Have I ever mentioned that, I’m a terrible baker?
I actually tried so hard to make sure that I followed the directions to a “T” this time… I wanted this New Year’s Eve cake to be perfect. Yet still, I used 1/2 stick too much butter in the batter, decided to add ginger to the milk syrup (a good decision!), and forgot to buy heavy cream at the store and substituted milk (a poor decision!). For 2016, I resign myself to being a terrible baker. I just can’t keep up with the Beths and Emilys of the world. I will just have to experiment with new and intriguing pies instead.
Anyway, I found this amazing recipe on the New York Times Cooking website this week. It was for a Cardamom Cream Cake by Melissa Clark that was inspired by an Indian dessert called ras malai. The photo of the cake was beautiful. While reading the description, I could taste the elegance. I wanted to make this cake. And I wanted it to be perfect.
I was in over my head.
Who starts with a FOUR LAYER CAKE as the first cake that they ever make? Well, I did.
About halfway through mixing up the ricotta filling, I realized that it called for heavy cream because I was supposed to be “whipping” the filling so that it was light and fluffy, not soupy like mine. I also realized, after it was too late, that I forgot to cut one of the sticks of butter in half, so I used 1/4 cup more butter than I needed to in the batter, making the cakes a little heavier than they were supposed to be. And at the end, I realized the |absolute| value of a nice cake stand to ice your incredibly amazing creation.
After all that, it still turned out okay. It was fully edible. It wasn’t nearly as beautiful as the NY Times version: it actually looked more like a pile of mashed potatoes with pistachios on top. It wasn’t pretty. At all. And holy crap that was a lot of work! Another reason to stick to pies…
Either way, it was a super fun disaster! Happy New Year, Everyone! May your next year’s adventures be full of laughter and joy!