holy calamity

it’s been a bit quiet on the crafting posts round here lately – sorry for that. and since our resident photographer extraordinaire is away visiting the muthaland, there’ll be no iphone downloads from tonight’s bearwood tapestry even, so i thought i’d get a sneaky one in. last tapestry it was my turn to make the cake…

i’m a pretty good cook. and i bake a lot. i love, love, love the taste of good food and i refuse to buy cakes and treats when i can make better at home. with twenty years of baking behind me and two kids who almost live for cake you’d think knocking up a ginger cake to take to our monthly craft get together would be easy. oh no.

it all started innocently enough. found a fab looking recipe on the old interwebs. i had all of the ingredients apart from the stem ginger so took the four year old (off school with a bad cold) to the shops where we could only find ginger preserve (like marmalade but good enough). at home the little one decided not to help (she must have had an inkling of what was to come). i copied out the recipe in my usual blunt pencil on the back of an envelope shorthand sort of way. i made the most amazingly sticky batter, made a complete faff of lining the loose bottomed cake tin but finally got the bugger in the oven – and relax – funny how that batter was so thick and sticky, and didn’t the recipe say something about it being like pancake batter? hmm. shit. i forgot to write milk down. i forgot to put milk in!

so i ran to the kitchen and pulled the cake from the oven. it had only been in five minutes but the magic was already starting to happen. i had to think quick. i got a pan, emptied some milk into it and started to heat it as i scooped out the sticky and now frothy mix. a moment of panic as it seemed to curdle but with some stiff whisking i rescued it. but i couldn’t use the loose bottomed tin. the baking parchment was a sticky mess destined for the bin and this new mixture was too runny – it would surely leak through and make a stinking mess on the oven floor. believe me i’ve been there before. so, i got out 2 small loaf pans (thinking even if they didn’t turn out well they’d be fine for the kids). it was at this point that my beautiful daughter had a nose bleed.

five minutes later i put the cakes in the oven and looked at the almighty mess i’d created. i hate washing up. i always make a terrible mess in the kitchen and i leave the washing up for as long as i possibly can or until my husband comes home. but i needed to make another cake for the craft night and i hate to be beaten by a ginger dessert so i decided to re-do the recipe using the same ingredients but using a completely different method. i put the food processor, bowls, spoons, jugs and all into the sink and got out a big saucepan. i only had to wash two measuring spoons! just as i was breaking the egg a little voice called out “i feel sick”.

ten minutes later (it was a false alarm) i poured my new runny mixture into a large loaf tin and popped it into the oven. i read my poorly girl some stories. made a bechemal sauce for some ham croquettes (using a different pan and a whole new set of spoons!). 50 minutes later i pulled out a slightly overdone but magnificent cake.

then i washed up.


later i covered the cake in a drizzly lemon topping and it was all gobbled up at the tapestry and no-one was any the wiser. the two mini loaves turned out a bit stickier but quite delicious and were gobbled up by the kids. result. needless to say though, i’m not baking for tonight. over to you ceri….

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