Balls Make it Better

Typically I'm a good cook. A really good cook. (I mean, just look at my thighs. That'll convince you.)

But I have this thing about trying new recipes, especially when I'm baking. I'm always on the lookout for the next amazing dessert. I should have learned my lesson by now because as y'all know if you've been reading for a while, I tend to end up with "amazing" desserts that either come out completely wrong or  look amazingly like fecal matter. Do I have a good, foolproof chocolate cake recipe, for example? ... Yes. Yes I do. But yesterday I just had to try a new one. It sounded really good.

Except I halved the recipe.

Lesson one: never eff with the proportions of a new recipe.

And it called for coffee. Except I didn't have any coffee because, ew, coffee. So I just substituted a little bit of water and some extra cocoa powder.

Lesson two: never eff with the ingredients of a new recipe.

When I sampled the batter (like eight hundred times just to be extra-sure), it tasted delicious. Rich and chocolate-y. Just the right consistency. Or so I thought. Happily, I put them into the oven, fantasizing about the scrumptious treats I would be enjoying later.

Then I began the task of making the frosting. I love frosting, and I can't resist a good buttercream. But did I use my normal, delicious buttercream recipe that I've made a hundred times and typically don't mess up? ... No. No I did not. I felt compelled to try a new recipe. A fancy-sounding recipe. Not just any old buttercream, but Swiss meringue buttercream.

Now, I can make meringue. You just whip up a bunch of egg whites and sugar. It's not hard, I've done it before with no problems. But the thing is: meringues can be temperamental. If the bowl you're using has even the teeniest trace of greasy residue in it, or you get the tiniest bit of yolk in with your whites, you're stuck with a runny meringue that won't form those pretty peaks like it's supposed to. And I guess something like that happened yesterday, because although I beat those stupid egg whites like nobody's bidness, they never did thicken up. I wasn't sure what to do, so I put the butter in anyway and tried to complete the frosting, but it was just a big runny mess.

Oh well, I thought. I can just dip my delicious cupcakes into it instead of trying to spread it on. No big deal, right? 

But speaking of my "delicious cupcakes," I started to smell something burning halfway through the baking time. And when I peered into the oven, I saw that the cupcakes had, like, boiled over. I must have filled the cups too full. They got really big and puffed out over the edges of their cupcake papers. And then flattened to the pan and burned. At the same time, the centers were still all jiggly and undercooked.

So I left them in for a few more minutes, meanwhile rushing to open all the doors and windows and turn on the exhaust fan so the burning wouldn't set off the smoke alarm.

After a bit, I took them out. Now the centers were done, but the edges were literally cemented to the pan. I couldn't chisel that crap off. But as any chocolate lover knows, it's a sin to waste even one nibble of edible cake. So I dug out the centers and put them into a bowl.

Then I turned to my ruined frosting. What if I mixed it with the cake? In my mind were Bakerella's cake balls, which pretty much made her famous. Essentially, it's crumbled cake mixed with frosting, formed into balls, and dipped into chocolate. Except I didn't have any chocolate to dip them in. So I ended up with this:

A weird, kinda stiff, crazy conglomeration of ... dessert-ish-ness. Cakey pudding (I was a little heavy-handed with the frosting apparently.)

Nevertheless, I chilled it and rolled it into a few greasy little balls and was all, "Look, kids! Cake balls!"

And they were thrilled. Like ... awed, even. In fact, the first thing Colin said to me after rolling out of bed (at the crack of dawn) this morning was, "Can we have cake balls for breakfast?" And then later, while we were getting ready for school, he was like, "I'm going to tell all the kids in my class about your cake balls, so their moms can make them too!"

Awwww. Kids and their adorable tendency to rave about anything containing sugar no matter how messed-up it is.

So I guess it wasn't a complete failure. Although I did have to throw my pan away. I wasn't about to spend the entire afternoon chiseling petrified cupcake. I mean, did you see yesterday's post? I have better stuff to do.


  1. Chocolate can NEVER be a mistake, no matter how it looks! LOL

  2. Ummmm, that just sucks! Sorry for the fail, that had a moment of non fail when the kids liked it. Lesson learned, just don't mess with what you already know. hahaha I'm always nervous to try a new recipe, and I mostly don't ever do desserts.

  3. Should have made one of your amazing apple pies instead! ;o)


Post a Comment

Commenting makes you big and strong! Okay, maybe just strong. Okay, so it's only your fingers. But still ...

Popular Posts