You may remember that when we moved to Amsterdam my kitchen changed significantly. Turns out I absolutely loved my cooking space in Denver. Not to mention quality knives, food processor, kitchen aid, spice grinder, baking sheets…cupcake tins. I can acquire all said items here but I don’t have space and I want to do more (or the same) with less. My one round baking dish has successfully roasted a chicken, baked brownies, cooked veggies, and more. But the month of December I became discouraged with my small prep space, lack of storage, and supply shortage (i.e. have not found corn meal) I didn’t make one pan of cookies, cakes, muffins, nothing to showcase the holidays. And now I’m a little disappointed. I received two cookbooks (Smitten Kitchen and Cook with Jamie) for Christmas as well as inspiration to master new recipes and my ‘space’.
[One day later]…I made the most disastrous cake I have ever baked. I decided to tackle a Red wine chocolate velvet cake with mascarpone frosting. You know something easy. I jumped into my new found motivation with one cake pan (when it called for three tiers), millimeter measuring cups (which is for liquids, I don’t have US or gram (european) measuring cups), no teaspoons/tablespoons, no mixer…maybe I’m a snobby baker but I NEED quality baking items. In fact, I’m not sure how one is supposed to bake with ZERO measuring utensils. The recipe kept harping on the importance of ‘weighing’ ingredients for best results. But I definitely don’t have a kitchen scale. I threw the cake in the micro oven just to see what would happen. After the 25 minute baking time the edges had sort of baked but the middle was a puddle of cocoa, egg, and red wine. You may be thinking that I started with a somewhat difficult recipe. You’re right. However…I swear I could have pulled this off at the age of 15. My baking skills are more than a little rusty.
[Two days later]…I do have most supplies to cook semi delicious meals. I made a dinner of Harvest roast chicken with grapes and kalamata olives. We slopped up the white wine gravy reduction with day old french bread and I reveled in my cooking redemption.