Our food column in The Forum this week features a lovely Lemon Poppy Seed Breakfast Bread, but that wasn’t the originally intended recipe. No, instead I had high hopes of showcasing a lovely lemon pound cake, based on a new recipe I discovered in a cookbook all about the secrets of baking.
Faced with a surplus of beautiful lemons just begging to be used, I zested and juiced with great anticipation. Unfortunately, after several rounds of sifting dry ingredients and creaming the liquids (which included a pound (!) of good butter), I encountered utter failure – not once, but twice.
For the first batch, I used a specialty pan to create beautifully shaped mini cakes. Unfortunately, I left them to cool in the pan too long and while the tops were a lovely golden brown, the sides and bottoms were…not.
I switched to my trusty old light-colored metal loaf pan, and the cake looked nearly perfect when I pulled it from the oven. Sadly, when I went to turn it out of the pan after waiting the recommended 30 minutes, it fell out with a tumble and promptly broke in half. I was left with a jagged mess beyond repair, just a heap of broken bread. Sadder still? The battered remains weren’t even all that tasty.
I’m not entirely sure what went wrong, and maybe that will always remain a secret. Was it the recipe? Were my baking pans at fault? My oven? Or perhaps it was the absence of vanilla in the recipe? (I am naturally wary of any baked good recipe that doesn’t call for at least a smidge of vanilla.)
Alas, I will probably never know, as this double defeat may have put me off this recipe for good. Luckily, I still had enough ingredients on hand to turn to an “old reliable” recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Breakfast Bread. Again, I made two batches and this time the results were much more promising. For more on this story and the recipe, feel free to visit us in Wednesday’s Variety section of The Forum.
Baking is a passion for me, a form of therapy and entertainment, and even when things don’t turn out as expected, I still enjoy the process. But it’s always more fun when they do.
I would love to hear from you and invite you to share your comments with me below.
Have you ever had a baking failure? Did you figure out what went wrong? Did you try the same recipe again, or look for a new version? Did you ever bake again? 🙂