On Birthday Cakes

I pride myself on being rather a good cook. I wouldn’t be contemplating entering a partnership in a cookery school otherwise. I am the family Christmas Pud maker and always make my girls their birthday cakes. I do it almost with my eyes shut and the ingredients are always in the cupboard….or they usually are.

So, on the day before Mavis’s birthday, I got the fat from the fridge, the sugar from the cupboard and searched uselessly for the self raising flour – no, not there. What kind of cook runs out of self raising flour? Well, this one, apparently.

The shops were still open but I was a bit weary and so I reached for the baking powder. Isn’t that what self raising flour is – plain flour and baking powder? – I have never done this before but why should that matter.

The baking powder pot helpfully gave instructions for the quantities needed and so I continued with my usual ‘I can do this standing on my head’ recipe. It looked the same as always until it went into the oven. It rose beautifully but when I tested it, you know, give it a press and if it springs back it’s done, well, it never did spring back, the texture was squashy. It was only when I smelled slight burning that I decided to take out the cake and live with the consequences.

It was a little burned on one side, it didn’t sink and it was clearly overcooked; It was crumbly not moist.


When the dog ate it from the work top, I was quite relieved really!



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