I had such high hopes for this post. I'd found the perfect recipe, bought the ingredients, set aside a free morning for stress free baking and Angus was playing happily... I'd imagined showing you my splendid, triple layer cake, standing tall and beautifully decorated on my glass cake stand... But it was not to be. I made a cake that collapsed under it's own weight.
Tomorrow is John's birthday and I decided to make him the Sweet and Salty Chocolate Cake from The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days, a much loved and well used baking book. The recipe called for, in total... 750g/1lb 10oz butter, 840g/1lb 13oz sugar, 450g/1lb chocolate, 540ml/19 fl oz cream, cocoa, golden syrup.... It's sounds like delicious heart attack in cake form. But it is a birthday cake, a cake for celebrating, not an everyday cake, and so I think it is well deserved.
First you make some salted caramel. Then you make another batch of caramel, beating in chocolate and butter to make the frosting. Then you bake three chocolate sponges for the cake. Layer cake, caramel, frosting, until you have a triple tier cake wobbling in front of you, then cover top and sides with the chocolate frosting. Easier said than done! The sponge is moist and crumbles when you so much as look at it. My caramel was too runny and my frosting too firm, so when I tried to assemble the cake it just fell apart.
But I think I managed to pull it back from the brink...what do you think?
I used the two salvageable cakes and a lot less caramel and hoped for the best. I think it looks ok. It will still taste good. Bella and Angus got lucky today - they have three friends coming over for tea tonight and instead of the fruit and yogurt I had planned, I will feed them some of the mangled cake for pudding. Maybe with some fruit on the side.
Lastly, thank you so much for all your comments about pottering. I really enjoyed reading them all, and hearing about all the different things you do to relax. Thank you Rachel, for telling me about "pootling", which is a more leisurely form of pottering. I did not know that!