Thursday, September 24, 2015

Procrastination Recipe: Devil's Food and Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Frosting

Sometimes when baking things go awry. For the most part (unless you severely burn something) you can usually make it work. This is a story in making a dessert work when you're given a broken oven.

Every year Molly hosts an Emmy Awards party (as well as Golden Globes and Academy Awards parties). As has become tradition, I make the feast. Well, I had forgotten that Molly's oven broke so in planning the meal I didn't take it into account. I showed up with the groceries and promptly froze. How could I possibly make cupcakes and roast butternut squash for the soup without an oven? I don't have superpowers (that I know of). But I was determined not to panic and figure out a way to make it work. 

Luckily, Molly had a toaster oven. So I set to work. Baking in a toaster oven works, but it takes twice as long and you have to be watchful as the cupcakes tops can easily burn while the insides remain uncooked. I adjusted the temperature numerous times to prevent complete destruction. However, once they came out of the oven they deflated. It was a sad, sad sight. Ok, we can make due. Plan B. 
Once the cupcakes were made per the Devil's Food box instructions (why make it difficult for yourself if you can just use a box recipe?), I crumbled the cupcakes up in a large bowl. I had decided that in lieu of cupcakes I'd make a trifle of sorts.

In a separate bowl I mixed one container of softened Neufchatel cheese with a can of Libby's pumpkin and 2/3 of a box of confectioner's sugar. I wanted this to be sweet but not overpowering. Then I stuck the bowl in the fridge to cool back down (and basically make it pipe-able).

Then I layered the glasses starting and ending with cake crumbles. The frosting layer wasn't hard enough to pipe beautifully but I wasn't too worried with presentation.

With over an hour before the rest of the party-goers arrived, I stuck the glasses back in the fridge until ready to serve. Unfortunately, I think everyone stuffed themselves on the hors d'oeurvres and the soup and myriad of grilled cheese (I made Havarti and tomato; Bleu cheese and fig preserve; and Brie, Basil and Chocolate chips - all on sourdough), but I think what tastes of the dessert were had were enjoyable. Perhaps smaller portions would have been better. Or I just shouldn't have made quite so much for dinner.

And what's a party without props and a photo booth?

Moral of the story is, you can almost always make due with a problem with ingredients or appliances. Just work with what you have and in the words of Tim Gunn, "Make it work."

Happy Eating!

1 comment

  1. You are being so kind. I completely foiled all of your plans and you handled it like a total champ. Every single thing you made that night was delicious. I promise the oven will be fixed before the Golden Globes.


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