then be refrigerated for four hours. Epic fail.

But on a bright note I made peppermint whipped cream and it is awesome!

Desert Flower said...

I cannot tell you how sad I am about the caramel fail. Especially since I usually benefit :)