Friday, August 25, 2006

TRES LECHES AND THE NEUROTIC NERD

As many of you know, I don't like cooking/baking/spending any more time in the kitchen than I have to. The microwave is my bff...as are ready-to-eat delights such as popsicles, fruits, raw veggies, ginger candy and take-out or delivery faves such as Japanese, pan-American and Indian cuisines. I've been told, however, that when I do decide to cook/bake/spend time in the kitchen, I do it exceptionally well. Alas, these things don't really interest me (just for the record though, I am an expert dishwasher. I don't mind washing dishes quite as much as I mind cooking and/or baking).

There have been times when I've been, quite suddenly, plowed over by a desire to cook/bake. Usually, the desire wanes after a minute or two. Other times, it possesses me, walks my body to the kitchen, where I then apron-up and become all serious cook/baker-type. And, usually, fifteen minutes into the baking/cooking, I end up cursing myself for giving into a desire as silly and nonsensical as the desire to cook or the desire to bake and dread each second I'm going to have to waste whisking, mixing, cutting, peeling...WASTNG AWAY in the kitchen.

I was possessed by that downright succubus-like desire to bake last night.
And so I decided to bake a tres leches cake. The recipe came from Cooking Light Magazine. The tres leches in the tres leches cake recipe were: sweetened condensed milk, fat-free milk and evaporated milk. While I had the first two leches, I neither had the leche tercer nor the desire to run out at 8PM to buy the leche tercer because I was SO OVER baking at this point (10 minutes into baking. Sigh). So, I found on the 'net that dry milk (welfare milk according to ES) with 40% of the water usually called for converting it to (almost) real milk can double as evaporated milk. I don't know why we own dry (welfare) milk (seeing that we're not on welfare or anything) but there happened to be a box of dry Carnation milk in the cupboard, which I converted into something that might or might not be close to what is evaporated milk. And, this, folks was the final ingredient in the tres leches sauce that I would later pour over my cake. I suspect that the sauce was not as visocous as the recipe called for but, as I said before, I was so over baking and didn't care so much anymore.

So, I baked the cake; I poured the sauce over the cake. I saran-wrapped the cake with the tres leches and refrigerated it overnight. I was paranoid and crazy in the morning about the thought of feeding my coworkers a lousy tres leches cake and having them judge me, so on the way to work I purchased a (consolatory) box of cookies from a local bakery. I fed them both.
They liked the cookies.
They (claimed to have) liked the cake.

I'm way too uninterested during cooking/baking and paranoid after cooking/baking to cook/bake in the future. It's not healthy.

5 comments:

BigKahuna said...

If I may offer: Great baking is more like science. Great cooking is more like an art.
You can get away with many variations in cooking, where small adjustments in baked goods can be.... bad.
You're using the term "cooking/baking" when they differ significantly in approach, techniques and tolerances.
Since you are in the publishing biz - take a look at The Bread Baker's Apprentice. Stunning photography...

OK - I love cooking. I admit it. I *LOATHE* doing dishess.

If you want a *killer* sourdough loaf - let me know!

Anonymous said...

hahaha...i am sure the cake was amazing. Thanks for enlightening me with a low fat recipe for tres leche..i might be inclinced to try it.

Have a great weekend :D
Farida

[adventures.in.anonymity] said...

all this is good training for you to one day be my cook.

oh wait. i don't do vegetables. you're fired.

also...what in blazes are you going on about woman? maybe my brain is going through its occasional midday numbness, but all i kept reading in that blog was the word: leches. and i have no idea what that is.

check it: http://www.bakespace.com/ the niche social networking for cooks, bakers and fat people. i should join on the basis of the latter.

passion said...

succubus like desires? haha..
I am overcome by similar urges from time to time but hate washing dishes afterwards.

Why do men love bitches.. the same reason women go for assholes and jerks.

terra shield said...

my mom's kitchen doesn't like me very much... :(

to adventuresinanon, leche - milk