I know everyone has a bad idea once in a while. Maybe all the time, or maybe very little at all. But everyone on earth has made a bad idea once in their lifetime. For me, most of my bad ideas go with baking.
And, they usually are in the form of a really hideous and nasty pastry, or they turn out wonderfully like a butterfly that has hatched from a cocoon. For me, luckily, at times when I have a completely out-of-this-world crazy idea that seems like it would never ever work, it does, shockingly enough.
For example: Mixing cream cheese with Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
Sounds, enticing, doesn’t it?
Believe me, when I looked at it in the standing mixer, it did not look great at all. I even though to myself, “Why would you even do this Kristie?!” It looked like a bowl of of mashed potatoes, the chunky kind! Well, in that moment, I was out of ingredients to make frosting, and I had a box of cream cheese and a tupperware full of Swiss Merigune left over.
First of all, if you know anything about Swiss Meringue, you would know that it is extremely difficult to re-whip it into a fine and even consistency after you have refrigerated it and made it ahead of time. (Really, any frosting is)
That’s why bakers never make their frosting ahead of time. You lose your consistency, it ends up being lumpy, and it’s just gross.
And second, you never add cream cheese into a frosting you’ve already made, duh. It sounds kind of odd, but when you are in the process of making cream cheese, you never mix in the cream cheese after you’ve creamed butter and sugar! You cream the butter and cream cheese first!
But, for some reason, it worked. Mixing cream cheese and swiss meringue worked out (shockingly enough) I had managed to color the frosting accordingly and hide it in so many toppings that the lumpiness and ugliness was forgotten. And not to mention, it tasted to so darn good. It wasn’t overly sweet, or overly cheesy. Just sweetened and tangy to the perfection of your tongue. When I brought it to school the next day, the cupcakes were a hit. People were randomly walking up to me and telling me how good my cupcakes were.
While I was in class my English teacher had us write out all the bad ideas we could think of on old-fashioned butcher paper. Already, it sounded like a bad idea. I mean, why would you ever want to write bad ideas down?! However, in the end, it was a good idea. From the bad ideas my group drew out on paper, we improved them and we formed out-of-this-world good ideas.
This is bad idea baking. You take a bad idea, like mixing swiss meringue and cream cheese, and you build on it. I built on my bad idea by adding in mint the frosting to my Thin Mint Cupcakes, and dressing it with the cookie and chocolate sauce. On the other cupcake, I added a touch of caramel and coconut, and adding the Caramel Delites on top. By improving your bad ideas, you’re innovating and creating something totally new. Bad ideas are the good ideas that are totally radical that no one would’ve ever thought of. Why?
Because it was initially a bad idea.