Wednesday, February 29, 2012

FAILURE: and other life lessons that baking teaches

When life gives you lemons...make lemonade. That is what they say, I think...
But life didn't give me lemons...It gave me little chocolate imploded volcanos that are too salty and crumble when you look at them the wrong way...WTF? How am I supposed to make lemonade out of THESE?

And OF COURSE this happens on the day that my good friend and professional photographer Shannon Millsaps has agreed to come take photos of my (usually) beautiful and delicious cupcakes.

So it is like three in the afternoon and I am like might as well start drinking, I pop open a bottle of three buck chuck and pour us some wine. I guess baking is sort of like photography, it's a lot about the process and a little about the finished product (maybe more than a little). Not all photos are going to come out perfect, and neither are your cupcakes. I guess life is that way too.

So when you fail, you have to look back at the process and figure out where you went wrong. And what else is there to do except start over, change the recipe, and hope for a better outcome?

I guess one other thing you could do is take your failures and dress 'em up nice and pretty and then shove them your friends faces. Not exactly sure how that metaphor works in real life except that sometimes the best option is just to laugh about your epic fail and move the hell on.

Anyway...So that is exactly what I decided to do. Meet Shanaynay and Rupert. Aren't they BEAUTIFUL? They love each other very much despite their flaws and lived happily ever after until I shoved Rupert in my friend John Averette's face later that evening. Shanaynay was pissed because Rupert's icing got all stuck in John's beard and then she wouldn't talk to anyone the rest of the night.

SO back to the more adult option about starting over with a new recipe, learning from your mistakes and making the preverbal lemonade...

 What the batter SHOULD look like!

what the cupcakes SHOULD look like

 What the Icing SHOULD look like 

What the Caramel SHOULD look like 

 What the finished product SHOULD look like 

And Voila! We have lemonade!

'Er uh... I mean Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Filling, and Salted Caramel Butter Cream, Topped with Caramel Drizzle and Sprinkled with Sea Salt.

One final life lesson from the kitchen of one very wise woman: Be careful not to should all over yourself. My good friend Michele Taylor used to always tell me "Man plans and God Laughs" Well I don't know about men or God...But I think what she meant is that sometimes shit doesn't work out the way we plan and if we try to control everything we will always come up disappointed. I don't know about you but I think disappointment sucks. Having hope is one thing and having expectations is something totally different. In the future I will hope that my cupcakes cooperate but when they don't I will just have to take a deep breath and bust out the dinosaur sprinkles and edible glitter and have some fun.

Fun Challenge:
See if you can find the hidden glass/glasses of wine in the photos!

Check out Shannon's awesome photography at
Thanks to Shilpa Reddy for the help with these particularly tricky cupcakes!

Recipe to come soon!

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