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when black bottom cupcakes fail

(post, Kim Carlson)

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A. was understandably disappointed in her cupcakes. Grudgingly, she agreed to go through the recipe with me to see what had gone wrong. 

"Da da, da da, da da," we read. "Da da, da da, BAKING SODA?" she said. "I didn't add that!" 

And then she stormed around the kitchen for a few minutes. "Arrggg. What a disaster," she said. "Dad won't even want these."

"Baking soda is a leavening agent," I said, trying not to sound annoying. "It helps cakes and cookies rise."

She was quiet, so I kept going. "Isn't it great you now know the power of leavening agents?" I added.

She made a face, but didn't speak.

"Baking is a lot less forgiving than most other kinds of cooking," I said, and this time she actually smiled.

"I still like it best," she said. "Even if these cupcakes are a TOTAL DISASTER."