Posts tagged ‘citrus’
Generally, every baked good I make goes through the same life cycle. I make it because baking is my ultimate form of escape. I focus so hard when I’m baking that all my stresses just melt into the background, and as the pan goes into the oven and I wash the dishes by myself, I just think. And it’s utterly relaxing.
I don’t give too much thought to what happens after I’ve finished. So I’ve got an entire cake, or five dozen cookies. Now what?
Usually my mom and I eat a little of what I make. She doesn’t have a huge sweet tooth, so she’ll try a small slice or one cookie. I’ll try it too, and if I like it, I might keep some and eat it throughout the week.
More than half of what I make, however, is always shared instead of kept at home. My mom sends plates of pretty stacked cookies over to our neighbors, who never bake themselves. I carry treats to school in my plastic cake carrier, stored in my locker until lunch time. And sometimes my mom brings it to work, so that whenever I’m in her office I inevitably get the question, “When are you baking again?”
But this cake. Oh, this innocent looking cake is a completely different story.
The first time I made it, my mother was actually shocked to like it. I had only just gotten into baking, and most everything was too rich or too sweet for her taste. But this chiffon cake, light as air and served without frosting, did it for her. Granted, it’s a small cake, but the two of us ate it all by ourselves.
I’ve made the cake countless times since, for her birthday and other special occasions. Once, over the course of 5 hours, my mom, dad, and I finished the entire thing. We started by cutting equal slices and carefully plating them, passing around forks. By the end, we tore off pieces of cake and brought them directly to our mouths. No utensils required.
There’s a Goodwill by my school that we used to visit all the time. I never knew what to do once we got there, because I was never interested in any of the clothes. I’d look at the old VHS movies, the funny 90′s jewelry, and the once-worn spring dresses before I got bored. I’d sit in the comfiest looking sofa and wait until we could leave.
That was before I discovered the cooking aspect of Goodwill. Now I take longer than my mom to finish up because I have to check out every single cookbook on the shelf – they’re only a dollar each, it’s such a bargain! Some of them have been total disasters (like the Sweet and Sugarfree cookbook I thought sounded interesting) but others have been really excellent, like the Martha Stewart Healthy Quick Cook cookbook I found. Then I have to inspect all of the cooking supplies. I’ve bought a couple really great finds from Goodwill, including a new set of three nonstick springpans that I use all the time. I’ve bought interesting bundt pans, cute holiday shaped cake pans, and even some mini muffin tins.
The mini muffin tins kind of confused my mom, since they were so small. “Why would you make muffins that small? Those would be barely even a bite.” She kind of had a point, but I wanted them anyway. We both finally saw the greatness of mini muffins when I decided to try Deb’s raspberry-topped lemon muffins. Like most of my sweets I was planning to bring them to school for my friends to eat at lunch. The recipe only made 14 standard size muffins, which I suspected would not be enough. But Deb made 56 mini muffins out of the same amount of batter. The great thing about the mini muffins is that even if each person ends up eating less than a full muffin, they feel like they’ve had a lot, so everyone is satisfied. Plus, if someone doesn’t like it they don’t have to waste a whole muffin. Although that was definitely not a problem with these…