Monday, December 27, 2010

Son of a Beep!

I think I should know two things by now in my baking career.
1. My bundt pan skills are subpar, amateurish, well, just plain stupid.
2. Don't rush a cake.

I spent most of one night about two weeks ago looking through cookbooks trying to chose a baked good for my holiday work party. I settled on a coffee, milk chocolate chip bundt cake from Lisa Yockelson's Baking By Flavor. Her stuff is pretty rich and often unnecessarily complicated, but I thought I'd give it a try. I am trying to follow my new rule of "if you want cake, bake cake, eat cake, don't worry about fat content". I got up pretty early the morn of the party to bake said cake. I wanted to go to a spinning class at my new (not entirely loved) exercise club. And I wanted to get some work done pre-party.

So I baked this cake. It smelled fantabulous. Looked fine coming out of the oven. But I decided to get it out of the pan before I left for the stupid spin class.

Ok now you should turn your head away, this is going to get ugly.

The sucker came out fast and fine, but when I pulled the bundt pan away, huge craters of bakedness were clinging to the pan and not the cake. I had to get to the spin class, so I did emergency pasting surgery and ran out the door (can ya tell?).

And guess what, when I got to the gym, the fancy Thurs. morning ladies had taken every bleepin' last bike. God damn!! Some crazy looking dude came and pushed his way ahead of me into the instructor's bike: I left pretty hot and bothered. That morning did not work out in anyway whatsoever.
I tried to pretty her up with a sugar powdering, so sad. But hey, it tasted as good as it smelled.

Respect the cake! Respect the Bundt pan!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Nut Muffins

I like to make muffins, because, well, I like cake.

And what else is a muffin but a round little, hand holdable cake. For years I used Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe for all my muffin recipes. She offers multiple versions: fruit and grain and chocolate and ricotta. And she adds all kinds of protein and nutrient boosters. This makes me feel better about making myself 12-14 small cakes (the husband usually only eats 1-2 muffins and is through with them). The only issue with Sunlight's muffins is that they tend to be a bit heavy and short as all whole grain baked goods are want to do.

Anyway, as I peruse my cooking magazines (I get about 3 a month and I read them cover to cover immediately, sometimes on the way from the mailbox to my house), I will always stop to consider a muffin recipe.

This week, with three bananas ripening towards liquification, I searched out a muffin recipe for these tropical babies. I remembered a quick bread section in an old Eating Well issue.

The results were just fine. I would say on the rather bland side. They needed a tad more salt and maybe more sugar?? The other problem is that healthful muffins usually call for considerable amount of leavening to get those whole flours off the ground. And alas, they taste like it, a bit chemically. I wonder why I don't just make a full on fat and sugar muffin. I mean I'm looking to eat cake right? Why the hell not bake cake and eat cake, rather than live with some ersatz cakesque health bun? Oh postmodern life, how you taunt me.