Ok. So basically THIS happened last weekend.
Leo, our French weekend guest, enjoys cooking. He also needs to practice his Norwegian. Therefore, I have taken to looking up potentially yummy recipes online during the week for him to try out when he comes over to our house. Preferably in Norwegian.
This particular Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Mousse was floating around Facebook, so I suggested he give it a try.
I didn’t really take a very close look at the ingredients list or the instructions, but figured that since it had earned honorable mention on a TV baking show, it had to be good. And it was only supposed to take about an hour and a half to make.
We realized on Saturday morning that this cake was going to be rather expensive to make. We needed to purchase three small cake pans and a baking thermometer, in addition to almost a kilo each of dark chocolate and butter, and of course the raspberries, which are not exactly in season late February… We were not deterred though.
So far, so good.
As Leo started the process of making the cake early afternoon, I conveniently disappeared to do some errands. When I returned home about three hours later, Leo was looking rather dejected. He had finished baking the three small chocolate cakes, but discovered that he had missed adding one of the main ingredients, buttermilk, because the instructions had been a bit vague on the particular mixing of the dry ingredients and the rest. The cakes looked ok, but should probably have been a little more moist.
Nevertheless, he forged on. Next on the list: Raspberry mousse from scratch. The recipe called for 550 g of raspberries, but the instructions called for 250 g. A typo maybe? Probably. We had lots of raspberry mousse left over when we were done. Then it was time for the chocolate cream, which literally took HOURS to melt and mix and cool and what not. At 11 pm we called it a day, and it basically looked like this:
Sunday afternoon we decided to try to assemble it, although we were worried it would be messy. We were right. For a while it looked like this:
But after a few trips in and out of the freezer to get it hard enough to work with, we did actually end up with this:
And it was really yummy. (Both deconstructed and assembled.)
It didn’t take us 1,5 hours. Not even 15 hours. No, it took us 26 hours to finish…! (And I say us loosely here. Leo was the one doing all the work. The rest of us just sat around and admired and sampled and pretended to be encouraging.)
I exclaimed as we walked out the door Sunday morning: ” There must be an object lesson in here somewhere!” And well, yes – I found several. 🙂
- Sometimes, even with the best intentions and following the instructions we have access to to a T, we do not get the expected results, and things take much longer than we think they will. Pretty much just like life, and marriage, and education and careers… We could have given up along the way and just decided to eat the deconstructed parts of the cake, and that would have in this case been a really delicious dessert in itself. But I must admit that the sense of accomplishment we had when we looked at, and sampled, the finished result was pretty sweet too. So even when things look a little messy and wobbly and not exactly promising, sometimes you just have to keep going.
- Some recipes are just badly written, and no amount of effort or exact adherence to them can guarantee a good end result. When we were finished, we read the comments under the recipe from others who had tried to make it, and realized we probably should have read the comments BEFORE attempting to make it ourselves. Lesson: Learn from others mistakes, and ultimately be careful which sources you go to to find directions…
- We are studying the Isaiah chapters of 2. Nephi in Gospel Doctrine at the moment, and we opened the class by reading aloud the quote from Boyd K. Packer:
“For the most part, it is in easy-flowing New Testament language, with such words as spake for spoke, unto forto, with and it came to pass, with thus and thou and thine.
“You will not read many pages into it until you catch the cadence of that language and the narrative will be easy to understand. As a matter of fact, most teenagers readily understand the narrative of the Book of Mormon.
“Then, just as you settle in to move comfortably along, you will meet a barrier. The style of the language changes to Old Testament prophecy style. For, interspersed in the narrative, are chapters reciting the prophecies of the Old Testament prophet Isaiah. They loom as a barrier, like a roadblock or a checkpoint beyond which the casual reader, one with idle curiosity, generally will not go.