Yesterday was not a good day. Neither was Thursday evening for that matter. There was certainly no luck to be had for me, Irish or no.
A St. Patrick’s Day themed bake-off took place on Friday (yesterday) and so in advance I had done some research and found something I wanted to submit to the competition in a third attempt to win the crown, despite my hatred for weeknight baking. Nigella’s Chocolate Guinness Cake. On my way home from the office on Thursday I picked up a few things I needed and then set off home to bake cake.
Since this cake is meant to resemble a pint of Guinness with a large black-ish base and a creamy white foam-style icing topping, I doubled the recipe so that I had lots of batter for the cake (which doesn’t have layers) and to make some cupcakes too. The problem was that somehow I managed to not double JUST ONE INGREDIENT. One of the most important ingredients too… Sugar. So half the amount of sugar was in the cake than was meant to be and it was too late to fix it.
After sulking around the house for a bit trying to decide what to do (I couldn’t possibly take a less-than-perfect cake to a bake-off, my reputation would be ruined!), I finally decided to head back to the (luckily) 24hr Tesco near my flat and pick up some more of the ingredients to make a second cake. I had to win, and I couldn’t go empty handed, even if it meant going to the store at 11pm and coming back to make another cake until 2am on a school night.
Then the next morning, I left the flat with a cake carrier in one hand and a tray of cupcakes in the other. Waiting for the bus, I set the cake carrier on the bus stop bench and put the cupcakes on top of it. Seeing the bus coming, I picked up the cupcakes in one hand and unfortunately the balance was all wrong on the cake, flipping it to the ground and covering the inside of the cake carrier with icing. NO! But I talked myself up the rest of the journey, thinking to myself “it’s okay… I can scrape the icing from the inside and re-ice the cake… do a bit of surgery and it’ll be fine!”.
Once off the train and walking to the office, I needed to stop and switch hands as both items were fairly heavy. So I stopped at a bench outside of Urban Outfitters on Commercial Street and set everything down so as to change my carrying method. Somehow, I don’t know why, one of the ONLY TWO clips on my carrier came open. I’m sure you’ve guessed now what happened. I picked up the carrier and the cake did a face-plant on the pavement.
After having made two cakes, staying up until after 2am, and already having the cake dropped once… my emotions gave way. I sat down on the bench, defeated, and did my best to hold back tears. I did so well until I got to the office. Sherrie immediately knew something was wrong, but when I tried to tell her what happened I burst into ridiculous sobs.
I did pick up the cake and put it back in the box and, after recovering from my ridiculous break down, I proceeded to try and salvage what I could. I cut off the top of the cake, which was the only part that had touched the ground, and tried to get as much icing as I could back onto the cake. There still wasn’t enough icing though, as it was still on the pavement outside Urban Outfitters, waiting for some lucky puppy to come along and lick it up. At lunch I went to the four nearest supermarkets in search of store-bought icing to at least make it presentable again, but had no luck. In the end I submitted my cupcakes and I still didn’t win, or even place, for a third time in a row. TOTAL BOLLOCKS.
ANYWAY, this doesn’t mean I’m done with baking – just weeknight baking so long as I can help it. My friend James has resigned from H&C and is leaving me to produce his much more exciting feature film, The Fitzroy – so I will make him a farewell cake this week but that is the last one, no more weeknight cakes after that.
My good friend Netra brought on a spark of genius though… and I’m considering making my own book (on Blurb maybe?) that I can give away at Christmas which will feature a selection of all my favourite cakes/goodies I make this year. I’m open to title ideas so let me know if you’ve got a brilliant one!