Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Piece of cake

Disclaimer: The following was written with much love and appreciation for my husband. Honest.

After the excitement of our beans-on-toast dinner (don't's one of my favorites and one thing I actually miss about living in London...Heinz Beanz...mmmmm...oh and I think my husband was in one of their commercials when he was a kid or something), Mr. Blogger suddenly exclaimed, "I'd like some cake!"

Where that came from, I don't know. But this was the conversation that further transpired:

"Well, if you run to the store and get me a cake mix, I'll make you one."

I was thinking of something along the lines of Duncan Hines.

"Cake mix! That's ridiculous. You just need flour and eggs and sugar. I used to make them all the time."

"Well go ahead then!"

The gauntlet has been thrown. And my pride in baking wounded, if you want to know the truth.

"OK I will! Now, where is the flour?"

"Everything's in the cupboard. Are you sure you know what you're doing? I don't want to waste all the ingredients."

"Of course!"

I'm deep into the season finale of The Amazing Race, so I let him have his fun. But part of me keeps wondering what the hell he's putting in that thing.

"Is this going to be just a plain cake? Are you frosting it or something?"

"I can whip something up. We have chocolate in there somewhere."

"Only if you plan to melt down a Cadbury Fruit and Nut."

"We have cocoa powder though, right?"

"Um, no. I think you're confusing our cupboards with the one we had in London."

The last time I had seen any cocoa to speak of.


He runs out the back door. Is there a cocoa plant out there that I didn't know about? He returns with much fruit in hand.

"Lemons...I'll make it a lemon cake! See! Oh and look...did you know we have oranges?"

No. No, I didn't. But then when Mom came to visit and upon about oh, two seconds in the backyard, presented me with both fresh mint and rosemary to smell, I hadn't known we had that either.

"OK, well I used to make a really good Lemon Jello cake with a lemon glaze on the top, so I can show you how to make that part."

I have to get my expertise in there somewhere.

"Do we have a cake tin?"

"Not really. Just use the 9x13 that's in there. It should work."

After much clanging about in the kitchen, I turn around to see him pouring batter into a small, square 8x8 glass dish.

"Did you grease and flour that beforehand?"

"No. It'll be fine. Trust me."

The batter is barely enough to fill the pan.

"How much did you put in there? Did you measure the ingredients?"

The tightly-wound part of me would have found a recipe on-line and used the exact measurements. I can't handle his free-form. But he seems to be enjoying himself immensely. I need to stop criticizing.

The cake comes out of the oven. It looks...INTERESTING.

I show him how to make the lemon glaze and we pour it on. He does not wish to wait for the cooling, so we cut a slice.

He hands it to me to take a bite.

It looks and tastes just like cornbread. With a hint of lemon.

"Um. It's good. It's very, um, dense. And yet spongy. Hmmmm."

He takes a bite.

"It's not bad."

I don't know whether to feel vindicated for me or bad for him. I choose a happy marriage.

"Um Honey, did you put any oil or butter in this?"

"No. I never needed it before."

"Well, next time try that. I think that's all that's missing."

"I don't know why it turned out like this. It's always been fine when I've made a cake with these ingredients. You don't like it, do you?

"Well, it's fine."

My face apparently says otherwise.


He hands me one of our oranges instead.


Anonymous M-I-L said...

Aaaaah! He was trying to make sponge cake! That's great if you have lots of eggs (at least one egg for every ounce of sugar, and an equal quantity of flour) and beat them really well with the sugar - that is caster sugar; granulated is not fine enough and makes the mix heavy - and use either self-raising flour or plenty of baking powder! And fold the flour in with a metal spoon, or the egg and sugar mixture loses all the air you've whisked in.

Do you have an electric mixer, or was he trying to do the whisking by hand? If he was doing it by hand, it takes much longer and I bet he got impatient and didn't beat it long enough anyway - too 'cake-hungry' ;-)

He really is a good cake-maker! I'd be interested to hear which of the above he forgot ;-D To paraphrase Winston Churchill, "Give (him) the tools and he'll finish the job!"

7:11 AM  
Blogger Ditsy Chick said...

At least he tried and you did not regurgitate anything. I can barely accomplish cooking with a recipe.

I saw your comment on Shrinking Violet about not liking hot drinks. I cannot do them either, so I thought I would come see what else we may have in common. Nice blog.

10:32 AM  
Blogger John said...

I laughed at this. I laughed especially at the orange part. I don't know why, but an orange? 'Here you go honey. No orange will suffice?'

11:48 AM  
Blogger John said...

slash in answer to you post on mine...I think I just need to re-work my whole site. Colors, scheme, layout. I don't like coming to it anymore and seeing a template that half of blogger has.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous mom said...

At least he tried, which is more than I can say for any husband of mine. Besides, an orange is healthier for you. Is he too adorable or what!

Caster sugar is also called super-fine. Or, you can take granulated, put it in a blender or food processor, and voila!

1:20 PM  
Blogger Melanhead said...

Sounds like it's your turn now to make that carrot souffle. ;)

6:08 PM  
Blogger emily said...

All I have to say is he has more balls than I do to try and make something like that. But I have to wonder, where was all his pinash(?) when there was nothing to eat?

7:04 PM  
Anonymous M-I-L said...

"Let them eat cake!" ;-D

(and I assume Emily means panache?)

12:51 AM  
Blogger sit-slake-stir said...

Oh man! I don't even care if he baked it with a wet sock in the mix... Where's mine?


5:01 AM  
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