Jennifer Lyon

Monday, August 16th, 2021
Weekend Roundup

Two words: Cake Fail!

Every now and again, people will say, “I’ve never seen you mess up at baking.”

Well sure, because I throw away my fails, LOL. I’ve failed COUNTLESS times. I just usually don’t serve my failures if I can help it :-) If you hang around my kitchen enough, you will definitely see me fail and probably get a good laugh in the process.

This fail was based on a bag of Butterfinger pieces I saw at Walmart. They were with the chocolate chips and meant for baking. I though…ohhh, I should make a Butterfinger Cake by adding a bag of Butterfinger baking pieces a vanilla cake batter and in the filling layers. Except do you think I bought the bag when I saw it?

Of course not, I’m cheap. Then I couldn’t find it when I wanted it (cheap and foolish!) But I had a solution, I’d just chop up the candy bars into pieces and dump some in the batter. Two problems: I don’t think the chopped candy had the same texture as the processed bag of Butterfinger chips and I way overestimated how much to put in.

Um…it was a tad overwhelming. A little too crunchy, sweet and it threw off the texture of the otherwise good vanilla cake. The cake was not bad but not great.  Not a gross fail but as Wizard put it, “Not my best effort” And not what I’d feel comfortable serving to anyone else.

So a half fail on the cake.

But then I tried making a chocolate Italian Meringue Icing. That’s a level up from the Swiss Meringue Icing I’ve been making. Essentially you boil hot syrup and then carefully pour it into whipping egg whites (points for not burning myself!). Once that is whipped and cooled to room temperature, you add butter that must also be at room temperature. It’s chemistry and important to get all the elements and temperatures right.

I clearly did NOT do that. The first slice of butter caused the icing “break” which means it deflated into something resembling cottage cheese soup. I knew that second I was in trouble, but do you think I stopped so I could save the rest of the not-cheap butter?

If you want a serious answer, there’s a reason my brother and sister call me a bulldog. I am stubborn to a fault and beyond. I made that danged icing and yeah, I saved it to the point of being usable and it tasted good…but it was not pretty. Or even passable in my opinion.

Total Fail.

Then guess what I did? Walk away and read? Walk my dog? Go in the pool?

Any of those would have been an excellent choice. But I wanted to save the day and do some chocolate work thinking that I might be able to make the cake look better with some pretty chocolate pieces distracting from sadness of the broken icing.


It didn’t. The chocolate was dirt cheap candy melts I’d bought from the big box hobby store and they don’t harden to the firmness I needed. As soon as I picked them up, they were so soft, they broke.

At that point, it was all pretty funny. I really should have taken pictures but I couldn’t bring myself to document the disaster. Instead Wizard and I opened a bottle of wine, grilled a New York steak for dinner and laughed.  Wizard was pretty awesome throughout the day, patiently trying to keep my spirits up while I kept stubbornly trying to save the cake…and each step getting progressively worse. I swear, I don’t know how he held off laughing as long as he did :-)

So that was my weekend how was yours?

6 comments to “Weekend Roundup”

  1. Silver James
    August 16th, 2021 at 7:21 am · Link

    Uhm…. Well, alrighty then. Kudos to Wiz! Yay for wine and steak! And you’ll get ’em next time!

    There was a weekend here. I think. I sort of remember two days passing by. There was baseball and the Cards won a lot. There was some rain, always a treat. There wasn’t much writing but there was much looking at pictures and matching faces with characters. There was listening to books (relisten to the Kate Daniels series. It’s “safe.” I know I like the books so I’m not inflicting my reading slump on some new book that doesn’t deserve my apathy.) There was lots of procrastination. Oh! And weird dreams. I dreamed about finding a book I wrote that I didn’t remember writing but I sorta did but it was published by a company other than me and it freaked me out and I was in some weird…touristy community and walking all over and…and…WEIRDNESS. I think I’d rather go back to no dreams. Just sayin’! :roll:

    Pssst… And people wonder why I buy birthday cakes from the bakery…. ;)

  2. B.E. Sanderson
    August 16th, 2021 at 7:21 am · Link

    Oh, man, that’s sounds rough. Big point to you, however, for trying. These failures will lead to successes down the road. I’m in awe of all of this because I know I wouldn’t even attempt to do what you’re doing, so go, you!

    I spent part of the weekend working on the Slide Project – wherein I took all Hubs’ old slides and converted them to digital and then began the process of noting what was on each picture for future reference. I did zucchini bread, too, from my mom’s recipe, so no big stretch of the culinary skills there. Did a lot of thinking about the book, but not much actual work. Here’s hoping I can change that this week.

  3. Viki S.
    August 16th, 2021 at 3:29 pm · Link

    Oh boy, you had a tough baking weekend. At least you were able to salvage things enough that you could eat them :). It is surprising that chopping up the Butterfinger didn’t work. That’s how candy has been added to recipes in the past. Oh well. Live and learn. Sounds like you and Wizard had a lovely dinner, so that’s a big plus.

    When does Wizard get in to see the Dr.? I have him on my mind.

    Our dinner Saturday was very nice. The six of us had an excellent time. All the entrees were delicious.

    I just received and email from my massage therapist and she’s back starting tomorrow. So I now have an appointment on Thursday right after I finish cleaning bathrooms :lol: .

    Off to make dinner. I hope you are having a wonderful day!

  4. Jenn
    August 16th, 2021 at 5:12 pm · Link

    Silver, eh, truthfully, the cake fiasco took my mind off other stuff that I can’t do anything about right now. So it wasn’t a total loss.

    On to your weekend–yay for some Cards wins! I barely remember rain (Hoover Dam is lowest ever which is very serious here), but glad you guys got some.

    It helps to have a visual of your characters so that’s progress. And some books are worth relistening too.

    Wow that was some dream! I’ve had those weird twisty dreams and then wake up confused as to what’s real and what’s not. I hear you on going back to no dreams.

    Bakery’s are magical places :-)

    Hope your week is off to a great start!

  5. Jenn
    August 16th, 2021 at 5:15 pm · Link

    B.E., thanks and this fail didn’t bother me much. Like I told Silver, it was a great distraction from other stuff.

    I’m in awe of your Slide Project. I think it’s great that you’re doing it! I’d talk about it and procrastinate until I’m no longer here :-)

    Zucchini bread is always a win.

    Hopefully this week will see book progress of all of us! Happy Monday!

  6. Jenn
    August 16th, 2021 at 5:24 pm · Link


    I think I put in way too much of the chopped Butterfinger. It just wasn’t what I’d hoped on the cake.

    Wizard saw the specialist, and he has two scans scheduled for the end of August. Once we have all that information, then we’ll know whether he needs surgery or a pain control treatment that’s had some good success. The waiting is hard, but the meds he’s on now have helped him a lot, and he’s doing okay. Thanks for asking.

    So happy that your dinner went well and you all had a good time! It must have been nice to go to a good restaurant too.

    Yay for getting the appointment with your massage therapist! I know you waited a long time for her to return to work.

    Have a great evening!

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