It’s a boring evening, there’s nothing on the TV, we’re talking about what we can do when all of a sudden the Missus’s sister and I both shout out in unison “We could make a cake!” I don’t know why, but that’s the way it happened, so that’s what we did.
We decided to make a sponge cake, but first we needed ingredients, so we popped off to our local Tesco and bought the necessary items.
Never having made a cake before I needed some instructions, apparently this is called a ‘recipe’.
McDougalls had kindly printed such a set of instructions on the packet of sponge mix we had bought:
250g McDougalls Plain Sponge Mix
1 Medium egg
4 Tablespoons cold water
Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 5. Grease and line your tin.
In a bowl combine the mix with the egg and water. Beat on high speed for 1 minute, scrape down, then whisk for another minute or until the mixture is thick and creamy. (Well, we didn’t have an electric whisk so we had to use the old elbow grease).
Spread the mixture evenly across the base of the tin.
Bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 25 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch.
Now that’s all well and good, and was the easy part (if not a little messy).
But here came the problem… how to decorate the cake.
I decided that I would put my logo on it in the familiar orange and blue colours. Fortunately we’d had the sense to buy pre-rolled icing which made things a hell of a lot easier. The idea was that I would paint the icing with food colouring. The blue layer would go on the cake, then I would effectively trace the logo with a knife through a printed version, and stick it on the blue bit.
All seemed to go well
Until I went to trace the logo. Boooo! I had left the painted icing on the side for quite a while, but the bastard stuff wouldn’t dry. Because the icing was still wet I couldn’t put the paper on it to trace the logo, plan A was out of the window. To plan B then.
I traced out the complete silhouette of the logo on plain white icing. Then I cut out the white ‘Jim’ section of the logo in plastic, and placed it on top of the elipse section and painted over that. But… how to do the rest? By that time I was pretty much bored of the whole thing and just wrote it on with the brush.
Disaster! It looked bollocks, but I’d started so I’d god damn well finish.
I carefully popped out each of the sponges and separated them from the base of the tin.
Having done that it was time for the filling.
Yummy, raspberry jam and some soft Easy Ice stuff.
Spreading the jam was easy enough, but the icing destroyed the second layer. Following advice from Missus
Once done, all that was left was to flip one layer on top of the other.
Final act – I spread a thin layer of soft icing on the top and dropped on the failed decoration.
I was thoroughly disappointed with the overall result. The cake looked good, but the logo looked shit.
It certainly didn’t make me any happier when Missus JimmerUK told me to clean up the mess.
Dejected, I assured her I would do it in the morning, put the cake on a plate, wrapped it in cling-film and went to bed.
But that’s not the end of the story…
I got up in the morning and discovered that the original orange icing had now dried, ready for tracing! So I carefully picked off the crappy logo.
Then with a toothpick poked the logo into the icing before cutting it out.
The result, following last night’s horrible failure, was brilliant!
Yay for cake!
It tasted bloody great and I was more than happy. I’ve learnt from my mistakes and next time the cake will be even better.