We all love a good cake fail don't we!
We love those websites that show us what the terrible cake looked like, we are internally mortified but it's like a train wreck, we just can't look away...
Until that train wreck happens to us!
That's when we cry. That's when we want to throw everything in. That's when we want to just crawl back into bed and stay there, for a week.
We've all been there!
Some bakers may not want to admit it and post only their perfectly crafted creations. Some want to forget about it as soon as it happened, throwing the fail into the bin, wiping the bench clean and beginning again. Other bakers take photos of it and keep it, just in case!
That's what I do!
I've had my fair share of cake fails and I actually love sharing this openly with people around me. I have a lot of people who tell me my work is perfect, that I obviously never make mistakes, or the worst, that their work is not as good as mine.
Pfft! I actually love celebrating my journey. I love showing what I have gone through to get to where I am. Believe it or not I didn't wake up being able to bake perfect macarons, or cakes, or cookies. There was actually a time where I didn't know the first thing about baking trays or sugar thermometers or icing consistency... That was just over 10 years ago and it's only with hours, weeks, days, years of practice that I've been able to improve my skill level enough to feel I can help others who might be stuck going through this too!
We all need to remember that it is through these failures that real growth occurs!
It's through my failures that I feel I can help bakers improve their skills. It's the mistakes that I have made and continue to make that allow me to continually improve my ability to teach. Honestly, if I never had a cake fail how could I know why things go wrong and how to avoid those mistakes?
No matter how much I want to sit in a corner and cry when these things actually happen, I'm not a quitter (stubborn Aries!)! I could never throw in the towel just because things get difficult. That's when the most growth actually occurs.
They're also good for a laugh, once the sting has gone.
The main point I want to make in this post is that my baking didn't always look like this. My story didn't begin with me baking at my grandmother's knee with family recipes being handed down to me. At 18 I couldn't even cook pasta let alone bake a cake, a cooked dinner was a ham & cheese toastie. But a challenge from a friend changed all of that and once i started baking I just couldn't stop, even though some of my first bakes were terrible they are what got me to where i am today.
When I look back on some of my baking I remember how thrilled I was that something had actually turned out. I don't have photo evidence of some of my really early bakes (camera phones weren't a thing back then), believe me they weren't great .
I remember being deliriously happy with the first batch of macarons I'd ever made, I actually thought I'd mastered the macaron right then and there! Looking back at it now they were so lumpy and lopsided, but at that time I was ecstatic! And if nothing else it was my stating point, my reference point.
Without ever having these failures and disasters I could never teach classes, write online baking resources like my perfect macarons ebook or make gorgeous creations for my customers!
So, next time you're disheartened about a crap bake, take a moment, wipe the cake crumbs from your mouth and re group. This is where your growth is happening. reflect back on where you think you went wrong and use that to propel your baking forward. And keep the faith!