I once thought I was a daring baker, but it turns out I was a fraud. You might remember me from such challenges as Strawberry Cinnamon Almond Cake with Pumpkin Seed Swiss Buttercream , Mango Cardamom Opera Cakes , Cheesecake Pops with Pretzel Sticks, Caramel Cupcakes with Bacon, or not. All in all, I finished and posted 8 challenges.
But, I think I was in denial about something. I thought I had made those desserts—it turns out I had only ½ of each. You see, my husband, J--, had not only helped with each of those challenges, but he had actually been the voice of reason. If I said, so what if it says the butter should be melted and it is actually ice-cold; he would say this butter temperature thing is important. Where I would say, so what if it says sift the flour lets dump it in; he would say sifting really will change the texture of the cake. Where I would wing it; he would act with reason.
Last December I had to drop out of Daring Bakers due to a difficult pregnancy. But, then in July, even knowing that life would be crazy with a new baby, I reenlisted. I wanted to go back to my old life and I loved DB. My husband is working extra hours on projects; hoping to tighten the budget (i.e. less money for sugar and flour); and hoping to drop a few pounds. The agreement was this—I make the challenges while he is at work, clean up without him and then give away the results.
I was feeling very with it when I started this challenge. I had a clear plan—cut the recipes in ½ (and 1/8 for the caramel layer.) Make the frosting on the first day, cake on the second and caramel and assembly on the third. I planned all the steps so that I would only need to work 20 minutes at a stretch but only 1 hour at most on any one day. They baby (2 weeks old at the time) sleeps about 1.5 hr at a stretch, so there was time for the clean up. It was all very clear and easy—in theory. Then I set to it. As I was perched on a stepstool to reach my too-big, makeshift bain marie feeling the burn of whipping the eggs, all of a sudden I realized for my last Swiss buttercream when I got exhausted with the whipping, J—had stepped up and finished the frosting.
So thanks J—for being the secret to my Daring Baker success and here’s to a new life as a solo daring baker.
And for those tricky bots: The August 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers' cookbook Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague. For the recipe go to the DB site. (For my cake, I made 1/4 of the cake recipe straight. Then 1/4 of the recipe but with cocoa powder for 1/3 of the flour. The chocolate cake was topped with white chocolate buttercream.)