I make tons of mistakes. Now that's out of the way. Let's get to the story of my weekend baking (near) disaster.
On Saturday evening, I made a quadruple batch of sourdough chocolate cake — for my sister's visit and for a potluck on Sunday. I quadrupled all the ingredients, but somehow I multiplied the baking soda by 8. This means the baking soda was double what it should be.
Would the cakes turn out? I put them in the oven, hopeful but filled with dread and frustration with myself… “all that expensive coconut oil” was the phrase I kept repeating to myself, heightening my already sick feeling.
While waiting for the cakes to bake, I ground more flour and fed the starter again, just in case…
Somehow the cakes turned out fine. (Did you notice how I posted “chic” instead of “choc” on Facebook? Really, I can blame that on my phone's auto-correct.)
This story does not end there. No, my mistakes continued to pour forth…
On Sunday morning — just half an hour before we had to leave for church — I started the chocolate buttercream frosting. It was so last minute because I had thawed the butter that morning instead of the night before. And it was still too cold and would not cream. This is me, frustrated with trying to get the butter soft. My sister documented the whole story. 🙂
This is what butter does to beaters when it is too cold. It fills them up and then won't go anywhere. In other words, it won't cream.
I emptied those beaters a million times before the butter was finally soft. I also switched back and forth between beaters and food processor another million times. What finally worked was adding the cream, which was supposed to go in at end of the recipe.
My sister suggested I warm the cream a bit before adding it. I didn't take her advice, though I should have. My excuse — my frustration level was high, I was tired of trying different things, and I didn't want to add one more thing to the list.
This is not my best quality, but there it is. When things are difficult, I tend to want to scrap it all, or at least keep my attempts to fix very, very simple.
Anyway, the butter finally creamed. So it was time to add the powdered rapadura and everything else. But I didn't powder the rapadura fine enough, so the frosting was really crystal-y. It tasted good, though.
I frosted the cake anyway. There was no going back at that point. 😉
We arranged the cake for the potluck and off we went to church. Not the prettiest, but you know at that point, I just wanted to be done with it. I thanked God for helping me finish the project and I asked Him to bless that cake.
Everyone said this was the best cake ever. It really was good.
For future reference, I don't recommend doubling the baking soda. 😉 I think it made the cake crumbly, but not fatally so. The additional saltiness was perfect (note to self: just add more salt next time).
The frosting was absolutely delicious — the coarser sugar crystals having dissolved into smooth perfection.
What should you take away from this? At the very least, be encouraged that I make mistakes, too — lots of them.
But more importantly — isn't God gracious? We can trust our results to His care.
Sometimes things don't turn out very good, yet we can always praise Him and learn from each experience.
Thankfully, many times — like this weekend — He works in spite of our mistakes and weaknesses to make things very good! Thank you, Lord!
Please share anything on your heart about this idea of being real, being human, and trusting God to bless the work of your hands. I look forward to what you'll share.
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