Burnt bottom, raw middle: song of my baking ineptitude

So, I run a baking club. Many people assume that means I possess a wide swath of culinary skill, churning out tiered cakes and piping that would put the Sistine Chapel to shame.

I’m telling you, it’s a sham.

Not that I don’t try. Only last night I was up until 2am attempting to make a traditional German plum cake. Using yeast dough. My first ever yeast dough. Let me expand on the ways in which it went so very wrong:

I think I overheated the milk. My mom told me not to do this, but I thought it would be fine. The final dough mix was sticky. I called my mom, who by that time was in bed. “My dough is sticky – should it be sticky?”

“No…” was her groggy yet emphatic answer. She then instructed me to add more flour without actually kneading the dough. Ever tried this? Impossible.

I placed bowl on top of slightly warm stove top because it was the only warm place in the house. The dough shot up like a balloon, after which I moved it to a cooler spot, where it sat frozen in its half dome for the remainder of the proving time.

In the end, I didn’t roll it out thin enough. The plums didn’t stay standing up. Too much liquid came out and the bottom burnt while the top stayed decidedly un-golden brown. In my attempt to move it around the oven to even out the bake, I burnt my finger. I wanted to cry. I steeled myself and did not cry.

Welcome to this morning. Most of the cake has decided it will not be removed from the tray, and those bits that have acquiesced have left parts of themselves behind. In short, it a ruinous thing.

To sum up:

  • 4 hours of sleep
  • Burnt finger
  • Rubbish cake
  • Fall fair entry ruined

On a positive note:

  • My sweet chilli jam did turn out, so at last I’ll have SOMETHING to enter.
  • Since it was my first attempt baking with yeast dough, I have something to add to my list of “39 things” (this is the challenge where you do as many new things as your age. It gets harder each year).
  • I have an excuse to make this recipe with my mother the next time we visit. Any excuse to bake or cook with your mom is super.
  • I can now turn my attention to something that I AM actually good at, which is cheering on other people. So my camera and I will be at the Fall Fair on Saturday, looking for bakers’ club names and generally documenting our awesomeness. Chantelle is doing SIX entries! If she doesn’t get a ribbon, I’m going to make one.
  • Finally, I leave for Scotland on Sunday.

If anyone would like a piece of barely edible German plum cake, please let me know. The cost is exactly one hug.

I told you it was terrible.

I told you it was terrible.


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Filed under Sophia's ramblings, Summerland Fall Fair

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