Leisa's Baking Affliction

Happy Holidays!

Lemon Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust
My title refers to my travails in making what should have been (and is) a pretty straightforward recipe for cinnamon coffee cake.  Now, I'm generally a competent baker.  However,  on  Wednesday I was operating on a sleep deficit and an injured hip flexor.  Sleep deficit came from Tuesday's endeavors for a lemon cheesecake.  (It was really stunning--it is pictured here, click on pic to be transported to recipe).  Tuesday, I  was up until 12:45 am. cooking the cheesecake for Christmas Eve dinner.  There is just no way to make a cheesecake the day of any event.  I had to work all day, so I didn't get started until late.  While waiting for the cheesecake to cook, I was trying to finalize what I would cook for my neighbor gifts.

If you have not checked out Sally's Baking Addition space, I urge you to do so.  This year I was going to do cinnamon buns, but the weather was so rainy, I didn't wish to risk it.  So, I decided to use this recipe from Sally's site for a crumb coffee cake.  I had some round tins that I had bought at the salvage store, and I used them to bake the cakes.  I doubled the recipe to make two at a time.

Anything that I do in the kitchen attracts alot of attention from Ella and Angel.  And Angel, with all of her 70+ lbs is right underfoot. My diminutive setter, Ella, is out of the way, but ready to strike if something hits the floor.  Between being tired, stepping over Angel and keeping tabs on Dexter (when husbando wandered off) or listening to dog play (which is quite loud), I managed to:

  • make the recipe incorrectly at first by NOT reserving crumb.  As I was putting the topping on the cakes I thought, "How strange that there is no butter in this."  Without the reserve taken away, there was not quite enough leavening ingredients to handle the extra weight.  And as any baker knows, proportions are important.  I reserved those two and started again.  (They are actually pretty good).
  • Second set was fine, except I managed to drop one on the floor, when the 1/2 sheet tipped after removing the first round onto the wire rack.  !@#$#$%%^*&!
  • Third set....I forgot to put the sugar in it (I realized this after wet ingredients incoporated---and it was not salvageable)
  • Fourth set--I just made one, to regroup, and that was fine
  • Fifth set...no trouble.
So with a failure rate of 50%, I definitely felt that I had a baking affliction.  Despite my troubles, the non-afflictedcakes were just wonderful! I will definitely use this as my go-to recipe for coffee cake.  It is never a good idea to bake when one is sick or tired!  And most particularly, rather than dump everything into one bowl, to do the mise en place....have a singular container for every ingredient.  Measure first, then combine.  Such practice avoids the dangerous musings of  "Did I put baking soda and powder in this already?"

After a spectacular meal and my parents' house, today, I'm going to lay low.  And it will be almost 60F today.  Sigh...


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