Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Bake Me a Cake as Vile as You Can

When I have a spare 5 minutes I like to have a look at the CakeWrecks blog (http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/) which is crammed full of hilariously bad professional cakes.

I did actually send my Special Pasta (see previous posting on this 'issue') SIL's wedding cake in but, as yet, it hasn't appeared.

Apparently she went to the professional cake shop and asked for something 'artistic' for her wedding. What they came up with is shown below. If you look closely you can see the polystyrene poking out. Isn't that cheating just slightly? Being paid to make a cake and then just using actual real in-edible objects to 'make' all the tricky bits? I mean that's not baking - it's going down the local branch of Hobby Craft and sticking the contents of your basket on the rubber mat intended for craft knife use.

Just so you don't feel you are missing out, here it is:

Just take a moment to remind yourself - it's a wedding cake.

Mind you - that approach could save me stressing over the Iggle Piggle cake I need to make this summer. Just dust 'Giggi' liberally with icing sugar, drizzle him in chocolate ganache and stick a glace cherry in each eye and VOILA - it's a cake!! Being inedible doesn't seem to stop some people.....

Anyway - last week I had to bake a lot of cakes and whilst hard at work I was wistfully taken back to my youth. A youth spent in the rural wilds of Somerset. A youth spent in a village where the most exciting event of the year was generally the Annual Horticultural Show which featured a baking contest.

Not one to ever miss the opportunity of injecting some excitement into daily life, I decided (with the help of a friend) to enter the baking contest.

Now the competition (and it was a fiercely competitive contest amongst the olds) was for the best Victoria Sponge. You had to bake your best, leave your pride and joy on the table and a fleet of the local great and the good (basically the vicar, a local councillor and the few other random old duffers who were well thought of) would come and prod and poke the cakes - and taste them. You'd then go back in and find out if you'd won (the first prize was 70p - you can see why people were fighting over the prize can't you?) and read the comments on your card. The cards generally had comments like 'good colour, over firm' or 'flavoursome but cracked' (I know the feeling).

So we decided to put some vim into the event and enter a toxic cake.

Well it's less damaging to the community that holding up the local Post Office or opening a massage parlour (both things which did actually happen - but, I hasten to add, weren't down to me).

Of course we had to enter the cake under pseudonyms - I think we went to great lengths to sounds 'old and sensible' so we were probably called something like Jean Bramble and Edna Dorrit.

We baked it at my friend's house whilst her old Nan sat in the corner muttering about waste and rationing and starving children.

To the traditional Victoria Sponge recipe we added quite a few unique twists. Feel free to try them if you feel yourself come over all 'Heston Blumenthal'.

Vindaloo curry powder for a start.

And mustard.

And washing up liquid.

We did toy with flea powder but then realised we didn't actually want to get arrested for attempted murder.

Instead of jam and cream we filled it with mayonnaise and cranberry sauce.

The thing is, despite these additions, our cake came out the oven looking bloody lovely! Well if you looked closely enough there was a slight green tinge to the sponge (I guess that was the Fairy Liquid?) but this was easily covered with a liberal dusting of icing sugar.

So we smuggled our cake into the hall, scurried out and at 3pm we returned to read the verdict.

A LARGE chunk of the cake had been removed for tasting.

There was no prize.

There was one comment.

'Please report to the club secretary'.


We picked up the offending cake and we ran.

For a long time afterwards I was worried sick I'd be 'found out' and my parents informed (surely the call every parent dreads? 'It's about your daughter. We have reason to believe she laced a Victoria Sponge with curry powder and used an alias to persuade the vicar to swallow it.....').

I never was though. Until this confession.

So if you, by some bizarre chance, were judging that cake contest circa 1991, then I'm sorry. But it was funny.....

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