Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Bake a Cake Day

Someone came up with this great scheme at work. No problem, I learned to bake when I was young and know that (as long as the oven is right and I pay proper attention in the cooking) I can make a good cake. Making the decision on the day before what exactly to bake was a bit more of a problem. Should it be something quick and easy - taste over beauty for a quick win (Amy, my sister's solution), or something complex and impressive to show off my baking prowess. Should it be something I've made before or something new. Should I please myself (i.e. chocolate) or think of the audience and do something else. Decisions decisions. Such a lot riding on it. What started out as fun-to-do, turned into a high pressure win/lose activity.

In the supermarket I still couldn't make a decision so bought the makings of rice crispy cakes, possibly making those and some other kind of cupcake, and cheesecake - in my mind it was topped with lemon curd and a drift of raspberries, and chocolate cake (couldn't decide whether it should be devil's food cake, brownies or something simpler). Got home with far too many ingredients and sat down to decide.

Started coming up with plausible excuses. Couldn't be bothered not being one of them. Kind of settled on something like I left it on the tube without realising, or someone knocked it out of my hand and it was ruined, or I was mugged.

Finally at 10.30 I stopped quibbling and baked a chocolate cake. Double sifted the flour (excellent tip for light sponge). Finally managed not to overcook something in my overly efficient fan-assisted oven (taken at least a year and a half to get used to it). Topped it with thin layer of butter icing and raspberries all over.

Next day having dragged it across London, not leaving it, not having it knocked out of my hands, put it out with the others - fortunately nobody else had baked chocolate, and nobody used fruit. So it was unique. There were marzipan rings, South African plaited donuts, Victoria sponge, cheesecake, flapjacks, banana bread, chocolate muffins, lemon cake and date and walnut loaf. My strategy was to have a very small piece of many of them. Others were going for big peices of everything. Others couldn't face it at 11.00am.

Ever had too much cake, even know that such a state existed? That's me today. Too much cake.

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