• AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Adventures, Courses and Classes, Doing Things, Funny Ha Ha, Opinion Piece, Pretty Pictures, Product Review, Recipes


    Rolled Out Pie Crust

    I should have learned to say no last time I was asked to bake a cake for a friend’s wedding.

    ‘You love baking cakes!’ those friends had gushed. A reputation unwarranted.

    In the end, I’d become so panicked by the sheer magnitude of the self-imposed responsibility of baking a cake to the standard one might be accustomed to seeing at a wedding, rather than the standard I’ll happily bosh out for a dinner party, I ended up paying an actual baker to make it for me. Of course, I still took all the compliments. People loved that cake. It was certainly very well baked, just not by me.

    There must have been some kind of mix up when reputations were being bandied about. It’s my brother who bakes. He’s a fabulous baker brother. Look at this, he baked it, doesn’t it make your mouth water?


    A few months ago, some friends who are marrying TOMORROW asked me to bake a cake for them. I excitedly said yes, initially suggesting I’d make a cake like this:


    Lord knows why. I have never attempted a rainbow cake. It looked pretty in the picture and I figured, how hard can it be? That idea quickly got shelved when I realised it’s actually quite a lot of admin to pull together a successful rainbow cake. Instead I opted for a carrot cake. I’ve made plenty of carrot cakes in my time, what would possibly go wrong?

    As their big day neared, I didn’t even think a practice cake was necessary. (Because winging it is the best way to guarantee success, right?) I’d use the cake recipe I’d used before, from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, and I’d top it with a frosting that had been recommended to me, as cooked up by none other than one Jamie Oliver.

    Recommended to me BY A FOOL. Jamie Oliver, I have a bone to pick with you. You very nearly ruined my life this week.

    As it turned out, I did decide to bake a practice cake. Thank the old gods and the new.

    {Game of Thrones reference there. Gaz and I have developed an addiction to it. Anyone seen it? I’d avoided it for ages because, without doing any research at all, I’d presumed it was a computer game. But as a friend poetically pointed out, it should be called Not A Computer Game of Thrones. It is brilliant. Gaz now calls me ‘Your Grace.’ And so he should.}

    If I hadn’t done a practice cake, the disaster would have been the actual wedding cake, which would have had me in tears on the morning of my friend’s wedding. Which is probably bad luck and certainly wouldn’t have done any wonders for my make up.

    Hummingbird Bakery, you did not let me down.

    First this:

    Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 07.38.18

    Then this:

    Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 07.38.31

    Yum yum yum, so far so good. Chuck it in the oven:

    Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 07.38.45

    Then came your bit, Jamie Oliver, you bugger.

    I thought it was a bit odd that there was barely any icing in the frosting recipe. And not a hint of cream cheese. But he’s Jamie Oliver! He knows his way around an oven. I followed his stupid recipe. The result? This: 

    Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 07.39.24

    Not exactly the kind of cake you’d serve in a tearoom, let alone a wedding.

    The frosting was not frosty. It was runny, like porridge. It dribbled down the sides of the cake pathetically. It didn’t mould into fancy wisps. For reference, Jamie, this is what the Hummingbird Bakery carrot cake is supposed to look like:

    Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 08.21.30

    Here’s one I didn’t make earlier.

    Not the sorry mess you turned my cake into.

    (Yeah that’s right, I’m entirely proportioning the blame on Jamie Oliver here. It’s not my fault at all.)

    A few tears, tantrums and grey hairs later, I decided I hated Jamie Oliver. He almost ruined my unwarranted reputation as someone who likes baking. Although, to any future friends getting married, let it be known, I do not like baking.

    Gaz has been eating the practice cake all week. He says it tastes delicious. Taste! Who cares about taste, when you’re a wedding cake? It’s all about looks. I’ll be making the real Wedding Cake tonight, and here’s hoping it’s a little less seapy, sorry splodge and a little more:



6 Responses to Fake Bake

  • Dave Collins wrote on August 9, 2013 at 10:21 //

    There’s husbands all over England now suffering the effects of media driven cake baking programmes and wives who’s normal idea of baking is baking there body’s to a crisp under sun-beds!. Ive suffered from this new wave baking lifestyle and its not pretty, cake after cake we have to eat until that perfect cake is baked, were suffering attacks of heartburn,sore teeth and expanding waistlines not to mention our shrinking household shopping budgets due to cake baking practice runs failing! My wife’s obsession has even effected the children’s packed lunch, they ended up with hundreds and thousands on there sandwiches and chocolate sprinkles and cherrys to dip in there hummus … It has to stop!  Please leave the baking to the experts!! Otherwise all we will have left to eat is whats left on the spoons and a lick each of the bowl!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Kimberley Willis wrote on August 9, 2013 at 10:49 //

    Ha ha! This is brilliant. Poor old husbands, being force fed trial cakes. you make a valid point though -I hereby retire! x

  • Sue wrote on August 9, 2013 at 10:50 //

    One of my best birthday cakes ever was a baking disaster by your grandmother which she cleverly turned into something yummy!  I’m sure Joe & Lou will be delighted with your offering even if it isn’t rainbow striped!  XX

  • Colin Campbell wrote on August 9, 2013 at 11:12 //

    Another reason for baking a particular cake is when, for instance, there is a glut of garden produce such as courgettes!!
    We are currently working through a varied range of ingredients – all of which I have to say taste ‘brilliant’.
    Husbands do however tend to get podgy when acting as official tasters…….

  • Tammi wrote on August 9, 2013 at 10:06 //

    I didn’t think your first attempt looked so bad. But I suppose it wasn’t very “weddingy” that’s all. And shouldn’t there be a layer of frosting/icing/cream stuff in the middle too? I’m sure the real thing will be amazing and at least if it isn’t J & L are the kind of people who will think it’s hilarious rather than be upset by the one thing that ruined their wedding. Thank gods new and old for properly ace friends.

  • Kimberley Willis wrote on August 10, 2013 at 6:42 //

    Amen to that! I’m glad to report the actual wedding cake is looking a lot better. And yes, it does have icing in the middle, it’s just so runny it sort of disappeared!

    And Colin – husbands are so heroic, doing all that taste testing without a thought for their waistline! At least your cake has one of your five a day in it… x


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