I have had a gluten-free brownie mix in my cupboard for a couple of weeks and decided this morning would be a great time to make it, to celebrate our homecoming after a successful week of rest and fun and meetings. We don't personally need gluten-free, but a few of our parishioners do, so why not, eh?
Now I know, I know, I know, there are a number of reasons why I don't bake and thus I also know that I know that I know I should refrain from that particular culinary task.
Unfortunately I neglected to think through my decision to go ahead and try again to bake something delectable....or at least edible to some degree. Sigh......dumb, dumb, dumb!!!!
Since the brownie was a mix and required only the addition of 3 eggs, some oil and some water, I was sure it would be okay. Mixes aren't really baking, right? It is nearly impossible to ruin a mere mix, right?
O.....so, SO wrong.....
I dumped the mix into my largest mixing bowl, at least I got that part right and proceeded to add the other ingredients according to the directions. So far so good. The instructions then said to mix with an electric mixer. Okay, I still have one of those, eventually found it, secured the beaters and started mixing the batter.
Well.....there is something wrong with those instructions. There has to be. I read them over twice before I started adding ingredients, read them again before I started mixing and still a disaster occurred. As I got into the mixing I soon realized there was far too little moisture in the batter. The batter slowly gummed its way around the beaters and then crawled up the beater stems right to the bottom of the mixer. Sigh......aaaaargh!! So I shut off the mixer and got a spatula to clean the beaters. More liquid would have to be added. The batter was so stiff and thick it was turning into cement, at least the part of the batter that had some moisture in it. The rest of the batter was still dry powder.
I pushed on the beater release button so I could wash them off properly before adding more liquid to the batter and starting again, but at the same time I bumped the "On" switch for the mixer. The beaters flew around at high speed, throwing thickened batter all over the kitchen counter, the floor, the cupboards and even the ceiling. Somehow none of it landed directly on me or my clothes, but the rest of the kitchen looked like someone had put an icing bag filled with chocolate icing on the floor and then smashed it with a ballpeen hammer! Sigh......ooooh nooooo....
I spent the better part of a half hour cleaning up all the mess. O well, I learned one thing: the mop head DOES reach the ceiling if I stand on a stool. Good to know.......I guess........
I was somewhat flustered by the time I got everything cleaned. The bell on the oven was ringing to let me know that the preset temperature had been reached long before, but nothing had been put into the oven, the moisture touched batter was setting up harder and harder and I felt like tossing the entire bowl right into the garbage....bowl, batter, spatula, mixer beaters, ALL of it.
However I pulled myself together and ran about a cup of water into the measuring cup with the intention of slowly adding more moisture, a few drops at a time, until the batter had the proper consistency. As I went to pour in the first few drops, a rather large bird smacked into the kitchen window directly behind where I was standing and it scared me so badly I jumped and managed to pour the entire cup of water into the batter.
Well, it dissolved the cement-like clump of batter sitting in the centre of the mixing bowl. That part was good. But then I had so much water in it I thought I was going to end up with gluten-free chocolate soup. Adding flour to absorb the excess water would kind of negate the whole gluten-free thing so....... Sigh........ Eventually I did manage to work the water into the remaining batter and put the now thicker, not completely soupy, mixture into a 9X13 pan to bake.
So here I sit waiting for it to cook through and hoping there may be some hope of salvaging an edible brownie from the mess....yeah...right....there's a real possibility.....NOT!
Why do I never learn to not attempt baking projects? WHY??? WHY??? WHY???