I adore baking, its lots of fun and no invention is required because you simply have to stick to a recipe and be precise about measurements which appeals to the geek in me. Baking cakes in particular brings back warm and happy memories from childhood and also hilarious memories surrounding monumental baking disasters (I had a total fit of hysterics once surrounding doughnut dough which haunts me to this day!).
I’m not someone who can make beautiful iced cakes though – ones that look like a work of art I have no patience for and no artistic eye. I know friends who are fantastic at this and do it so well that I would never make the mistake of hanging around in their playground. My love is for homemade cakes without fuss or glamour and totally delicious. One of my husband’s favorites is a marmalade cake with choc hazelnut topping. My brother loves zingy lemon drizzle cake, as do I. I’ve had unexpected success with a raspberry crumble cake and also an apple cake that really didn’t look at all appealing but was so moreish it disappeared almost as quickly as it took to make the cake batter itself.
The best thing by far about making cakes is licking the bowl before you wash up. I have no idea what makes a child eat raw cake mixture but every single child I have known has done it and adults to. It’s irresistible. Then you get that smell as it’s baking. Much the same effect as bread being baked except this time the kettle is on and the teapot is out and ready. And even though the recipe says let it cool, I can never resist a slice when it’s still warm.
A few weeks ago I attempted for the first time red velvet cupcakes and for the first time EVER I threw the whole lot out once they had cooled, not even one was salvageable and it made me terribly sad as I had wasted ingredients. The cake was so dry and the colour wasn’t right and it just didn’t taste of anything. I was really disappointed as I had been trawling for ages through all the red velvet recipes and eventually settled on the Hummingbird Bakery’s one but alas for me it didn’t work. This weekend I am going to re-attempt this red velvet cake, I hate being beaten!
Wish me luck, if it doesn’t work then I will be found in a puddle of tears on the kitchen floor talking to my Kitchenaid mixer and trying to reassure it that “its me and not you that screwed up”.