I baked a chocolate cake one of those recipes where you throw all the ingredients into a bowl and whizz it for a while.
I don’t have a whizzer so it became a job for a couple of spoons .One in my hands and the other clutched by Kingston John.
Him kneeling on a chair and me standing at the table we sang ‘mixing mixing mixing…la la da da de de … the spoons colliding and slurping chocolate mixture around the sides of the bowl mysteriously climbing onto fingers and smearing a grinning little face.
Into the oven it went where it stayed for hours, sometimes it is like that with Stanley. The stringy bark that we are burning at the moment seems to like poking along. obviously Stanley and I didn’t have the temperature hot enough but nothing wrong with a slow baked cake. Or is there?
When I got it out the top had gathered and puckered into ridges and valleys around the centre …- quite pretty but hardly proper for commercial consumption.
And then when I lifted it out of the tin half the bottom stayed behind.
Normally none of this would faze me or anyone else in the family but on this day the cake was for a weekend workshop -a public cake -so I scooped up the loose bits and patted it back together.
Mmmmmm What to do now ?
Jess and I conferred. I cut the uneven surface off the bottom and tried to make it smooth . that worked – sort of – only a wee bit lopsided and icing would help.
The knife swirled chocolate icing filling up the valleys and ridges creating a spiral pattern .
kind of arty I thought with a breath of relief. All it needed was a little decoration for the finishing touch.
leaving it on the kitchen table supervised by Kingston I raced outside and picked a handful of blue borage flowers.
‘ Oh no oh no what have you done ?’ What wha… the… ‘ I shrieked I admit.
‘It needed pepper’ he said calmly.
‘no it didn’t how could you eeeaaayyyyhhh’….
the cake had a mound of finely ground black pepper sitting on the icing , the pepper dish was empty.
‘Why on earth did you do that ?’
‘It needed pepper’ he said firmly showing no sign of anything amiss.
‘That is the absolutely last thing this poor cake needed.’
carefully I spooned some pepper back into its dish.
‘You had better get out of here before I blow my stack,’ I said to Kingston.
‘What’ s going on ?’ says Jess coming into the kitchen and ‘why are you under the table bub?’
‘Hiding from gandma’ he says
‘Let me do it mum.’ Jess took the cake over to the sink grabbed a pastry brush and I fled the kitchen hearing a last’ it needed pepper’ squeak.
In the bedroom John is reading – inbetween laughter I update him on the life of this poor cake.
‘tell them at the workshop ‘ he says’ it is a funny story .’
but I didn’t tell the ladies at the watercolour workshop.
I couldn’t .
I just hoped that when the sneezing started they would assume it was a touch of hay fever.
at the end of the day I collected an empty plate and a bit of praise.
since then I have found a recipe for Siena cake and it actually has got black pepper in it.
so way ahead of me again Kingston John.