I won’t give anything away but, in a general sense, I am beginning to think the writers like using Edith as a punching bag for the sake of keeping the joke going. By Season 5, I expect her to be a paraplegic living in the attic of Downton Abbey after a horrific motor car accident; the family doesn’t speak of her anymore and her only friend is a mouse she names Mortimer who, it turns out, is merely a figment of her imagination. Then, when things can’t get worse, she’ll find out her eye sight is failing. By this time, Lady Mary will simply refer to Edith as “it”, dropping all pretense, and some of the staff will begin to beat her for sport.
Anyway, have you ever started a project and realized you did not think through how much time you were going to have to invest? Yeah. That was my night. What started as simple test of cake recipes turned into me … escalating. I think it was the combination of the case study of The Hershey Company’s investment returns and the pantry project.
I haven’t tried to bake many specialty cakes in my life – the last one I think I made was the Honey Lemon Bee Hive Cake from last February – but I somehow got the wild idea that I was going to make a double-layer, coffee-infused chocolate cake accented with a traditional restaurant-style vanilla buttercream frosting (the type that requires melting sugar and other ingredients over a stove with a candy thermometer, whipping eggs, and blending the two together before adding butter and extract), topped with cherries. There are so many pounds – yes, pounds of chocolate, butter, sugar, buttermilk, cream, and eggs in this thing that it is a walking, talking embodiment of decadence. A single piece needs to be split with several people.
[mainbodyad]The cake batter turned out to be the best chocolate cake recipe I have ever had. I got it from Gourmet Today’s cookbook and it took almost four hours to complete, plus a 1 a.m. trip to the grocery store to get the cherries. I have no idea who I am going to give this to but right now it is sitting in my fridge. If it were to follow the traditional gross profit margins of the baking industry, it would have to retail for more than $100. Surely, I can get someone to take it. It really is delicious.
Next time, I am going to take the chocolate batter recipe and translate it to a sheet cake. I can cut the time investment in half and still that amazing flavor. It may not be nearly as … large … but it will work for friends and family. The coffee flavor I used, one of the blonde blends from Starbucks, really made a difference, too. For me, this is now my go-to chocolate cake batter. I’ve never had anything like it.
The rest of it? Too much. I took more than 250 pictures of the process but I’m exhausted. I cannot possibly reproduce it here. The fellow food lovers among you should take a few minutes and buy the cookbook for 34% off at Amazon. I’ve had it for 24 hours and everything I’ve tested has been fantastic. I acquired mine at a local bookstore and it came with a 1 year free subscription to the magazine.
Maybe someday I’ll put it all online. Today is not that day. I need to sleep. I need to not think about cooking at all. I have some business reading to do and a batch of video games arrived for me to look through; I’m hoping to start a new game sometime next week, if I can work it into my plans.