The Theme for The Theme Game this week is Cake! This has got to be my favourite theme so far, by miles!
As you may have seen on my blog before I do enjoy a bit of baking since I have become a SAHM, but this wasn’t always the case, and I rarely get it right first time! I had never even baked a cake before I met my hubby 31/2 years ago! I love cooking and am quite slapdash whereas there is a science to baking which scared me, and I still don’t understand. You can’t just throw in a bit of this or that like you do with cooking as it can make it go horribly wrong!
I am definitely a recipe follower rather than a recipe writer but even then I can get it massively wrong! Hubby is a much better baker than I am and he taught me the basics.The first time we baked together, it didn’t go very well as what I thought was a tub of sugar turned out to be salt, so we had a very salty cake batter! Thankfully we tasted it before we cooked it so we could start again and we ended up with quite a nice cake in the end.
I got bitten by the baking bug after that and have spent the last couple of years trying things out. We spent a lot of time baking in the run up to our wedding as we didn’t have a traditional cake. We asked our mums to bake our favourite cakes and then we made (with the help of one of our lovely friends) lots of cupcakes and the top tier. It was all very bright coloured and imperfect but we loved it. There was so much cake!
I’ve enjoyed expanding my repertoire and trying out new things and I’ve definitely learnt that if it goes wrong the first time, learn from it and try try again! As you can see with our fave Chocolate Cake recipe and the Red Velvet cake, it’s taken more than one go to perfect the method. Other times, like with the Angel Food Cake, I fluke it and it goes well first time!
Today is a great example of where I was over-confident and then messed it up royally! I decided to make some Cadburys Creme Egg Brownies. I’ve found some great recipes online – but I decided, in all my wisdom, that instead of following one of these tried and tested recipes, I would wing it a bit and use our existing fudge brownie recipe and then just chuck in some creme eggs. It didn’t get off to the best start when I didn’t even follow that recipe correctly! I was supposed to melt the butter and chocolate together, but I just melted the choc and then had to fish the butter out of all the flour etc and then melt it. Definitely an oops moment!
Then, well it just didn’t work! The creme eggs melted completely so that the gooey centre just infused the whole brownie. It was still very tasty but pretty chewy and you got these lovely egg shells randomly throughout. Not what I intended but hey ho, I’ll know better next time. Note that I am all mellow and calm about this – well I’m sure hubby would testify to my stomping around the kitchen grumbling and berating myself for being so stupid. I can be quite hard on myself sometimes in the moment but usually get more rational when I’ve calmed down a bit!
So, if you think that you can’t bake as you’re hopeless in the kitchen, you really should give it a go because if I can do it then anyone can!
Here’s a very simple recipe to get you started, but even if it doesn’t g0 too well, never mind, try, try again and think about all the cake you get to eat while you try and perfect it. (I actually have to limit my baking these days or I will put all the weight I have lost back on!)
4oz Self Raising Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
4oz Soft Margarine (we use Stork)
4oz Caster Sugar
2 Large Eggs
2-3 drops Vanilla Essence
Preheat the oven to Gas 3 or 170C
Put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until light and creamy.
You can either use this to make fairy cakes or a sponge cake. Bake for 25-30 minutes (depending on your oven). It should be golden and if you press gently in the middle of the cake it should bounce back.
Do you bake? Or do you prefer eating cakes? Have you had as many baking fails as me?