A friend’s birthday… ‘I’ll make a cake! I said. It was a special birthday and I thought she was the sort of person to like a plainer kind of cake rather than a chocolate one, and I wasn’t sure if she liked coffee as a flavour (coffee cake doesn’t seem so popular now) nor if she was a fruity person or a gingery person or a carrot cakey sort of person. I settled on a sponge, and then thought maybe a lemon sponge would be nice.
Since one, and then the second of the two electric beaters I had broke, I have used the blender to cream the sugar and butter for cakes and it has been ok, the texture is slightly different but it’s ok (Note to self, the texture is ok in a gooey choc cake, or a thick fruit cake, I possibly need to think again when it comes to sponges) I beat the sugar and butter together and began to add the flour and eggs alternately, mixing in a bowl with a wooden spoon now. I should have realised the eggs were big and I needed fewer but I was too engrossed and it was only later, as i tried the cake offcuts that it was too eggy.
I decided to cook it in a heart shaped tin, which I lined with greaseproof paper; I’d thought I would make buns with any extra mixture, but for some reason stubbornly filled the tin too full. It didn’t overflow, it just took a long time to cook, and then what with the over-beating, the too many eggs, and the density of the over-filled mixture, the cake was heavy and stodgy rather than light and fluffy.
Never mind, I thought, I already had a plan for the cake. I would cut the top off, cut out the centre of the cake leaving just a ring which I would fill with fresh raspberries. Using lemon curd, I’d position the top back on and decorate with pink sugar crystals. It was only when I’d successfully done this that I realised I hadn’t got a cake ribbon to go round the outside.
Tin foil would do! After two attempts I had a crinkly foil band around it – not smooth and gleaming as I had imagined. How to keep it tight? Drawing pins! Red ones! great idea! They fell out and I just missed stepping on one with my bare feet. Pin! I had none. Sweetcorn skewer (I was getting desperate) it fell out. Sellotape worked
In actual fact it didn’t look too bad, and a friend had a special candle which was alarmingly more like a firework, and the birthday celebrant was delighted, and more so by the raspberries hidden inside, and it was a jolly occasion, and everyone had a big slice. I was still secretly disappointed it wasn’t how I imagined it would be, but I guess things in real life never are!