Friday, January 13, 2012

Bringing Back My O-chem Skills

I've been putting the good ol' o-chem skills to use this week.  I know...I shouldn't do that often.  It might induce huge amounts of stress and hair pulling.  But one thing I do remember from my o-chem lectures at Berkeley was...making molecules is just like following a recipe. 

I'm a pro at following recipes...however, I NEVER understood an o-chem recipe...other than they all seemed to be recipes for disaster.  

AND, I could care less about what the outcome was whereas, my baking outcomes are so much more delightful.  So far anyway (knock on wood).  I have yet to burn the place down ;-) 

So this week I was determined to come up with a few of my own recipes.  I didn't want to tweak something and make it my own...I wanted it all my own.  And so I pulled nearly everything out of my baking cupboard and made a solid mess in the kitchen.  It had "chemistry lab" written all over it.  But holy moly was it a ton of FUN!

I don't know where my idea for a Disaronno cupcake came from....probably that we had a full bottle of it sitting in the freezer and I've been dying to make myself an Amaretto Sour but still haven't conquered that goal since my birthday (which was mid-December) I decided to use the Disaronno in a cupcake along with almond extract and chopped almonds.  
Have I mentioned that I love almond? No?...well, I love almond :-)) I didn't want the almond, almond, almond to  be over-powering, and I think I was able to capture a nice balance with a white-chocolate almond cream cheese frosting.  The cake was perfectly dense and the frosting thick and rich.  And the added chopped almonds gave a great texture to the cake.  I love a good texture.

The second idea came to me while reading a blog on granola cookies of all things! Who da thought?  For some reason, when I got to the coconut part of her mind rang "7-layer bars!!!" and I had to zoom right to a simple 7-layer bar recipe to remember each layer.  Then it was off to the kitchen again to get the right concoction of all those 7 layers.  Tricky getting all those ingredients together in a cohesive manner.  I went with a chocolate chip/sweetened condensed milk frosting (there's two of your layers), a butter, butterscotch chip, coconut, pecan cake (that makes 6)....topped with a crumbled gram cracker garnish!  

And that my friends is my 7-layer bar cupcake magic!
And magic it was and has been indeed!
  I can't believe how well my first two experimentations went in the kitchen.  I can't imagine they should all go as well these the first two tries...but I'm hoping for the best!  And thinking....maybe that o-chem wasn't a waste of my time after all ;-) 

No comments:

Post a Comment