Chocolate Cream FAIL

So, a few nights ago, I had friends coming over for dinner and I tried to bake a chocolate cream pie. Maybe people who are better hosts/hostesses than I am only serve guests recipes they’ve cooked a zillion times and got down. No, I view my friends as guinea pigs for my cooking experiments, which usually go well. This time, not so much. I was using the Joy of Cooking recipe, and its chocolate cream pie is based on its vanilla cream pie. Not only with the addition of chocolate, but with different amounts of sugar and cornstarch. Which I forgot. I also forgot to bring my butter up to room temperature, so adding it to the bubbling mixture cooled it off immediately, and I had to put it back on the heat to get it mixed together. Anyway, I stuck it in the fridge and it made a valiant attempt to set, looked like it was gonna be okay, and then collapsed into a liquidy mess. I tried to salvage it by putting it in the freezer, but that just produced rock-hard chocolate ice.

The fact that I have the disposable income and time to play around with recipes, and no real damage is done if I fail, that’s a privilege. If, say, that were the only time this week or this month that I could scrape up the cash to have a nice dessert, you can bet I’d have bought something from the grocery store instead and not taken the chance. Maybe a prepared dessert, maybe a simple boxed cake mix. Because for all that people say home cooking is always superior, I have *never* screwed up a cake mix, not even when I was, like, ten.

In the discussion of the “$20 Showdown,” one of the things that struck me was Dr. Grumbles’ reply on Tumblr.

Regarding buying the “cheapest generic on sale” items, there is research that states that some of those in poverty don’t actually buy generic. This sounds really odd at first, but when the people who say they won’t buy generic explain themselves the constant theme is that they, “can’t afford to fail.” They trust the name brand, but if they waste 2.00 on generic orange juice that ends up being soured, that’s a failure and they have no juice to drink now.

I think the “can’t afford to fail” concept is one of the corollaries to the Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice. It’s another way that it’s more expensive to have less money.

On fluffier and happier topics, the husband, having successfully baked a butterscotch pie, is going to help me with Chocolate Cream Pie 2, and with any luck, the sequel will be edible.

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3 thoughts on “Chocolate Cream FAIL

  1. wriggles says:

    That can’t afford to fail can be pernicious and its so often learned through experience not assumption.

    I can still recall the pain of things that failed when I had no money for something else, I don’t know if its the place I was in as well as the money but it actually enraged me almost to the point of tears.

    I felt so incompetent, not only is my life crap I can’t even freaking cook. I’m glad you raised this because its sometimes hard to understand how emotional having a low income is. I remember someone telling me about some academics wanting to do a door to door study into depression among a certain sector of those on very low incomes.

    Apparently it was abandonned because they couldn’t find anyone who didn’t meet every criteria (+ more) on their checklist!

  2. itsalllissasfault says:

    I remember someone telling me about some academics wanting to do a door to door study into depression among a certain sector of those on very low incomes.

    Apparently it was abandonned because they couldn’t find anyone who didn’t meet every criteria (+ more) on their checklist!

    Yikes. I would think, though, that that would encourage them to complete the study, not abandon it. If the problem you’ve identified is way more prevalent than you thought, that ought to indicate that it merits further looking into.

  3. […] my husband, and I tried the chocolate cream pie again, bound and determined to get it right after the previous disaster. And it […]

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