There comes a point when baking becomes too easy. The right tools are available at my fingertips.The pantry is well stocked with quality ingredients. My hands are skilful enough to tackle most recipes with ease. I have a wealth of reliably delicious recipes to turn to. When baking feels so easy, I volunteer to bring treats to get-togethers at every chance I get. All I want is to cover my world, floor to ceiling, with cookies and cakes.
This may sound like great news at first but really it is not. Even though I have more than enough self control to resist stuffing my face with sweets 24/7, I am not sure my friends and family need the parade of sugar and fat. Saying “thanks but no thanks” is not a snub! We can still be good friends! I know exactly what makes dessert taste so good and moderation is absolutely essential.
Last weekend I overdid it again. I thought I would only bring a pan of Rocky Road Squares to a party on Saturday. The morning of the party, I counted the number of squares and it seemed awfully few. Before I knew it, I started baking an Apple Spice Bundt Cake with Medjool Dates. The recipe from David Lebovitz had been tempting me for quite some time and those Northern Spy apples in the fridge begged to be baked. When I finished baking, I was out of butter and there were only two eggs left in the fridge. The logical thing would be to call it a day and get dressed for the party. Of course I did not do the logical thing. I could not leave those two eggs alone.
Without butter, my attention turned to cakes traditionally made with vegetable oil. The obvious choices are those made with grated vegetable like carrot or zucchini but I had none. Then I remembered gingerbread, warm spicy sticky gingerbread with heady molasses taste. The dependable Cook’s Country did not let me down. I found a recipe that calls for exactly two eggs with a lengthy description of how they came up with a cake of delicate crumb. Now is absolutely the right season to enjoy gingerbread but I wanted a slight twist to the tradition. I figured the tartness of fresh cranberries would be a great counterpoint. The trouble is gingerbread batter is very thin. The cranberries would no double sink to the bottom without exception. Thankfully, the problem was easily solved. I scattered the cranberries over the top of the cake during the last ten minutes of baking. They floated on top just fine and burst into little pocket of fruity tartness. The cake turned out exactly the way I envisioned.
Those who is keeping track can tell by now that instead of one simple dessert, I showed up to the party with three. You see what I mean how baking is becoming too easy?