Monday, July 23, 2007

Cooking in the Fog

Sometimes I just know I shouldn't be in the kitchen. I can't seem to focus and can reread the same sentence 3 times without comprehending what it means. It's like a fog has settled over my brain and I just can't seem to process anything. These are the times when I need a lighthouse to warn me of the shoals ahead. To flash a beacon warning me away from certain disaster that looms in the mist.

Recently I came upon a delightful little lemon cake on Alpineberry. I was smitten by its charms and filed it in my mental "make soon" file. My opportunity arose when my husband arrived home with a bag of lemons and a friend was going though sugar withdrawal. What better way to fill that need than with this sweet cake?

Or it would have been, if not for the fog. I looked at the recipe. And moved over to the counter to pull out a bowl. Then went back to recheck the recipe. And went back to the counter. Then back to the recipe. I finally gave myself a mental shake and tried to focus on the task at hand. I measured, sifted, and blended. Oops, it called for cupcake papers. Did I have enough? Yes! Just barely.

I carefully scooped the delicate chiffon batter into the papers and then wiped an errant blob off so it wouldn't burn onto the pan. Of course I couldn't resist popping it back into my mouth.

Euwwww! Why was it so sour? Had I really forgotten the sugar? Yes, I had. And adding it at this point was going to spell disaster for the dainty beaten egg whites. But I had no choice.

As I scraped out the cupcake liners I realized that there was no hope of reusing them. They made a sodden, nasty heap as I worked. Since granulated sugar would be too difficult to incorporate at this point, I used confectioner's sugar, blending as gently as possible. And since I had no more cupcake papers, I used two mini loaf pans and guessed on the baking time. Sigh.

It turned out pretty well, all things considered. And the friend to whom I gave one of the loaves did not complain, so maybe she was sufficiently sugar-deprived that she didn't notice all that was wrong with it.


Anonymous said...

Those are beautiful cakes!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Lynn, that cake has been on my mind as well, and now that I've read your post and seen your photos... I can't resist! I know I'll be making it soon.

Who wouldn't love receiving something this beautiful?

Anonymous said...

That is so funny! Imagine if you hadn't tasted it...I wonder if your friend would have said anything?
Do you know I get these 'fogs' too. Kind of like a impending baking doom fog. The kitchen gremlins are in and somethings going to burn or explode!
I read this recipe on Alpineberry (I was blurking her blog from yours.)too. I thought it looked delicious.
Yours looks pretty darn good girlie!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I can't understand how it happens but it does. It does look like you made a great recovery from near disaster. I'd say well done.

Anonymous said...

Despite the near disasters, they look like they turned out pretty darn well :)

(And at least you just forgot the sugar...instead of doing something worse, like accidently using salt!)

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Dianne - Thanks. You're such a sweetie.

Patricia - I hope yours turns out much better than mine!

Melinda - I don't know if she would have said anything, but I'm pretty sure she never would have asked me to make her anything again!

My Kitchen in Half Cups - Thank you for the kind words.

Ellie - Oh, yes, salt would have been impossible to recover from. Much worse.

eatme_delicious said...

Aw that sounds like a frustrating baking experience! I would've been happy that it just turned out edible (and that I realized you hadn't put the sugar in!) It sounds like it would be really delicious. Looks pretty too. I love the way you wrapped it up with that ribbon.

Anonymous said...

Lovely! It looks really soft. Can I have a piece, please...? And I too love the ribbon you used to wrap it up; adds a beautiful yet subtle touch. :)

Unknown said...

That looks like the most delicious lemon cake I've ever seen.