posted Mon, 31 Jan 2005
I have a confession to make.
I am not really a very good cook.
Yes, I have been to three cooking schools on vacation in the past five years. I subscribe to several cooking magazines. I love to think about food, to look at it, to read about, and, of course, to eat it. But if I ate as much food as I wanted to, I would be as big as a house, so I think about food a lot more than I actually do anything else with it.
Part of being a good cook is actually cooking.
If you try to avoid eating too much, cooking is not a good hobby.
So I am not a good cook.
Which makes my attempts at Harpo’s birthday supper laughable at best, I think.
Martha’s recipe for the Six-Layer Chocolate Cake with Tangy Chocolate Frosting – the one with a pound of butter, nine eggs, and 1 ¼ lbs of chocolate in the cake and 12 oz of cream cheese, 1 ½ sticks of butter, 18 oz of chocolate, and 1 ½ cups of crème fraiche in the frosting – is a professionals-only recipe.
Why do I say that?
Well, she wants me to do impossible things like mix 4.5 cups of powdered sugar in the cream cheese and butter. My mixer is not strong enough for that. I need a stand mixer for that sort of activity. Martha should have suggested that I melt the butter. Then the sugar would have dissolved and mixed more easily. But this way, it was too stiff. By the time I figured it out, it was too late.
Then, when I tried to get around the problem by mixing the crème fraiche in early, the chocolate (that I had also mixed in early before all the sugar was mixed in) started to get cold and make little chocolate chips.
There are not supposed to be chocolate chips in the frosting! There are not supposed to be powdered-sugar chips in the frosting!
Man. This is so annoying. The frosting is in the freezer, awaiting the cake on Saturday. I might try to melt it a bit in a double boiler to see if I can dissolve the rest of the sugar and melt the chips of unsweetened chocolate.
But it tastes just fine. I have tested it many, many times, just to be sure.
The end of the line
2 years ago