At the start of the summer holidays, I couldn’t wait for the 2 days a week where sprog goes to nursery and I would get some time to myself. So far, this just has not happened. I’ve been busy planning lessons to give myself a head start for September and this Thursday I spent the entire day in the kitchen. Now, I am not a natural baker, I don’t find it particularly relaxing and I never have time during ‘normal’ life.
In ‘normal’ life it is infinitely easier for everyone concerned if I buy a cake! It is far less likely to be burnt, much more likely to look good and absolutely going to taste better. I was very concerned about burning things as I baked.
It’s not the hubby didn’t trust me to get it right, but he did leave me full instructions on the front of the kitchen cupboards. He’s a good boy, that one. The only instruction that I was concerned by was the one that said ‘you’ll have to use your own judgement here’… say what?! My judgement? Consider that I last baked a cake 18 months a go, and feel my concern.
My first cake in the oven was the bottom half the big cake – only marginally burnt… and I was planning to cover it with icing anyway! So I was pretty happy.
I then amazed myself with the level of multitasking. By lunch time I had made a lemon drizzle cake, chocolate cake, 30 fairy cakes and the 2 halves of the big cake. All this with only marginal burn on the lemon drizzle cake! Then came the bit that I had truly been dreading… fondant icing…on the big cake. It may not sound like much to any regular bakers but I was absolutely terrified. I even turned the radio off so that I could concentrate properly! But a couple of deep breathing exercises later (antenatal class was good for that!), I transferred my ‘rolly’ icing from the counter top to the cake…without ripping, without disaster, in one piece and it looked ok! Fist pump!
After lunch, I tackled the fairy cakes. I had perused trusting YouTube during my lunch break to find the best way of doing this and of I went. I had so much fun doing them but can you see why I don’t have time for baking in ‘normal’ life, I like to do things properly, if a little OTT! The character on the cakes is well known in our house and for anyone who has babysat or been around at bed time. Baby Owl is one of Sprog’s favourites and he appears in 4 (!) of the books that we actually own (bookshelf is quite full as I’m quite a fan of the library) and there are 2 still on our wish list. I’m Not Cute/Sleepy/Scared/Santa by Jonathan Allen have a great dialogue between Baby Owl and other woodland creatures and Sprog is enthralled every time we read them. We can pretty much guarantee (as much as one can with a small person) that he will sit still and listen as we read these books.
Anyway, time for the big cake reveal… Ta Dah!!! Baby Owl lovingly crafted using icing tubes!
It seems that all of our guests enjoyed all of the different cakes on offer, no-one has reported any food poisoning to us today, and I won’t be baking again until this time next year!