Sunday, August 17, 2008

Following Directions to a t

Honey, I think I screwed up.
Whenever those words are uttered in our house, it is not generally a good thing. This means more work, another trip to the store, or a big check has to be written. Yesterday was one of those days.

I don't cook or bake very often, but every once in a while, I get motivated.  Mr. Monkeygirl and I were going to a Trivia night last night (I'll explain this in another post for those who have no clue what this is) so we were "required" to bring some kind of snack.  Earlier, we had both drooled over Ann's Cherry Mini-Cakes so I figured this was a good excuse to give them a shot.

I have to tell on myself.  I have a long history of baking disasters.  Patience isn't one of my better qualities.  Writing things down is for sissies.  Monkey Mamma probably has hundreds of embarrassing cooking stories to share.  The ones that stick out in my mind are the great Carrot Cake disaster, the 8-week Tuna casserole experiment, and the infamous, New Madrid fault cake.  I should be permanently banned from the kitchen.  To make matters worse, my baby sister is a genius in the kitchen.  So the pressure is on when I declare that I want to make something spectacular.  My family maps out their dining alternatives - just in case.

I copied the recipe word for word onto paper.  (I'm a slob in the kitchen and wouldn't dare take my Mac anywhere near me when I cook.) I prepared a list of ingredients that I didn't have on hand.  I voluntarily went to the grocery store on my day off.  I was ready.  

Everything was going well.  I was following the directions to the letter.  Butter melted - check.  Flour, sugar, almonds, salt - check.  Add the kirsch - check.  I started to get woozy.  In my opinion, kirsch has a horrible smell.  Kind of like turpentine or that Goof Off stuff Mr. Monkeygirl used on the walls last week.  Extra alcohol might not be required tonight.  I checked the directions again. The ingredients called for "4 tsp Kirsch (cherry brandy)".  That is what I added, right?  After all, I used my fancy measuring cup from Crate & Barrel.  See, the measuring cuplet says right there on the side in bright cheery, cherry red "4 tbsp".  Ohhhhhh, cr*p!  I was relying on the general rule of capital 'T' is for Tablespoon and lower case 't' is for teaspoon.  Curses, foiled by my fancy measuring cuplet!

Mr. Monkeygirl was consulted.  While we generally have a rule of thumb that more alcohol is a good thing, even we have our limits.  Since this was one of the very last steps, there was no salvaging the batter.  Being the big sweetheart that he is, Mr. M volunteered to run back to the store to purchase more almonds for me so I could start all over again.

Not wanting to waste the first batch of batter, I finished up the batch and poured it into a cake pan, cherries and all, and cooked it up.  It looked good.  Just before we left the house, I dropped the Kirsch Cake into a container.  Mr. Monkeygirl took a small piece that fell off and popped it into his mouth.  Waiting for his reaction, I watch his face go from pleasure to pain in about 1.2 seconds.  He starts coughing and sputtering. You know the kind of reaction you get from drinking a big 'ole shot of pure grain alcohol! I guess you can put in too much alcohol.

There is a happy ending to this story.  The second batch of mini-cakes turned out great.  They were awesome and every one raved about them all night long. If you ever have a chance, you need to make them, just follow the directions to the 't' -easpoon!

1 comment:

NV said...

OMG! I'm choking on my breakfast. I'm sure Ann will be thrilled by your efforts.

and you don't give yourself any credit for those demonishly good devil's food cupcakes? Um, rethink that 'cause I love 'em!