I don’t bake very often, which is something I actually find a bit odd because when I think about all the smells that I like, most of them involve baked goods (bread, roasts, anything with pastry, etc). Despite it being a hot summery day today, I decided to bake a cake. It’s kind of an early birthday cake for my sister.
The thing that I always hear about baking is that it’s really important to get the measurements right. When I hear things like that, it makes me think that, as long as you have a clear recipe, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have much experience with baking …so long as you follow the recipe. Simple, right? Having done a fair bit of compounding in my years in pharmacy, I’m pretty confident I can follow a recipe.
You can probably already see where this is heading: the recipe was not followed very strictly. Well, the end result was still fine. I had basically just searched online for an easy-ish recipe that I’d already have all the ingredients for (no way I’m walking down to the grocery store in this blazing heat just to buy a pack of hazelnuts or something!) To paraphrase the recipe, all I had to do was measure out the ingredients, melt the butter and chocolate together, and then mix everything together and bake.
For this cake, I needed 150g of butter. I didn’t think this would equate to a lot of butter (NB: estimating things like weight, distance, volume, etc is not my forte) but as I started to measure it out, it started to look like a lot, so I skimped on the butter a bit… Next was the dark chocolate. Yeah, no problem, I thought, there’s always plenty of chocolate in this house. But, yeah… might have been a little bit short on that too (most of the chocolate we have has nuts and fruit and whatnot…). Not to worry – the chocolate I did use was pretty good quality stuff, so I reckon that more than makes up for the slight shortcoming.
Long story short (not that it took very long at all), I basically compensated for less butter and chocolate (although I assume I sort of saved some by just melting it in a small bowl in the microwave instead of using a saucepan like the recipe said) with more Frangelico (which I used to help rinse the chocolate out of the bowl I’d melted it in), and then compensated for the extra Frangelico with more almond meal (which I wanted to use more of anyway because it was kind of expiring). Anyway, point is, it’s fine. Well, my sister hasn’t tried it yet, which I suppose will be the real test, but mum and I tried some that stuck to the cake tin, and it got her approval.
Strange thing that I’ve noticed is that although I don’t drink very often, and don’t drink much when I do, there’s something about cooking with alcohol that really seems appealing to me, particularly for desserts or anything sweet. I am not sure why.
Onto something different, but still related: When I went for a run this evening, I was thinking about baking, and thinking about how the word “baked” doesn’t sound quite right, even though it is correct. “I baked a cake.” Why doesn’t it convert into past tense in the same way that “make” does? “I bade a cake.” Don’t think it’ll catch on. Then I thought, what about “wake”… “I boke a cake.” It just sounds wrong. The English language is so weird. I reckon “baked” doesn’t sound right because “maked” and “waked” don’t sound right – but that’s because they aren’t right. Perhaps, however, it’s just because I don’t bake much, so I don’t use the word as much as I might. Well, I guess I know how to fix that.