December 11th, 2010


Baking a Book

You know I love a baking and editing analogy.  Just love'em.  So I've been working on The Collector this week. The story involves a mysterious bakery, a mysterious bakery owner, and mysterious jars in the back of said bakery.  And all this cake talk has increased my CRAVING for cake. (Yes, my cravings can increase). Friday night I finally caved. But I wanted to experiment. I had to experiment.  I mean, I'm competing with Clementine (my mysterious bakery owner who makes cupcakes that taste like sunshine and love and heaven). I can't have my characters show me up.

I tinkered with a tried-and-true white cake recipe, making it a chocolate cake. AND I made my ho-hum chocolate buttercream frosting a nutella buttercream frosting.

How did I do?

Well, here is a picture.

Looks good, right?  (Enter analogy)

The Collector LOOKS good, too.

BUT . . .

The cake texture is a bit off, something is...missing...out of place.

The Collector is a bit off, something is...missing...out of place.

The frosting is TO DIE FOR!  I nailed it the first time. That is RARE.

The Collector...uh...well, my analogy dies there.  Olivia, my protagonist. does have some GREAT lines. She was cracking me up. (Yes, I am aware that I write her lines. But my characters are funnier and wittier than I...Lucky blokes! They get to sit around and look cute. I have to do all the work....Oh, sorry...I digressed.)

I will continue to work on the cake and book. I will give you updates. Until then, here is the recipe for the nutella frosting.
1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa (I used Ghiradeli)
1/4 c nutella
1/4 c milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 c or 3 c (or more) of powerdered sugar (Sorry... I RARELY measure things. I am a "it looks right" baker and cook.  I know the underlying principles/physics and use that as my starting point and the rest is...experimentation. (Sounds like writerly wisdom.)  So start with 2 c if it is too thin add more in 1/2 c increments. You can't take away, but you can always add.)

Mix butter until fluffy.  Add cocoa and nutella, mix until smooth. Add milk. Blend. Add powdered sugar. Eat frosting from the beaters. Spread  frosting on cake. Lick the knife used to spread frosting. Lick bowl used to make frosting. Lick fingers. Rub belly.  (I'm thorough, huh?)

Happy baking (or eating) and writing.