Cake Disaster. Baking Trainwreck. Bake Smash.
Ever happened to you? Cooking merrily on your way. Grand plans for your little one’s birthday cakes. Oooh, they’re going to be delightful. All the mums will ooh & aah and compliment me on my culinary expertise, smoothness, ability to do it all and so well at that. Kids will devour my cupcakes and come back for more.
Hah! Snort. Apparently I’d wandered off to Fairy Cake Land.
Reality: This doesn’t happen. Fancy thinking all of these fanciful thoughts.
I’ve baked many a Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake. Not once has it been a pleasurable experience. Each time I start out with the best intentions and a big serve of enthusiasm.
Midway through the cake bake I’m tiring, things aren’t turning out as they should and I’m knee deep in butter icing, licorice, marshmallows and god knows what other sticky, icky delight.
By the end of the bake, I fall into an exhausted coma/sleep, disappointed that my cake DOES NOT look like the picture, but it will have to do. Seriously, how is warm chocolate meant to stick to ice cream in a neat, orderly, decorative fashion – with no meltage? But I digress.
It all began a few nights ago with a pretty, sweet cookbook that a friend gave to my daughters. Sugar, spice, all things nice – yes all that stuff. Well blah blah blah. Here’s my grown-up recipe review: It sucked.
I was baking from said recipe book for the first time. STOP right there. We all know that we DO NOT try new recipes when we are on deadlines. We go with tried and tested – CAKE MIX. Well apparently not for Super Mum/Me (tongue in cheek).
And so it began. My cake mix was very thick. Doughy thick. I perservered, spooning the heavy mixture into the cupcake patties. Into the oven. They rose beautifully. Golden brown. Removed from oven. Cooled.
And they are ROCK HARD. I could seriously play tennis with one.
Then there were TEARS. What now? I always bake something special for the kids’ birthdays. Mr F suggested a trip to the supermarket. But not an option. I had to turn this around, but how? Then it struck me. TRIFLE.
And so it was. Plastic cups. Jelly. Custard. Soakage into cake to soften it. Chocolate. SAVED. just.
No points for cake presentation, but hey, kids ate it all up so they must have been half decent. Or kids were starving.
Shake n Bake baby.
ps. For the record: it WAS the recipe that was bad, NOT the baker.