I can’t bake but I can make ’em laugh

I’ve been trying to come up with a way to cover up or at the very least embellish the truth to save myself the humiliation of what I am about to report but I seem to be falling short. There is nothing I can do to improve the situation. Whatever way you look at it, whatever angle you view it from; it’s bad…very bad.

First Attempt- A.K.A “Citrus Gloop”

This weekend, I baked. Following a failed first attempt in which the cake exploded in the oven leaving me with a mess of lemon gloop, I decided to brave the kitchen again and persevere. “Don’t give up” my mum told me, “you can do it”. Despite many lame excuses she succeeded in getting me off my computer and into an apron, thinking that after my first disaster getting it right would be a great boost to my self-esteem and teach me a valuable lesson of determination. How wrong was she…

Second Attempt- A.K.A “Volcanic Masterpiece”

The sequel was initially an improvement on the lemon mess. I followed the same recipe but made sure to do so more precisely as I had been a bit lax the first time round, making my own amendments and substituting where I found myself lacking. Although not perfect, it actually bore some resemblance to a cake; the cracks and bumps on the surface being the only signs of my lack of culinary skill. Pride exploded out of me, in the same manner my first cake had, and I gave myself a premature pat on the back, celebrating my success. Little did I know that success would be short-lived. I was under the false impression that like many baked goodies before it, my volcanic master piece would taste much better than it looked. How wrong was I…

Following my mother’s firm belief that presentation is everything, I placed my cake on a dainty white cake stand in an effort to solve the issue of its appearance and to clarify that yes, that cracked up, bumpy mound is in fact a cake; hence the cake stand. Once satisfied, I readied my eager knife for the moment of truth. My family surrounded me, shooting distrusting glances at the foreign object on our work top, expecting it to explode at any given time; understandable given my previous mishap. Nevertheless, I was not disheartened by their lack of faith and laughed of their skepticism as complete nonsense expecting that they would change their minds as soon as I cut the very first slice of my gorgeous, mouth-watering, gooey, under-cooked cake!

Cake anyone?

I was incredibly disappointed as I had most definitely not been expecting such a tragedy to befall me after already having celebrated my victory. Once again I had been bested by a bothersome lump of flour, eggs and sugar that did not have the decency to rise when instructed to do so!! I am not over reacting. I was truly upset and although my mother tried to salvage as much of the cake as she could by carving the rock hard exterior around the sticky batter into pathetic slices it still felt like a failure.

Dig in. Seriously, it’s rock hard.

It was a shock to me but to the others, hardly a surprise. My sister, always the optimist, hoped that it would still taste somewhat decent and that there was so problem that custard could not solve. How wrong was she…

The cake, despite our hopes, lived up to its less than appealing appearance and was terrible, to say the least. My family made no attempt to spare my feelings and were brutally honest, unanimously agreeing that I was useless in the kitchen. How could I have got it wrong a second time? My sister felt cheated that she had given up an ice cream for it whilst my mother was just glad that she had not made the mistake of inviting any guests over for tea. My other sister was kinder and tried her very hardest to make it through a slice, promising to have some the following day for breakfast whilst my father could do nothing but laugh. In the end we were all laughing and in the future, when we look back on it, we will laugh. I may not be excellent in the kitchen and I may not be able to make a cake but what does that matter when I can make people laugh?

Anyone would think that after my adventures and disasters in baking I would take a hint and give up, perhaps have a go at something simpler like cookies from a ready-made mix, but I am not a quitter. I refuse to give up until I get it right. So, next weekend, I am giving it another try. If you don’t hear from me I am either to embarrassed, too lazy or my house has burned down. Wish me luck.

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19 thoughts on “I can’t bake but I can make ’em laugh

  1. My family made no attempt to spare my feelings and were brutally honest, unanimously agreeing that I was useless in the kitchen.– You made me laugh out loud with that one. Never fear, it will come with time, if you enjoy trying and keep at it. If not, then who cares? Find a man who likes to do the cooking – I did. 🙂 I’ve learned a lot from him over the years but I still get intimidated in the kitchen and I am in awe of his ability to just throw things together without recipes when cooking. They say when baking, follow directions; when cooking, follow your taste. For me, give me directions for cooking too. lol

  2. Don’t give up on the baking. The key is to follow the recipe exactly specially with the ingredients and listed quantity. After the first try at a recipe, then you can make adjustments according to your liking. I too have baked some inedible comestibles.

  3. Awesome post! Good luck with future baking adventures 😀

    My three tricks baking-wise are: always sift your dry ingredients, prepare wet & dry ingredients in diff. bowls and, then combine ’em super slowly.

  4. Ha, this was hilarious. But seriously,keep trying. The key is to stick to the recipe exactly, all the right ingredients, right amounts and right temperature in the oven. Baking is a little bit scientific I think, you need to be exact to make all the components work together (unlike with cooking where you can usually just throw everything in..).
    Good luck for round 3!

  5. My you weren’t kidding, my cake looks like a Sylvia Weinstock comparatively… don’t give up, I love to cook but there is only one thing I can bake without causing a catastrophe. I once almost managed a birthday cake for my dad, but it was late coming out of the oven so I threw in the candles and set it on the table, forgetting that wax candles probably like to melt in warm cake…

  6. I’ve baked volcanic masterpieces like yours too! ;P As well as hard cake or hard cookies. It’s just your early tries at baking so don’t give up – best of luck on your next try! You can do it! (:

  7. Who hasn’t made a cake that hasn’t exploded in the oven, or the kitchen counter or on the table? It’s like a baker’s rite of passage. Do not give up. Perseverance is the key if yu are to become a master baker. Or a baker of some sorts! 🙂 Keep us posted on your progress!

  8. This post was so honest and hilarious. The worst thing that happened to me in the kitchen was when I poured liquid into a hot Pyrex glass pan and it exploded in my oven – glass and chicken bits everywhere. As hard as I tried to clean the oven, it always smelled vaguely of chicken every time I used it after that, even if I was baking, say, banana bread. I swear by many of the baked goods recipes on smittenkitchen.com, especially the one-bowl recipes. Better luck next time! 🙂

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