Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Proof is in the Pictures

I am impatient....aren't we all? Well, answer me darn it!
heh heh
And I make myself laugh....and to add to those lame attributes I REALLY don't bake.
In general, when I cook it's a dash here and a bit more there. That type of measuring doesn't tend to jive well with baking. Baking requires precise temperatures and exact amounts of ingredients.

So I surprised myself with the urge to make an old-fashioned apple cake that I found at PW's site. The Pioneer Woman is an adorable city girl-turned rancher's wife who keeps up a six-pronged blog that covers everything from photography to cooking, homeschooling and gardening. Attempting to do ANYTHING 'like' her is intimidating.
Especially when it's something that I lack any proper training in.
But I had the equipment and the ingredients make me I jumped on in!
This Apple Cake in an Iron Skillet is NOT for the faint of heart.

With 3 sticks of butter and sour cream to boot, it'll make your love handles shimmy just thinking about it! But chubby chasing thoughts aside, I had to try it. So over the course of 2 days I made it three times. Yes, I BAKED THREE TIMES in two days. I'll give you a second to close your mouths now. Thus, why I'm posting these pics, because I'm not sure I'll ever do it again ;)

The process isn't hard, but I never quite perfected it. The problem with my following a recipe numerous times, is that I start to get relaxed, or even lazy with the directions.
For instance, in my first attempt I carmelized those apples with precision. The kids loved the end product so I bought more ingredients and settled in to make two more for an upcoming dinner party. (I only bake out of I prefer dough and mushy sweets to cakey or bread goodies....sigh)
The second cake I let the apples cook too high for too long. I was rushing it.....knowing I had TWO to make that night. Ugh, that one went straight into the garbage....Boo to that!

Well, the last one, survived, but was a bit lighter than I was hoping, due to my cautious attempt at carmelizing those apples. There were no complaints when a sweet, dense slice was placed next to a creamy scoop of vanilla ice cream, but I knew I had done better.

It's a tricky process for me. Carmelizing the apples, pouring on the batter, baking it in the oven, and then inverting it onto a platter.
It was touch and go there a couple of times!
You can see where a smidge of the apple topping stuck in the pan. Bummer.

Then of course, the whole darn thing fell over on the ride to dinner. Nothing spilled thankfully, because those 3 sticks of butter held EVERYTHING in place.
Bah! Kinda like your thighs would stick in a swing at the park if you ate too much of this delicious cake!
Bad analogy. Sorry. But good cake. Don't forget to try it for yourself. Go here for the recipe....and for step-by-step pictures of how this SHOULD turn out.
I'm satisfied with my efforts. And now I'll go back to prepping my fool-proof Fried Rice, or Chili Verde Pork. They never take 3 attempts to get mediocre coloring!
Bless you mommas who actually enjoy baking.
Share the love, that's all I'm saying. Share the love!