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All day baking away…

As I write this, 2011 is less than 6 hours away from transitioning into 2012. I can’t think of a better way to spend the last day of the year than to do one of my favorite things: baking.

I’d already planned to bake today, because tomorrow is my dad’s birthday, and, well, of course I’m going to volunteer to make the cake. But then I got an invite to a New Year’s get-together at my friend’s house, so… Hello! Ding, ding ding… Another excuse to bake.

I’d come across a recipe for champagne cupcakes a few days ago and had been dying to try it ever since. I figured my friend’s party would be the perfect occasion to try it out.

Anyone detect a red flag here?

I’m pretty sure there’s a saying somewhere about not serving something you’ve never made or tasted before to others. If not, there should be a saying like that, because as it turns out, the cupcakes ended up being terrible. Rock hard, slightly burnt top, just completely unworthy of being toted to a party. Seriously, I was not going to hang my hard-fought-for baking reputation on these!

Thing is, I was desperate. I’d already said I was going to bring champagne cupcakes, so one way or another, I was going to bring some. Luckily, I came across this recipe, and much to my relief, I had all the ingredients on hand. Ok, game on.

I whipped up a new batch and I’m happy to report that they turned out much better. I even made a few substitutions that ended up tasting quite nice: I used coconut oil instead of butter, and buttermilk instead of sour cream. I must say, I was very happy with how the substitutions worked out.

Champagne cupcakes

Anyone fancy a little bubbly?

Having averted a champagne cupcake disaster, I now had to move on to my dad’s birthday cake. At first, I was going to make another batch of champagne cupcakes; I was so happy about making a good batch that I wanted to see if I could recreate the magic. But it is my dad’s birthday, and I wanted to make him something that I knew he’d want to eat. This led me to the decision to make his favorite cake: a mocha cake, in the style of Goldilocks, a Filipino bakery.

Every Filipino is familiar with the famous Goldilocks mocha cake; it’s just so iconic. It’s a coffee-flavored chiffon cake that’s light and spongy and oh-so-good. I think my dad loves it so much that it might have even been the cake that my parents had at their wedding. I’d made it for his birthday a few years ago, but sadly, overmixed it, and it ended up coming out way too dense. Boo. I was determined to redeem myself this year.

I used the same recipe that I used before, but this time, I was careful not to mix it too much–just enough to get all of the egg whites folded into the cake batter. We’ll see later tonight when we cut into the cake if I succeeded this time around. I sure hope so. I confess, I did do a little touch test earlier to see if the cake bounced back when I pressed on it; I’m happy to say that it did spring back, so that is a good sign indeed.

Mocha cake

Think Goldilocks has a reason to quake in its boots?

And with that, I will now sign off for the last time this year. Back with more food chatter in 2012! Happy, Happy New Year to everyone… Catch y’all on the flip side :).

About writejenwrite

Silicon Valley marketer by day, novelist-in-training by night--running addict, foodie, bookworm, pop culture enthusiast, and aspiring philanthropist in between.

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