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Monday, January 10, 2011

Baking Disasters

My junior year of college, I moved into a ward halfway through the year.  I only knew one person and so every Sunday night I had Dessert Night.  All Sunday would be spent baking three pies/cakes/tarts and then everyone came over and ate them.  If I develop diabetes, I can trace it back to Dessert Night.

Guests would ask about how I was able to bake so many cakes and have them turn out.  To which I would always reply 'lots of ruined cakes.'

I'm now older than I was in college, and I've been baking during all of the intervening years, and so reason would suggest that perhaps the cakes don't get ruined anymore.  Reason, however, would be wrong.

Today Brandon asked for some sort of dessert.  As today was Fast Friday, I had been thinking about desserts, and had been wanting 'millionaire shortbread,' a concoction of layered shortbread, caramel, and chocolate.  The recipe calls for caramel made by boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk.  Last time I made the recipe (about halfway between dessert night and now), the caramel had been runny and squished out between the chocolate and shortbread when I bit it.

I'm always in search for the absolute best way to do anything, especially for my desserts.  And so I looked for a recipe for caramel made the old-fashioned way with a candy thermometer.  I boiled it to the 'firm ball' stage, spread it on the shortbread, cooled it, and finished with the chocolate.

After getting the girls ready for bed and rushing through scriptures, we all eagerly awaited our candy confection as the girls watched me get the knife out to neatly slice up our treat. I plunged in the knife.  It skidded through the chocolate.  I tried again.  It went in a quarter inch.  I put my shoulder into my work, and I heard a cracking sound.  I lifted out the first piece.

Out came crumbles of shortbread and shards of caramel.  Sophia greedily grabbed a piece and stuffed it into her mouth.  After chewing a few minutes, she began crying.  The caramel was stuck to her teeth and was hurting her cheek.  I tried a piece.  My jaws started hurting from the work, and I too was picking caramel from my teeth.

And so, the pan sits in the kitchen, with only a few small pieces taken out, a testament to the dangers of deviating from a recipe.  Two hours gone, and only sore jaws to show for it.  Sigh.


UnkaDave said...

There HAS to be an object lesson in there somewhere. Let's see, um, no that's not it...well, uh, nope not that one either. I think it was just a blown cake. As your mother says about gardening, "You're not learning if you're not killing plants." Luckily, that truism was not applied to you kids and your upbringing.

PaulaJean said...

Oh my. It LOOKS delicious.

Laura said...

I laughed out loud at the image of Aophia greedily stuffing a piece in her mouth only to be completely unable to chew it. I'm sorry it didn't work! That really is terrible .

Bridget said...

Dangit! That sounds so yummy. It must have been so sad to have it not work out. :(

Becky said...

It looks so good though!
It is time for the Weekly State Department Blog Round Up and you are on it!

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If you would like the links to your site removed (or corrections are needed) please contact me. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Millionaire shortbread is delicious (not that I've ever made it). Shame it didn't work out for you.