Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cooking for Dummies....

I like to consider myself a fairly decent cook.  I can easily prepare more than chicken quesadillas, easy mac n cheese, pancakes, french toast, and ramen noodles.

Which was my ENTIRE cooking repertoire when I was a new bride. 
Thankfully, My Love wasn't after my skills in the kitchen. 

I have slowly but surely added various kitchen-y skills to my resume - things like how to read a recipe,  learning how to prep ahead, cooking juicy chicken. :) I like to think my cooking has slightly improved over these past 8.5 years of being a wife. At least in the breakfast/lunch/appetizer/entree departments.

My baking skills?

They are still pretty much at zero.

Don't get me wrong - I am a baking master with the help of Betty and the Dough Boy.  But that baking from scratch business? That is the stuff that makes me break out in a nervous sweat.

Sometimes, I forget that little tidbit of non-baking-ability, and volunteer myself to bake something.

Like tonight.

I volunteered to make a gluten-free dessert for our ladies book club which can't be that hard, right?

Did I mention that one of the other ladies making desserts could fill in on that "Cake Mob Boss" show? No pressure on Whitney. Yeah, right.

So, yesterday I pulled up "gluten free desserts" on google, and sat down to figure out what delicious something I could create. Realsimple.com - you pulled me in with your beautiful picture

I mean, how good does THAT look????  Yes, delicious and amazing.

Then I found an even better one on Martha's website:

I made my list of ingredients, and off I went to the store. So far, so good.

Then I read the directions:
Step 1 - Preheat the oven to 275 degrees with the rack in the center. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
I'm gonna be honest here, at first I wondered if it meant you could only use it in Spring.  That admission alone is pretty hard for me to make - but it's true. Don't laugh at me. I didn't know?! 

Back to google I went. 

I would not be able to do anything, ever, if  I did not have google.

Apparently, the "springform" part is NOT referencing a season. It is describing the fact that the sides and bottom can separate from one another, and the side has a spring that pops it off your concoction without needing to flip the pan. And yes, I did do the wikipedia/google images search. 
Even more apparent, I didn't have one. One of my wonderful neighbors did, and he was kind enough to show me how it works and everything!

Crisis averted.

Back to the directions:
Step 2? It actually made sense. Hallelujah! 
Step 3? Notsomuch.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add granulated sugar, and continue beating until glossy stiff peaks form. Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture; then gently fold in remaining egg whites.

Soft peaks? Glossy Stiff Peaks?? Folding?! 
Thankfully, my 15 year old babysitter (Bridget) was here and she actually bakes. So as I was beating the egg whites I kept asking,
 "Is this right? 
Are these soft? 
Whattheheck does a peak look like?
Is this too much? 
Is this glossy?
It looks slightly matte to me, did I ruin it??"  

I guess today she's babysitting the 30 year old mother-of-4-boss-of-the-house. 

My cake is currently in the oven - making the house smell amazing. Will it taste good? Will it look good? I honestly have no idea. 

If it doesn't? I'm totally blaming it on Bridget.

 Copyright 2012


  1. p.s. The spring form pan is actually shown in Martha's picture! I'll teach you how to bake while the kids are playing next year!

    1. well, I realized that after the fact. ;) I wondered why she had something from her garage in her kitchen.... ha! I would love to learn from you!

  2. Ha ha ... I do bake and I wouldn't know how to do step 3 :) For future reference though if you are asked to do another gluten free dessert - Betty has a great cake mix (vanilla or chocolate) that you only have to add water, eggs, and vanilla to. She also has mixes for gluten free brownies and chocolate chip cookies. I've made them a number of times and they are awesome!

    1. Kristin - I will have to try that! I was nervous to try the mixes because I had tried a couple last year and they were rather disgusting. :)

  3. King Arthur mixes are the best. Some of the others are disgusting. I have made a pretty amazing adaptation of my "Perfect Peach Cobbler" recipe with King Arthur gluten free flour.
    Here it is for next time:
    Slice peaches to make a nice, thick layer in your 8 or 9 inch baking pan.
    Stir 1 cup KAGF flour and 1 cup sugar together in medium bowl. Beat 1 egg slightly in small bowl, then using a fork stir it into the flour/sugar mixuntil crumby. Sprinkle this over peaches, then dot with 6 Tablespoons of real butter. Bake at 375% for 45 minutes. Top with ice cream or not, it's Perfect! No one will know unless you tell them that it's gluten-free.
    This works with blackberries and blueberries, but not apples. Enjoy!
    PS, the reason I discovered this is we have three members of our family who are either already celiac or like me, gluten intolerant. Love ya!

  4. Gluten free cake... Yummmmm
    My boss at Curves is gluten intolerant and for her birthday a coworker made her a chocolate gluten free cake... It was the moistest(if that's a word) cake ever!!!
    Good luck!! I LOVE baking from scratch!!! It's so fulfilling! :-)

  5. Can't wait to hear how it turns out! You are making me chuckle! :p

  6. LOL, thanks for sharing this, I would have had to google those steps also!

  7. Don't feel bad...I did gluten free cooking for 2 yrs & was pretty good at entrees, but baking was difficult. I got one cake to turn out but the pies & cookies were digusting


Thank you for your thoughts and encouragement!