As I’m sure I’ve mentioned a few times now I’ve been trying to improve my baking skills by baking my way through a Good Housekeeping recipe book I got a couple of Christmases ago. I was trying to crank out a cake a week or so and with my attempt to lose weight, keeping a big cake in our house where there’s only two of us means I’d end up scoffing a whole load. As a result I’ve been bringing cakes into the office and sharing them with my work mates. They’ve been my guinea pigs and I’m very grateful for the nice words that they keep giving me in return for my culinary creations.
So, one night I slaved away over a hot oven creating the “beautiful” creation above. (I know my cakes aren’t always exactly pretty but more often than not they taste pretty good.) This is a coffee and praline gateau. Yep, you read that right, a gateau, not a cake. There’s french in that name therefore it must be more fancy, right? It smelt really good and, to be honest, I was pretty damn chuffed with it.
The next morning, I loaded my cake into my cake carrier and toddled off to work toting my pride and joy ahead of me. (Just in case you’re not sure what a cake carrier is, it’s a big plastic base with a dome over the top with handles on it that clips on to the base.) I gave killer side eye to anyone that dared even get a bit too close to me on the bus and I protected it like a new-born child on the tube. All I could think about was getting to try it with a cup of tea for elevenses later that day.
I successfully manoeuvred the scrum of people getting off at Westminster station and I made it to the escalator. This was it, I was on the home straight all I had to do was get to the top of the stairs and take the short stroll to my office. However, that was just too much for my carrier. Half way up the escalator the bottom fell out of it, the plate smashed into the metal stairs and the cake went everywhere!
I was mortified. All my hard work smushed into the busy escalator at rush hour. I desperately tried to scoop up the shards of broken plate and bits of gooey cake to get as much of them out-of-the-way of the horde of workers following me up the escalator. People stopped to look at me yet no one tried to help. I felt like crying. What a waste of my time and effort!
This was a few months ago now and I just can’t bring myself to try making this cake again. In fact, it took me a little while to actually bake anything again. I have baked some cakes since and I’m actually thinking of knocking up some blueberry muffins this weekend so it hasn’t put me off completely but I haven’t made a big, sliceable cake since.
So there it is. The great cake disaster. Sympathy please!