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16 February 2007 @ 06:05 pm
huminah what now?  
I’m a decent cook. Not brilliant, but pretty darned good. I am not, however, a very good baker. Bread eludes me. This makes me sad in all senses of the word. Anything schmancy is beyond my meagre confidence and skills. Still, I can do simple cakes and cookies and drop (not rolled) biscuits. Surely making carrot cupcakes falls well within my abilities.

Or not. I grated and measured and mixed and scooped and popped the trays into the oven. Halfway through the alloted baking time, I smelled something burning. A quick peek into the oven revealed a dismal scene: twenty two separate rounds of not-cake, sunken in the center where they ought to be rising to a glorious, gentle peak and blackened about the rims where there should be a nimbus of warm, golden brown. I pulled the tins from the oven and set them on top of the stove. I stared, willing my twisted creation to correct itself, to shake away the inedible Bad and let the delectable Good burst forth.

When that failed (a rude surprise, that) I chucked the lot and began anew. I used a slightly different recipe -one that, incidentally, involved a lower cooking temperature - and opened brand new containers of baking soda and baking powder (the old ones had been sitting about for a while). I thought happy thoughts. I sifted with love. I stirred with sanguineness. I gave a cheery smile and wave as I slid the trays into the oven.

And I waited.

And lo, my labors have been rewarded! There are two dozen cupcakes now cooling upon my countertop. They are fragrant and golden and decidedly NOT raw and unhappy, thank the culinary gods.

I feel: relievedrelieved
the_wild_bunny on February 16th, 2007 11:11 pm (UTC)
I am just the exact opposite! I can usually bake whatever, but plop me in front of a stove and tell me to cook and everything goes kaboom.
Fjordhopper: Choplickerfjordhopper on February 16th, 2007 11:16 pm (UTC)
Carrot cupcakes just sound absolutely scrumptious!

Actually I think I heard a cooking show recently that talked about cupcakes and that they are actually harder to bake than cakes, basically due to the smaller size. Hurray for happy golden cupcakes!
Angelosomnamscream on February 17th, 2007 03:06 am (UTC)
Kelly m'dear I love your anecdotes to the 200th power and beyond.
Ratesjul: Magic Peter Panratesjul on February 17th, 2007 03:46 am (UTC)
I'd like to square that!
Blaidd Drwgfairyrune on February 17th, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
Actually, it might not be you. It might be your oven. If it doesn't maintain a consistent correct temperature, baked goods won't come out right most of the time. Also, if there's grime on the walls of the oven, the heat won't be able to bounce around properly and hit your food evenly.

My advice? Invest in an oven thermometer, and start watching "Good Eats" on FoodTV, because that's where I got all this from. :)
Kel: Nine smilingladyjoust on February 17th, 2007 05:18 pm (UTC)
I wondered if it might be the oven, but I tend to doubt myself first and foremost.

And I have a ridiculously huge crush on Alton Brown. Did you watch 'Feasting on Asphalt?'
Blaidd Drwgfairyrune on February 17th, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
I have a crush on AB too!

I *tried* to watch Feasting on Asphalt, but I always forgot when it was on. :( I try to catch re-runs occasionally.
Ilena Ayalanetsearcher on February 17th, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
Do you have an oven that's controled with an electronic touch panel, or a knob?

If it's a knob control, you can check and adjust the setting as described here:

Rennierengirlie87 on February 18th, 2007 12:45 am (UTC)
slightly crispy
I did that with cookies I made with the girls I babysit with. I guess there oven was messed up anyway and they didn't know to tell me, but the mom came home and the whole house smelled smokey...I lamely mumbled "I am usually a really good baker...really"
not sure she was convinced..