I’m not much of a baker. My cavalier attitude to cooking (a handful of this, a glug of that) doesn’t translate well to the scientific, accurate world of baking. However, every now and then I think: “How hard can it be to bake a cake/ some bread?” and give it a go, only to end up ballsing it up spectacularly and reminding myself why I don’t bother the rest of the time. This happened this week, when I decided to bake some fairy cakes to take into work on my last day (as I’m leaving to start a new job). I had all my ingredients ready, along with some Smarties and marshmallows to decorate the cakes with, and was feeling rather positive about the whole thing.
The recipe I used was the cupcake version of the dense chocolate loaf cake from Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess. I’m not going to blame Nigella- in my eyes she can do no wrong, and I’m not going to blame my oven (even though it’s rubbish), because a bad workman blames his tools. This is a summary of what went wrong:
I decided to double the cupcake recipe and also had to keep turning back a page because the actual method for the batter was under the loaf cake heading. Because I wasn’t concentrating properly, I ended up adding four eggs instead of two because I was looking at the ingredients list for the loaf cake and not the cupcakes. In my panic, I then had to make up the extra ingredients to match the four eggs I’d added and ended up with a huge, almost unmanageable amount of batter. I also missed out the bit in the recipe about adding boiling water to the batter to make it more liquid (although I added it to the remaining mixture while the first batch of cakes was cooking and they still didn’t turn out right).
So, after a lot of swearing and mess, I calmly admitted defeat. Behold, the culinary abomination that is my attempt to make fairy cakes- something that most children have mastered by the time they’re about eight years old:
I won’t tell Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry if you don’t…