Saturday, April 28, 2012

Not So Relaxing

Today I had expected to have a lovely, leisurely day in the kitchen, but unfortunately it did not quite work out that way.  I made cinnamon raisin bagel dough (bagels to be baked tomorrow) and strawberry chocolate cupcakes, but nothing quite turned out the way I wanted them to.  I still do not handle mistakes well, but I'm trying to deal with failure a bit better than I used to!

I asked Mom what kind of food I should make her while she went to visit my grandfather.  She said cinnamon raisin bread. Since I have made cinnamon raisin bread twice - and it's tricky - I decided to try a different form of cinnamon and raisins.  I noticed that my favorite blog had a recipe for them, but in the spirit of branching out  and trying new things today, I checked out another of my frequeently-visited blogs and found a different, quicker, easier recipe.  I went for that. Once the dough was made and resting in the refrigerator, I started to doubt my decision.  I have now made bagels 3 times, and they always require a lot of time to rise.  In fact, every yeast bread I have ever made needs time to rise, because that is the whole point of yeast.  And yet, this recipe calls for no rise time.  It calls for the dough to be made, formed into rolls, rolled into ropes, pressed into bagel shapes, and off they go into the fridge overnight.  Since the dough has to be warm to rise, the refrigerator time does not count as rising time.  And I like the other way to form bagels: make a roll, then press your thumbs through the middle and slowly widen the hole.  Making ropes and then cinching the end seems... not so bagel-like. So, I used the old way.  Still no time to rise though.  I guess we will see how it all goes tomorrow after I bake them, but I have my doubts. Unfortunately, this all went through my mind when it was too late.   I wish I had looked into the recipe a bit closer before I started! Next time, I stick to Annie's Eats.

As if I needed more stress, then I had a little cupcake catastrophe.  I wanted to surprise Mom with strawberry chocolate cupcakes; she had been craving a chocoalte cupcake with strawberry frosting and we had just talked about it earlier.  I found a recipe, made the cupcakes, put them in the oven, and then made the frosting.  While I was pureeing strawberries (yes, it was that involvled), I peeked into the oven... and gasped.  My cupcakes looked like tar.... bubbly and black and spreading out across the pan... and also very sunken.  And they stayed like that.  Sunken and horrible.  Kenzie tried it and said they tasted fine, but my strawberry puree buttercream frosting was just way too good to put on these crappy things.  So, I made the hard decision to throw out all 20 failures.  Normally I'd probably say that maybe the kitchen and I were not mixing well today and I could call it a day... but I had made the frosting.  I had to try again with the cupcakes.  So I did, and thank god they rose normally and turned out just fine.  Gram and Nick both loved them, even if Mom claimed that the frosting was "salty."  At this point, I was so sick of those damn cupcakes that the slightet criticism would ruin my day, so you can imagine that I took it really well.

So, what went wrong?  The only thing I can think of is that I used water from my Keurig during cupcake round 1.  The recipe called for boiling water... perhaps the water isn't hot enough?  I suppose they ask for boiling water for a reason... who knew it actually had to be actively boiling?  I don't know.  Rough resolution day, though. At least Neely Mouse lucked out and got to eat one of the weird, hardened cupcake tops from round 1!

Happy mouse!

cinnamon raisin bagels
strawberry chocolate cupcakes

1 comment:

  1. Cupcake catastrophe! Ha! Should be the name of one of your cookbooks!