Disclaimer: No one was harmed in the making of these baked "goods", but our egos were slightly damaged.
Several weeks back I was in Barnes & Noble collecting as many books as I could carry and I picked up this little book of cupcake recipes - a purely impulsive purchase.
Anyway, when I got home, as I flipped through all (okay there were only 26) the recipes, I had fantasies of becoming the cupcake lady, baking delicious, decorative treats for everyone I know, going into business and acquiring fame and fortune, all because of a bargain book I grabbed on a whim. Famous and important people would be BBMing me their orders and twittering about my amazing cupcakes......
...sorry, I'm back.
Reality: Today I had the idea I would bake some cupcakes (maybe 12 to start) and take them with me tonight when I headed out. I grabbed my book and passed my dad's study on the way downstairs, "I'm going to make cupcakes."
"Do you want some help?"
"Yeah, could you come show me how to turn on the oven?" (I'm serious about this part, we had a conversation yesterday about the fact that I didn't know how to operate the folks' new fancy stove, which we have had longer than the 10 months I have been back living with them.)
"No, but I'll show you how."
As the oven preheats, we're taking turns with the electric mixer trying to get the god damn eggs and sugar to become fluffy. We already quarreled about the size of the eggs, the recipe called for large and we had jumbo. Dad (chemist that he is) said the egg to sugar ratio was too high. I said it was fine and continued mixing.
Cut to 45 minutes later, we're still cleaning up glass shards and jam residue from the floor. Dad had one of those dropsy days... when no amount of moisturizer can cure the dry, slippery finger tips. After sweeping, vacuuming, 409ing and swiffer wet mopping, we get back to the business of these damn cupcakes, which we have, by now, lost all motivation in baking.
After combing all the ingredients and looking at all the muffin tins we have to fill with this piddly amount of batter, we go ahead and continue following the directions, suspending disbelief for the time being. "They'll fluff up in the oven"...
Rationing batter is hard enough as it is, but doing so when you have to save half to fill on top of a dollop of jam is just ridiculous. We split the batter in two and got to filling. I'm at 18 and out of batter, yet each cup that has batter doesn't even have enough to cover the bottom of the freaking cup. Just follow the f*cking directions. Dollop of jam, done... top half of batter, also done. We even had enough to make 4 more whole "cupcakes" bringing the grand total to 22, two shy of the recipe's indication.
Popped those suckers in the oven for 15 minutes and hoped for the best.
I took this opportunity to satisfy Zoe's incessant need to go outside and sit motionless in the yard. I wrestled her into her walking jacket and we headed out on the leash (more about this genius idea another time). We make the rounds, she eats some grass and then sits under a tree for 5 minutes. I finally started walking up to her to bring her in and spotted half of a robin's egg nearby. I picked it up (yes, birds are disgusting and I washed my hands thoroughly afterward) and was going to carry it inside to show Dad (what else was I going to do, leave it there and mention it to no one?) I was so excited that I stepped on Zoe's leash as I went down to pick her up and it jerked my arms as I came back up.... *crunch* Stupid egg - it was so fragile! I brought the cat back in and threw the remnants of the egg on the outdoor table.
Time to check the cupcakes!
Well.. they're certainly small. But good things come in small packages, right? I was too excited to try one to wait for them to cool... or to bother dusting with powdered sugar. I managed to get it out of the paper in almost one piece, but the jam was adhered to the bottom, which was, uh, chewy. Not a word I want to describe a cupcake I'm about to consume. It was terrible. The jam had dried up and the cake portion was so dry I nearly choked. Dad said it was like corn bread, with a little jam on top (that is after you scraped it off the paper, if you even bothered). It was so little, I couldn't even call it a muffin... it was more of a dry, puffy cookie in a big paper bowl. I should have been suspicious when the book was marked down to $6.
So needless to say, I'm not bringing delightful cupcakes to anyone tonight.