Tuesday, May 05, 2009

3 successes, one EPIC FAIL

Today was my work softball team's bake sale. I decided to go all out and bake a whole crapton of stuff, because I really wanted to help but also because I like an excuse to bake stuff that I won't end up eating. After I decided what to bake and took stock of our supplies, I sent Dan to the store with a list and got started on my first project, dark chocolate cupcakes.

When I had finished mixing the cupcake batter I realized I had enough batter for twice as many cupcakes as I had planned, and only one muffin tin, so I decided to bake the rest of the batter in a regular round cake pan. This was perhaps not the best plan, especially since I'd already put the cupcakes in the oven, but I didn't want the batter to go to waste (and figured I could come up with some way to dress up a single layer chocolate cake to make it desirable for bake sale patrons).

I also made rice krispie treats (had to look up how to make them, since it had been so long!) and found a great recipe for lemon bars on Smitten Kitchen. I hand juiced and zested the lemons, and I think that made a big difference in how they turned out.

The cupcakes came out just fine (and I made some tasty buttercream frosting to go on top), and the lemon bars and rice krispie treats turned out great as well. The cake, not so much. First, I must have way overfilled the pan, because it overflowed. Second, it took a lot longer to bake than I expected. Third, I think it must have been a little underbaked or maybe all the oven opening got to it, because when I tried to get it out of the pan a huge chunk stuck to the bottom. I thought maybe I could fix it with a crumb coat and then frost with the rest of the vanilla buttercream, and had reserved a little bit to turn a different color (to make stitching and write our team name on it, making the cake look like a softball) but I ended up needing all of it just to get the top of the cake to stick together. And it looked like absolute shite. I was out of butter so couldn't make more frosting. And it was late and I was burnt out. Plus, we were out of red food coloring. Ultimately I made the call to just skip the cake and bring the other stuff.

The goodies I baked ended up being a big hit today, and we made $160 toward our league fees. Hooray! (And at home there is a supremely ugly but probably very tasty dark chocolate cake. At least it's a small one this time.)

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