Science and baking have many similarities. You have a method or recipe to follow, requiring attention to detail and a high level of precision. It is strange then, that despite my clumsiness and my messy, relaxed attitude to work and cooking, that I have such a love of baking and have spent 6 years of my life studying and working in science.
I think that the most important part of baking is trusting your instincts and building up the experience to know when things are just right, or what needs to be altered to correct the situation.
When I set out to make a treat for my best friend’s birthday, I went against my instincts and bought a boxed cake mix. I was feeling lazy and didn’t have a good chocolate cake recipe to hand, so I grabbed one off the shelf at the grocery store. I knew from the minute I tore open the packet that the chemical smell would not give me the desired results (unlike in the lab).
Needless to say, that batch of cake ended up in the bin, and I started again, from scratch (like I knew I should have to begin with), with a fantastic recipe for Raspberry Buttermilk Cake, from Smitten Kitchen.
From the taste of the uncooked mixture, I could tell that this recipe was a winner. I just wish I had doubled it, because it was heartbreaking to crumble up the entire cake (minus a slice or two) mix it with creamcheese frosting and roll it into balls.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I would highly recommend heading over to Bakerella and check out her amazing cake pop creations! Her blog is so inspirational and I would just love to browse through her new cookbook: Cake Pops
As I don’t have her patience (or talent) for decorating, I decided to keep it simple with a plain chocolate coating and some little sugar hearts.
I love chocolate!
Even this was pretty difficult as I made the mistake of freezing my cake balls before I had inserted the lollipop sticks, and the heads kept falling off when they were dipped in chocolate.
In the end though they turned out looking pretty good, but there were enough messy ones to keep the boys happy and have a bit of a taste test!
I packaged them up and made up some little tags with Bakerella’s cakepop slogan to avoid any confusion on how they should be eaten.
The girls loved them (and thought they tasted like a cherry ripe) and they went down as the perfect treat after our lovely wine-filled dinner to celebrate a quarter century with one of our favourite girls.
Lesson learned… from now on I will trust my instincts and avoid going the lazy route – it saves more time and energy in the long run, both at work and in the kitchen.
Photos taken by: Kris
and from my camera
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