It's just that I haven't been baking successfully.
First there was the mini-jam tart incident. Beautiful, buttery tarts forever encased in my mini-muffin pan for all eternity, or at least until I soaked them in water for an hour.
Moral of that story: Grease your pans.
Then there was the Betty vs. Mixer Contest of 2010.
Guess who won?
The mixer, to add insult to many a creamy injury, decided to turn itself back on once it hit the floor. I bow down to your power, Betty Crocker mixer. I will never balance you precariously on the edge of my counter again.
Moral of this story: Never trust machines.
Today was the worst of all.
I baked a cake.
A cake that will forever be known as the Pineapple Oops.
Allegedly this cake would have been a Pineapple Upside Down Cake.
A delicious disaster.
The cake itself is lovely. The hint of sweet pineapple enveloped in a tender butter cake dotted with maraschino cherries.
On paper, it works.
In practice, well, it looks like that. Again, however, let me reiterate- it's a tasty, if ugly, treat!
Apparently, according to recipes I read AFTER I made this cake, the pineapple is supposed to be laid in a brown sugar butter caramel on the bottom.
I just floured and buttered and assembled.
Clearly, you should NOT do as I do.
I adapted a Paula Deen recipe for this cake catastrophe. I give it here only so that others may do right where I've done so, so wrong.
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 cups self-rising flour (I don't buy this, so you can add 1 1/4 tsp baking powder & 1/4 tsp salt for EACH cup of all-purpose flour- I found that out here)
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp butter flavor
1 cup pineapple preserves
pineapple rings and cherries, if you're gonna go down that tricky road
Preheat oven to 350.
Butter and flour OR oil and flour a 9x13 Pyrex baking dish AND an 8x8 Pyrex baking dish. This makes a WHOLE LOT OF CAKE.
Cream butter and sugar until super fluffy. You want to really whip some air in there.
Add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the sides after each egg to make sure it's all fully incorporated.
Add pineapple preserves, vanilla, and butter extract and mix thoroughly. Scrape down the sides and mix again to make sure it's all well-combined.
Add the flour and the milk, alternating. You'll begin and end with flour. If you do this right, you'll add the flour in three parts and the milk in two. Mix until just combined.
Pour 4 cups of batter into the 9x13 pan and 2-2/12 (the rest) of the batter into the 8x8. This batter rises quite a bit so try not to fill to close to the top.
Bake 45 minutes. Dump out onto a platter and stare at your ruined, but tasty, cake. Eat.
Note: I'm actually going to freeze the majority of this cake and make a trifle later- stay tuned!