Yesterday I thought I’d show my mum some Mother’s Day love with something every mum adores: something homemade. With your HANDS. Not from a heartless high street SHOP. For my mum in particular you get extra points if you spent no money at all and found the basic ingredients on a park bench* or down the back of your sofa.
Now I’m not one for rules. Flat pack furniture instructions…parking restrictions…limits on where and when I can wear double denim…they can all DO ONE. This however does not help when it comes to my new self-imposed ‘hobby’ of baking. I’m recently married and trying to channel my inner 1950’s homemaker. It’s not really working but I’m nothing if not enthusiastic. But baking does not require enthusiasm. No no. It requires 350g of carefully sifted RULE following.
So, dear reader, I chose to bake my mum carrot cake with a delightful buttercream topping and painstakingly followed the recipe.
Fast forward an hour or so (12 days in baking years) and I was left with what can only be described as a cake topped not with fluffy buttercream frosting but swimming instead in something resembling hollandaise sauce. It was too late to pull anything else out the bag – this ain’t Blue Peter y’know – so my ‘cake’ would be presented whether it wanted to be seen in public or not.
My husband ROFL-ed – actually ROLLED on the FLOOR laughing his beautiful head off – when I opened the fridge door (head in hands) to reveal the monstrosity I’d created. (I’d put it in the fridge in the desperate hope that magical, cooling fridge powers would fix everything).
It was all I had to offer the poor woman so – still laughing – we went over to my parents’ for lunch.
One (present) sister started snapchatting incriminating cake photos to another (absent) sister and they were both creased up sending grossed-out selfies back and forth.
How the cake SHOULD look (I was going to say this baker clearly has their shit together…but it’s Martha Stewart)
My funked-up version
My mum and sister couldn’t believe I’d followed the recipe.
“But I diiiid!!”
“So you used all the right quantities?”
“Yes” I answered defiantly.
“Erm….yeah well I had margarine.”
“MARGARINE! You can’t make buttercream icing with margarine!! So you didn’t follow the recipe!”
I didn’t really have a leg to stand on. I thought butter and marg were basically the same flipping thing. My dear grandmother – who doesn’t even like puddings – was gracious enough to eat a whole slice. My mum scrapped off the offending margarine topping and actually declared the cake rather delicious.
Fail with flair people, don’t go halfway.
*she once found an unopened bottle of vodka in the park and gleefully brought it home to show us. Some poor tramp is probably still wondering which tree he hid it behind. And I don’t think my mum even likes vodka.