The fruit cakes were turning out perfect, lemon and vodka soft and fluffy, orange and rum inviting…..in short, life was good. Well, I will not talk about work here. So, there I stood staring out of my kitchen window, a dreamy smile on my face, anticipating another batch of picture perfect beauties. And then, the inevitable thud that follows a dream run
None of the rescue tricks that I knew of worked. “You have hits, then you have flops, all part of life,” I tried to console the baker in me. And I threatened the chocolate and red wine that was finding its way into the oven, “don’t you dare fall on me.” 45 minutes later, it came out, with its skin as soft as a baby’s bottom and as taut as Madonna’s midriff. The preening smile was back on my face.
Cakes are like children. They pretend to be meek, obeying you to the letter. The moment you turn your back on them, they go about their own sweet way, doing exactly what they wanted to in the first place. The day was not mine, obviously. On second thoughts, I should have known better. What else could one expect, feeding people with wine and vodka? This one had gone totally tipsy. Wrinkled and crinky in the middle like the skin of a diabetic old woman, this one too decided to sink on me. Three cakes. Sunken and gooey in the cenyer and perfectly turned out around the edges.
You cannot just shrug away the lessons you were made to learn as a child. With a grandmother who ensured that even the smallest grain of rice did not escape her clutches and a mother who turned each part of a plant into something edible, throwing it all out was not an option, even in my nightmares. Sorrow shared is sorrow halved, someone wise said, sometime ago. Vaayaadi pennu asked, “Why don’t you try a combination taste? Scoop out the center and fill it with something else.” She must have felt stifled by the huge hug I sent her, virtually 😀
With the concentrated look of a cosmetic surgeon making a perfect cut across a celebrity forehead , rectangular indents were made along the mid sections of both lemon cakes. The lemony vodkaey centers were scooped out. The chocolate cake went through liposuction next. Its tummy now looked like Baba Ramdev’s in some humanly impossible yoga position. Could never remember the names of all those contorted positions. Anyway. A few chunks of chocolate and a couple of spoons of butter were melted in unison. The chcolatey mess and some crumbled pieces of the perfect edges were added to the mix. My eyes were still searching for that final ingredient. Ah! The December bar in the kitchen! In went more than a few ml of Dark Rum. After all, what is Christmas without a little darkness, wouldn’t you agree?
Ladies and (not so) gentle men, presenting the Lemon, Vodka, Chocolate, Red Wine and Dark Rum Cake…..
A few weeks ago, some cup cake batter had fallen flat on my face. Yes, I know. My kitchen is a slippery place. I am felled, time and again. To get back to the story, some oats that get cooked quickly, wheat bran and chocolate chips had transformed the cup cakes into cookies. Ever since, son had been asking for ‘those’ cookies time and again.
The vodkaey mess had to be rescued now. In went some oats, bran and choco chips again. The mix felt dry, so a few drops of refined oil was invited to ruffle the feathers smooth. Shaped into a few perfect and mostly imperfect mounds and 8-10 minutes of tempering in the oven at 180C out came my invention of the day…
Lemon Vodka Oats Wheat Bran Choco Chip Cookies 😀 😀
I am sure now. There is no such things as research for new dishes and all that nonsense. The best ones come out of your mistakes.
Happy falling, everyone!