Try, Fail, and Repeat!

Oh Genoise, why did you have to be so difficult?

This bake was such a struggle, it fell into the try, fail and repeat category of baking. Sadly, I couldn't seem to stop failing. I was supposed to release this post at the beginning of this month, but since it took me seven different attempts to create something that could barely pass for a sponge cake, i’m sulking to the finish line at the end of July. I still haven’t got it quite right, but defeated as I may be, I still wanted to post something. Like ceramics, baking doesn’t always go as planned. Around 40 percent of the time it turns out something like this.

This is where a decision needs to be made. You can either give up and try something else, or you sweep up the remnants of your pride that fell on the floor and try it again. Giving up has never been an option for me. In fact not being able to do something makes me want to do it even more (reverse psychology works really well on me). Actually, this drive is how I fell in love with ceramics in the first place.

I was taking my first throwing class in college, and I was lucky enough to have a teacher who was honest with his students, and most importantly expected hard work. Unfortunately, I suffered a serious fall at work half way through the course. Leaving me with a severe concussion and a tailbone injury. The wheel was no longer my friend, I was dizzy and in some serious pain. I managed through, but there was this one assignment at the end of the class that I couldn’t get the hang of. We were supposed to throw a set of four 4 X 8 cylinders with a 2 lb ball of clay. I just couldn’t get it. Actually almost all the forms I created in the class were pretty sloppy. Not doing the best I could struck a chord with the perfectionist in me.

After the class was finished I thought I would never have a chance to try it again, since that was the only ceramics class I needed for my art ed degree. But every once in awhile those cylinders would pop into my head. In fact, they kind of started to haunt me. I decided it was in my best interest to purchase a wheel. That way I could finish what I started. Once I finally got the hang of those cylinders the cycle just kept on going. There always seems to be something new to try, fail, and repeat at.

Sadly, I have not conquered this bake. There are still quite a few things that I am somehow doing wrong. So until I get it figured out I don’t think I can post a recipe. However, to help keep my morale up I decided to post as many process shots as I could; it makes me seem like i'm not a complete failure. If anyone has any tips for making a Genoise Sponge I would greatly appreciate it.

Here's to my next (hopefully final) attempt!