Thursday, June 23, 2016

I Give Up

Tomorrow we are having my family here for an afternoon tea to celebrate a couple of recent birthdays. This is the first time I've had my family all here for a special occasion and some of them haven't been to our place since we moved in, so I was really looking forward to it.

I was planning to make a special birthday cake as well as some other goodies. As one of my nephew's is gluten free I wanted to make things allergy friendly.

My cake is a gluten and dairy free, two layer, vanilla bean cake with buttercream frosting. Currently it's 9.10pm and the cake is sitting in the fridge with a crumb coat on it and I'm still trying to decide what the fuck I'm going to do to the outside of it. It's been driving me insane trying to decide on something. I tried to be creative with the colour of the cake but feel I might have fucked it up... Won't know until we cut into it though.

If someone told me what kind of cake to do, I'd be fine... But having to decide for myself is really nerve racking. I hate making decisions.

I don't know when I will actually get around to finishing the cake as I'm procrastinating and avoiding it because I feel like it's just going to be a major failure.

As I seem to be failing everything right now.

A few days ago I attempted gluten free gingerbread men for the first time. I wanted to try it a few days early so that I'd have time to do something else if it was a complete flop. The mixture was perfect. It rolled well, didn't stick, kept the cookie cutter shape and didn't spread in the oven. BUT my oven is a piece of shit and doesn't heat evenly so it burnt most of the pieces and the few that didn't burn were a bit delicate and broken.

But 'that's ok!' I thought. I just need to buy some more gluten free flour and make another batch. This time I will keep the tray closer to the front of the oven and I will keep an eye on them to make sure they don't burn.

Easier said then done.

I brought new flour and while BJ played with Audrey I made the second batch. The dough was much stickier, didn't roll as well, was a bit flimsy trying to move the cookies to the tray and when I put them in the oven they spread like a motherfucker.

I tried changing the temperature of the oven but it made no difference. So I stopped. There was no point baking the rest of the dough if this is what they were going to do.

I sat on the floor with Audrey for awhile and built up the energy to try and make a third batch. I thought about everything I did. Anything that might have been different. For example on the first batch I creamed the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon, but on the second batch I used the electric mixer. So for batch number three, I went back to the wooden spoon method. The dough consistency reminded me of the first batch, it rolled out and held it's shape like the first and I was feeling hopeful. Into the oven they went.. and then... they spread... AGAIN!!

I was mortified. I've spent all day baking the same thing over and over and having no success at all.

I feel like a failure. Can't even fucking getting some cookies right. Why am I even bothering? I should just give up!

These cookies were meant to work. They were going to look awesome. I was going to be soo proud of them.
But they failed. I failed! And now I feel like I shouldn't even try making Audrey's first birthday cake because I will fail at that too.

And I know that pretty much everyone who reads this will probably be thinking 'Dude! It's just gingerbread. Calm down!' But when all I do is working and look after Audrey, I need an excuse to do something I enjoy like baking. Hell, I never make time for myself to do ANYTHING! And maybe if I didn't have to spend all my time keeping Audrey away from the oven while it's on because it's hot as hell and she will burn her face off trying to kiss her reflection in the glass, then maybe that first batch wouldn't have burnt and I wouldn't be sitting in bed right now eating raw gingerbread (because let's face it, it's the best) trying not to cry and still not knowing what the fuck I'm going to do with this half-made cake in the fridge.

The top is what batch's two and three looked like (They kind of remind me of the the fat zombie stuck in the well in season 2 of The Walking Dead) and the bottom is what batch one looked like... If they didn't burn they would have been AMAZING!

I started Sunday morning in a total funk. Basically wanted to just give up on the cake all together. But I'd promised a special birthday cake to my niece who has just cracked double digits and I didn't want to let her down.

I made waaay more icing then was necessary for my tiny little cake and originally I wasn't happy with the colours I dyed it. But once I iced this cake I was quite surprised with how good it turned out.

All my niece told me was that she would like was for it to be light blue and light green. As it was also for my sisters birthday I wanted to incorporate purple in there too.

So the actual cake was a light green and black zebra strip cake and the outside was a blend of light blue and violet frosting. Then I made a heart shaped assortment of sprinkles on top and scattered more sprinkles all around.

Once I finished the cake my funk disappeared and I was excited to reveal it to everyone, though still nervous as to how it would look when we cut into it. But you know what? It actually wasn't bad at all. AND it tasted delicious!

The gingerbread was still a HUGE disappointment though!


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