Thursday, August 20, 2009

Well, I guess I can mark "pastry chef" off my list of things I can be when I grow up...

I love to cook. Really, I do. I'm just not very good at it.

Don't get me wrong, I can cook SOME things, but just average, boring things. And let's not even talk about my great job at toasting buns. But, in effort to make myself proud of, well, myself, I do try to make things. I like to try to make desserts. I'm not sure why, I just do. I like to pretend I'm on Martha Stewart's show & she's all impressed with me.

Thankfully, I have a vivid imagination.

My dear wife, Liz, has a blog where she shares her domestic life. Recently, she posted something called cake balls. I thought they were adorable & from that, I decided that is what I would make & take to Adam's back to work picnic.

OK, let me be honest here, I was beyond angry at Adam for telling people we'd bring soda & dessert. First of all, I hate to be the soda person. I never know what to get, how much to get, anything. And I'm not that great of a pastry chef, so dessert wasn't exactly something I wanted to make to take to people I hardly know as a way to impress them. Of course, I wouldn't just go buy something. That's worse than making something that is a failure. So I decided to make two lovely things. The first were the cupcake pops & the second was these things called cigarettes russes that I found in my Martha Stewart cookbook. Mind you, I didn't find the reviews talking about how impossible these were until after I started working on them.

God, how I wished I'd looked it up before using a dozen eggs for a recipe, but we'll get to that soon enough.

Decided in advance that I would my my cake a couple nights before, since I had to chill things for hours on end & such. I wanted to do this at my leisure, not get all stressed out because of them. So, on Wednesday night, I made my cake...

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I plopped my devils food cake out & cut off the edges, I'm guessing I do that so the hard edges don't make your pops, well, hard inside. I don't know really, I just follow the instructions. And when I say "follow" I mean I try to read them a few times & leave my laptop in the living room while cooking in the kitchen.

Anyway, next you're suppose to use a food processor to crumble your cake. I have a food processor...

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But it's way up high. I found the method of "squishing with a fork" worked just as well...

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Of course, left over is a nice mess for me to clean up in the wee hours of the morning because I decided to do this all at like 2am...

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After I crumble my cake up with my fork processor, I then add frosting...

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I went with butter cream because I think it's great. Know how I said cheese was made by baby Jesus? I'm pretty sure butter cream frosting is also made by little baby Jesus. So I dumped in my 12oz container & mixed it into my fancy old lady bowl containing my cake...

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Then, because I'm suppose to add 2 cups, I open up a 2nd container & dump some more frosting in...

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Have I mentioned I love me some frosting?

Well, I do.

I then get to this little mixture, which is kinda gross looking to be perfectly honest...

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I was having a hard time believing this was going to turn out very well looking at that. I kinda sorta felt like I was playing in a little box. Thankfully, Adam came along to help me clean up my cake mess...

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I guess he likes cake & frosting, too.

And while he eats, I make balls. Lots & lots of balls...

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At this point I'm happy my parents buy food in bulk so I have a box big enough to place my cake balls in...

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Of course now that I've used that box, I have no where to put my 24 boxes of animal crackers they insist on buying my son, that he doesn't like to eat. Great. After I finally get all my balls done, I go to scrub up & attempt to get the cake & frosting off of me...

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I'm not big on touching things. Another reason I'd make a bad pastry chef. But finally, at...

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That above time, I had cake balls...

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Lots of them. I didn't keep track, somewhere around 60 I'd guess.

Next I needed sticks for these things. I tried to find sticks, but I wasn't dedicated as i should have been so I decided to just get kabob sticks & cut them to size...

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Of course, the real problem with this is that I guess I never realized how strong kabob sticks were, because all I managed to do was break my really nice kitchen scissors....

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I'm very sad over this, just because I really liked those things. And I won't buy another pair until I buy new knives in like 12 years. Great.

Adam comes in & out, rambling from time to time, I'm not sure what about...

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But I wasn't exactly listening to what he was saying. But finally, I was done with my 60 some sticks & quit for the night. Hooray!

Then today came. Thursday. I decided to work on my stuff this evening as the baby napped. First, I got out my handy dandy cookbook...

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I was really looking forward to making those things because, well, they looked tasty. I had my batter made up from the night before, like it suggested...

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Again, in my old lady bowls. I prepared my pans....

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And attempted to do as Martha told me, to make these dandy little wafer cookies...

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I was still hopeful at this point. Looking back, I'm not sure why. But as those cookie things cooked for the few minutes as required, I got my balls out & put sticks in them...

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Aren't you impressed by my non-uniform sticks?

I also got my candy melts out & my magic shell...

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Yeah, alright, you aren't suppose to use magic shell. But dammit, it seemed like a good idea, way better than melting down chocolate. I want to cook things well, I don't want to be all crazy serious about these things.

At that point, the timer sounded & my wafers were suppose to be done...

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Bad. Just bad. Very bad. I lost hope then, but gave it another shot. This time, thinner as Adam was telling me to do because he'd watched Top Chef the night before & after he does that, he thinks he's some sort of chef mastermind.

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How did that work out?

So badly I forgot to take a picture. Seriously. It was bad. Shameful actually. I quickly gave that up, but since I had all this batter ready I decided, what the hell, I'll try to do SOMETHING special with it, so I did this...

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I had plans for that thing. You'll see in the end.

So since I'd moved pass that dreadful experience of cigarette russes (and seriously, should I be taking something with the word "cigarette" in it to a back to school picnic?), I threw all of my energy & hopes into my cake balls.

I'm a huge fan of I Love Lucy & I kinda felt like I was in that episode where Lucy & Ethel worked in the candy factory...

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Dipping, sitting, dipping, sitting...on & on & on...

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Dipping in candy melts, which was good but kinda hard to work with in my opinion. But, again, I'm not pastry chef. I'm using magic shell, for the love of god. But they turned out kinda cute I thought...

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I figured since I had nuts for those other cookies, I'd put them to good use. Hope that was a good idea, guess I'll find out tomorrow, huh?

Anyway, I went along my happy pastry chef way, making tons of these things, wondering why on earth I didn't just buy a cheesecake at Sam's Club & call it done...

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But slowly & surely, things got done. And eventually, I was done...

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Want to see up closer? Of course you do!11!!!1

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Of course this is what was left of my lovely kitchen...

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And here is the trash pile, along with my "wafers" I attempted to make...

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I really want to pretend I didn't even attempt to make those things.

And while I was slaving in the kitchen, my son was playing in the clean clothes in the laundry room...

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Because there wasn't 3485734589347 things Adam could be doing productive. No, never!

And finally tonight, I tried my magical cake balls...

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Nom nom nom...

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They were very tasty. Very. Totally worth the headache...now that the headache was over at least.

And want to know whatever happened to that wafer batter cake thing? Well, what else could I do?

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I think I have a new banner for my blog now.

But at least my cupcake lollipop ball things are good. And I've got soda to take, too. I guess I'm set. As long as my things above don't melt in the heat. Not sure how great they are as picnic food.

I should really think these things out before I do them. I'll try that one of these days.

EDIT! That wasn't the fail of the night it turns out. I just opened my fridge to see the turkey breast that was never put in the freezer like I asked has now THAWED and dripped all it's bacteria onto all my cake balls. Fabulous. Just fabulous. So no cake balls tomorrow. I'm crushed. Why do I try?

4 comments:

  1. they looked so good. i would love to try theme 4 tyler b-day party.

    ReplyDelete
  2. oreos half dipped in chocolate with sprinkles. Easy. Takes an hour and a half or so. Lay them in regular sized cup cake cups. I'm really sorry, those things take forever.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That would take going out to shop for stuff, & then actually having time to make them. I can't make anything with Jules running around tomorrow & we have to leave pretty much as soon as Adam gets home tomorrow. So about all I have time for now is a lame ass cake from Wal Mart or something. Hooray. :(

    ReplyDelete
  4. BUMMER!! That really stinks but they did look AMAZING!! I'm very impressed with how amazingly cute they turned out being.

    ReplyDelete

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