That’s it. I’m not a baker.
Louise, one of my friends from church, told me on Sunday that if baking the cupcakes was stressing me out and adding too much to my plate right now, I just shouldn’t worry about it. In the back of my head I thought, Did she taste one of my cupcakes? Was it so bad that she’s lovingly trying to discourage me from even bothering?
If you read Our Blessed Easter Weekend, Part 2 (the blunder edition) and then the update in A Video and the Cupcakes, you know that this past Sunday was my fourth attempt at really, realllllllly trying to succeed in making fluffy cupcakes.
At this point, to improve upon the Better Homes and Garden recipe, I’ve added an extra egg, left the eggs and butter out for hours to be most definitely at room temperature, and invested in some cake flour to swap out for one cup of the regular flour. Trying to be scientific about my approach, I’m keeping careful track of all of the changing variables so as to know where to make additions and subtractions.
As I was beating the butter and sugar, I asked Brian to crack four eggs into a bowl for me, making sure that there weren’t any shells. The recipe says to incorporate one egg at a time, so I usually just plop in one yolk and the surrounding white, beat it into the batter a little, then pour in the next one, etc.
Brian returned the bowl to me having effectively whisked the eggs together, scrambling them as if I was making an omelet.
New variable taken into consideration.
Then I noticed, upon rotating the pans halfway through, that the cupcakes towards the outer edges weren’t cooking at the same speed as those in the middle. Granted, this oven is as old as the house (scores and scores old!) and doesn’t even have a window, so it’s no surprise that the thing might finally be putzing out on me.
Additional variable taken into consideration.
And lastly, my timing was sabotaged when Brian cut off my kitchen timer to set his own timer for his pork chops. Even if the cupcakes HAD turned out, I would have had no idea how much time was the perfect amount of time.
So, no, they still weren’t fluffy and I couldn’t feel more obsessed.
Must purchase a new oven.
The problem with needing a new oven isn’t so much the cash that I’ll have to fork out for that one appliance. No, it’s the major project that we’ll need to undergo as I truly – in my heart of hearts – really want a gas range. Presently, we have electric. It will be incredibly ironic if my intentions to save on the church hospitality budget by homemaking cupcakes results in the costly overhaul of my kitchen.
But… that’s probably exactly what’s going to happen.
Well, because it has occurred to me how much I hate not being good at something. Generally, by either A) following directions or B) practicing once or twice, I can master just about anything. Many a client has found out about one or two of my hobbies and exclaimed, “What DON’T you do?!” Cupcakes apparently is the answer to that question.
I can sing, cook, knit & crochet, write, design, make roman shades, photograph, start a fire, birth a baby, make hair bend to my will, teach, craft, coupon like a champ, endure a nine hour tattoo session, blah blah blah… Coming from a girl who made straight A’s in school, I know that theses aren’t even B- quality cupcakes. (And if you’ve ever met a straight A student, if it’s not an A, it might as well be an F! Do you feel me?)
So it’s personal now. My pride is at stake here. And ultimately, I might end up having to swallow it right on down with my dense cupcake.
No, I’m definitely a cook. What I like about cooking (and designing/coloring hair, too), is that it ain’t over until it’s over. If you have a little taste from the stovetop and find that your sauce is lacking, it’s not too late to add a pinch of this, a dash of that and – voila! – perfection. But with baking, once it’s in the oven, you can’t sneak a taste halfway through. Nope. All you can do is shut the oven door and pray it comes out well.
Sorry to bore you with the details of my cupcake mania, but…well… it’s going nowhere until I can bake a fluffy cupcake from scratch.