It can be fun to play with recipes and change things up; reshape, add extra ingredients or substitute ingredients according to your own tastes. For baking though, it’s critical to follow the recipe exactly as it’s written for the first time. Then and only then do I recommend playing around with it. Baking is really a science; certain ingredients go together to rise or to interact to achieve the final outcome. It takes patience, lots of practice and making some mistakes to understand the world of baking.
But we all make mistakes and it’s ever so disappointing when you pour all of this time into creating your dessert only to discover that it didn’t turn out.
I thought I’d share my last mistake with all of you…
I was so excited to bake my grandma’s Banana Cake with Fudge Icing for my brother’s ‘Baby Meet & Greet’ party. Of course the cake had to be extra special and I wanted to add a little flair of pink or a little girly touch. I thought it would be a great idea to make the cake into mini cupcakes so they’d be little, delicate and easy for everyone to eat. Then I could top off the cupcakes with a pink little something.
This recipe has been passed along 3 generations in my family and my Mom always talks about how difficult the fudge icing can be; how you have to work fast because it hardens quickly and because of that it’s hard to make the icing look nice on the top. I’ve been with her while making it, and have made it on my own too, but I really thought that I’d have no problem icing mini cupcakes… my mother warned me, and she was right!!
I had no problems making my cupcakes and laid them out in rows ready to pipe the fudge icing. I knew I’d have to work quickly with the fudge. Once I boiled and made the fudge icing I poured the fudge into a thick piping bag with an open round tip. The fudge quickly seeped out of the bag, and the bag was unbearably hot to handle! I toughed it out and tried to work fast piping the tops of the cupcakes. It was a disaster! The fudge icing when hot ran fast, but hardened so quickly that I barely got 5 mini cupcakes in before it looked like brown poop sitting on top of the cupcakes. I scraped out the bag, and reboiled the fudge to soften it again, determined that I could do this! I repeated the steps above trying a few adjustments to see if anything would work. Nothing did!! I ended up with burnt hands, banana cupcakes topped with poo shaped fudge and in tears! My mom was right. Some recipes should be left just as they are. This recipe is best made into a simple sheet cake with the icing poured on top, and it should stay that way!
I was able to fix a few of the cupcakes by flattening the fudge icing with my palms (the ones that were still warm enough to allow me to push down without breaking).
They may have looked terrible but they still tasted great!!