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A baker, I am not….

October 27, 2010

Oh, yes, I decided to bake…It all started a few years ago, when the big ice storm happened and all the stores were closed, and everyone was basically trapped in their homes. My neighbor, Ann, at the time, was home that day cooking this Ginormous chocolate cake. Later that night, she sent Kayla over, trudging in the snow, to deliver me a slice of her chocolate heaven. It was the largest slice of chocolate cake I had ever seen. I swore I would never be able to eat, but guess what, I inhaled it. Five minutes later that plate was clean. It took five minutes because I drank it with milk…I waited a couple of minutes later, so as not to look like a pig, who just inhaled a quarter of a cake, and told her I loved it and just ate the whole slice. A few minutes later, my door bell rings and Kayla hands me another plate. So I inhaled that as well…though this time I took my time…Fast forward to yesterday…My father-in-law’s birthday is today, and he loves chocolate cake, and so I bug the shit out of Ann to send me the recipe..Two emails, three conversations, and five text messages later, I get the recipe, and I start to bake…

First, let me begin by saying, I don’t know measurements well. This was my list for the grocery store, because I had none of what was needed….1 bag of flour, 1 bag of sugar, 2 bags of powdered sugar, 2 boxes of cocoa, 2 bags of chocolate chips, baking soda (which took me 10 minutes to find…) 2 boxes of butter,buttermilk (eww), cream (what is that?) and eggs. So when I get home, I think this is a lot of stuff to make a cake, no wonder Ann charges what she does for a cake…It wasn’t the cost, its the damn time it takes to make a cake!  I start to watch the Cowboys game and once halftime starts, and Tony Romo fractures his shoulder, I start the cake, because deep down, I know that game is over…then I get a text from Ann asking how the cake came out. I tell her I am just starting…

So I will admit, I don’t have any common sense…I should have read the recipe thoroughly, I should have understood that 4 cups of flour and 4 cups of sugar were not going to fit in my Kitchen Aid mixerbowl….So I get a large clear bowl out and guess what, it won’t fit in there either…Now I am starting to worry, because I don’t think I have a bigger bowl…and I start to wonder what bowl Ann used because I am pretty sure I never saw a huge ass bowl over there either…Did she split the recipe up and not tell me, thinking I would know to do that?!? Well I found a big, plastic polka dot bowl I bought at Target for serving chips in when we had company this summer….it now has our Halloween candy in it, so I take that candy and put it in the identical bowl, yes, I purchased two…No, I am not a hoarder, I just thought we may do a lot of entertaining this summer (uh, we didn’t…).  So now, three bowls are dirty. and I am running out of counter space…

KITCHEN AID mixing bowl....too small


Next bowl, still too small..Notice my bloody mary mix in the background..

Just barely fits...


I don’t know how to properly measure, being a non-baker, so I just poured the flour and the sugar into the dry measuring cup over the sink…this was the overflow….     

Note to self, flour and water do not mix well in the time, use trash can.


Uh, this is the melted butter, oil and water….I know, I can’t believe I ate half a cake of this buttery sugary mess one icy night in January. No wonder I gained 10 pounds, but it was good…

damn, really? that's a lot of butter and oil...

The recipe says to whisk the butter into the flour and sugar and cocoa, that was well mixed…It was so thick, I couldn’t stir it, so I pulled out the sifter/strainer, that my kids use a hat,  see the squashed sifter in the background…so I sifted it all together, then tried to whisk the mixture. Let me just say, I have no upper arm strength, and the recipe should call for upper arm strength, because 5 minutes later, the mixture still looked like this…                             

whisk what?


I broke my one and only whisk trying to “whisk” this together…that’s ok, though, I have plenty of rubber spatulas…

Only my cake mixing skills would break my whisk

it was supposed to look like this….

this is what the whisk is supposed to look like.

I forgot to buy damn parchment paper…bakers use parchment paper…so I buttered and floured the pans, something I have not done since home economics class in 9th grade….I forgot how much flour it takes to properly flour a 9 inch pie plate, so i just dumped some in each and tapped it out over the sink…as u can see there are some parts that didn’t get properly floured, so I say a quick prayer that they wont stick, they are new pans after all, they shouldn’t stick…

flouring a buttered pan...

not too shabby!


Now, I have to divide this cake mixture into 3 pans…Me, being slightly OCD, and wanting to make the best birthday cake ever, divide it into measuring cups..further dirtying more dishes…so I have two  4-cup measuring cups full, and a 2-cup measuring cup full…so that means 10 cups, and I, not being a math genius, figured out that it was 3 1/3 cups each…And I didn’t even ask Ryan! I’ll wait for your applause…thank you…So this is my pic of me pouring and showing how exact I was, how precise I am trying to be, how perfect I want this cake to be…

notice my pouring messes!



And this is the pic of my three pie pans full of cake mixture…I mentally tell myself to note the pie that has the lesser amount of the three, so I can make that the top layer….but I forgot…

got bored measuring 1 1/3 cups, so free-balled it, and failed, one is less full than the other.


Set the timer for 35 minutes…and I start to clean, and that’s when I saw the buttermilk carton sitting on the dining room table! I run to the recipe and quickly scan looking for where the buttermilk goes, surely, please let it be the for the frosting….DAMN IT TO HELL!  I was supposed to whisk it in after the eggs, but was so distracted with the broken whisk and cracking the eggs and whisking them one at a time, that I skipped over the damn buttermilk part! So I call Ann…Its now 11:40 pm her time, 10:40 my time..The cowboy game is over, they lost…and I just finished the cake. What cake takes 2 1/2 hours to prepare! Shit! Ann doesn’t answer, so I frantically text her and ask if the buttermilk is must? No response…I go to the oven to pull it out, thinking, shit, I will have to pour it back into the big chip bowl, add the buttermilk, and re-butter and flour the pans and redo, but the cakes have already started cooking, and I can’t do that….So the buttermilk is a lost cause…

who likes buttermilk anyway?

I start the frosting…cream two sticks of butter and put into mixing bowl…well, not wanting to dirty more dishes, I cream the butter in the mixing bowl…not really knowing what “cream” means, I basically just smoosh it down with my rubber spatula…

smooshed butter.

Then the recipe calls for 12 ounces of chocolate chips…My bag says 11.5 ounces, so I open another bag, (see how my buying 2 worked out this time?). So I fill my measuring cup with one full bag, and not knowing what another .5 ounce would be, I estimate it by assuming another .5 ounces means I won’t be able to read the “PYREX” on the cup….Like how I measure?

11.5 ounces of ghiradelli chocolate chips...

yeah, that looks like 12 ounces...


The timer goes off, and Ann says to check with a toothpick to see if its done, can’t find toothpicks and start to panic that the cakes are overcooking, so I grab Tootsie rolls pops from the Halloween stash of candy and insert….Two come out clean, the other had some chocolate-ness on it, but figured, eh, it will cook still out of the oven, so I pull out all three, in a rush, forgetting which was the smaller of the three. And no, you can’t tell by looking…

This time, I get all my ingredients ready for the frosting, because god forbid I leave something out of that too. And damn it, I need coffee, and don’t know how to brew a pot, being a non-coffee drinker. Plus I only need 1-3 tablespoons…Caseys, the nearest gas station,  is closed. So I run to the wine fridge and find this…Starbucks Coffee Liquor…close enough right? (Notice my magic cleaner in the background)…             

really, 6 cups?!?!?

So I add a tablespoon….Ann says not to worry, the cocoa powder and 6 cups of powdered sugar, yeah, 6 cups of powdered sugar (which is only one bag, by the way, not two) will make the butter and chocolate chip mixture seize up and become thick and lumpy…Let’s just say that never happened, I think it may have if there were only 3 cups of sugar as opposed to 6 cups…

I'm proud of this pic!

something's not jiving right here...

This is where I think she got the measurements wrong..on purpose perhaps? Because I just got a lumpy sugar mixture….

damn, I need to add something to the frosting...

Now I am supposed to add 1 tablespoon of coffee, and 1/2 cup of milk or cream…I chose cream. Now I didn’t know exactly what cream was, and didn’t want to look like a loser, because I had already bombarded Ann with questions of what kind of cocoa and chocolate chips to buy, so I assumed heavy whipping cream….So I add 1/2 cup, which does nothing to this thick mixture, so I add another 1/2 cup, and it starts to get creamy. Ann says she likes hers less creamy so it hardens quickly, so I think ok, this will do, and start to begin to frost my cake. I forget the first rule in TOP CHEF is to taste first…so after frosting two layers, I taste and I cannot tell you the pucker my mouth did because it was so sweet…

So I add more coffee liquor…

eh, why not....

I tasted the frosting and lets just say u can taste the liquor, and I start to tear up, and then I man-up and tell myself I am not going to cry.

I think the pic says it all...

I am going to fridge the cake, though it is now leaning…and I am going to eat it tomorrow, and make sure everyone else eats it too.

my leaning tower of chocolate...

 I clean up the rest of my mess, and trudge upstairs…My feet hurt, I am depressed, my cake looks a hot mess. I tell Ryan to check it in the morning to make sure it hasn’t toppled over in the fridge, because I refuse to clean that mess up. He says, did you trim the tops of the cakes off? I look at him like, well, I’ll skip over that part. “What the hell are you talking about, Ryan? ” is what I say… and he says, “don’t you watch Cake wars, or Ace of cakes?” “yeah in my spare time, that’s what i do…” Hell no, I don’t watch those shows. He says, “they always trim the cakes! Common sense tells you that if you put two rounded cake tops together, it’s going to bow and lean.”  The common sense speech again…I take a pic of the time.  It’s now 1:00 am and I am just now finishing the cake, and now hearing the common sense speech…

And so, as the night has ended, and I have just begun to get comfy in bed, I take my contacts out and lay back and hear the words only a hoarder would say….”That’s my stuff, and I don’t have a problem, I just love collecting…” Yes, what does Ryan do, he turns on the new damn Hoarder show so he can watch before he goes to sleep.

who watches this shit besides Ryan?

 As if I didn’t have enough stress tonight, he wants me to watch the shit that makes me itch like crazy…hang on, I gotta itch…see, can’t even blog about it..moving on..

I got my God box Sunday in Tulsa. We went to Garden Ridge, and I have become obsessed with redoing the study into my mom-cave…so why not have a box that looks like a book, and it be my god box, so it is! Will post pics soon….

And finally, I just want to put this out there…..If you tell someone they look like Bill Cosby, or their outfit looks like Bill Cosby, guess what, it’s not a compliment. And it certainly isn’t when you say it at least 5 more times throughout the day….And its kind of shitty when you don’t apologize and say, “I’m sorry I said your outfit looked liked something Bill Cosby would wear…because you looked great in it…” So, I won’t be wearing that outfit again…I’m just saying….And I think you know who you are…Ahem, Ryan..

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Annie permalink
    October 27, 2010 10:37 AM

    I am laughing so hard. OH HAR!

    I AM SO SORRY! I am a terrible recipe writer (part of the reason I stopped posting recipes!)
    I can promise you that this blog is much more interesting than one in which Martha Stewart whips up a cake in an egg carton wearing a chinchilla blindfold.

    I’m reposting this on my blog as a warning to anyone out there trying to make one of my recipes!



  2. October 27, 2010 4:30 PM

    In all truth you described what baking really feels like.


  3. October 27, 2010 7:49 PM

    Oh, thank you! I HATE BAKING! Something awful always happens, and I get the lecture about the cold bowl and the cold butter and the overdeveloped gluten and the wrong kind of sugar.


  4. October 27, 2010 8:02 PM

    Well, Ann makes it look so easy…I tell you I don’t have the patience for it…I didn’t mind the clean up, but hated the prep work and constantly checking the recipe sheet, which u can tell I didn’t do , since I left out the buttermilk…cake didn’t taste too bad. will post pics tonight of the cut version…will tell u that cake weighed 10 pounds , no lie. it was scary what baked sugar and flour do…made me look at my ass and thighs a little closer today.


  5. heather permalink
    October 30, 2010 2:06 AM

    omg … lmfao… i LOVE it!



  1. A baker, I am not…. (via My Bitchy Blog) « lemon tart diary

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