As a child, I would usually spend the weekends at my grandparent’s house.
Those glorious, responsibility-free days were filled with endless visits to car boot sales, village fetes, and garden centres to look at bunnies and guinea pigs. Too much time would be had in front of the television watching cartoons and eating fatty foods. And more often than not, we’d bake.
Scones and sponges, flans and flapjacks, crumbles and cupcakes, we would make them all. As head chef, it would always be my job to lick the spoon
and or the bowl.
Those delicate delicacies were delicious.
Now I’m not sure when or how, but it seems that something has changed since I was a kid. It appears that everyone with a fucking kitchen is able to whip-up la grand patisserie-style masterpieces – a far cry from the humble baking of my youth.
The Great British Bake-Off has a lot to answer for.*
Seriously though, what’s wrong with a simple sponge cake and icing topping? Sprinkles used to be fancy. Now they’re just a simple garnish for the rest of the design. What compels people to want to bake these giant cupcake monstrosities anyway? They’re only going to be devoured in a few
It’s not that I’m against beautiful, massive Cakey McCakeFace cakes – I have a sweet tooth as much as the next person – but the problem I have with them starts at the school gate. More specifically the school bake sale.
As a mum bringing cakes into school, which look as if they were produced from the seventies, I have more than once cursed myself for not sticking to Plan A: to buy them straight from the shop. I have found myself blaming my little helpers – i.e. the kids – for my baking disasters on more than one occasion.
It seems that baking skills are a prerequisite for being a mother these days but it’s clearly a qualification I missed out on. So on that note, any baking tips are gratefully received but just don’t expect me to do anything with them. Seriously, how did cupcakes get so fucking complicated?
*Confession: Since the publication of this post and the popular BBC programme’s controversial move to Channel 4, I now love The Great British Bake Off. And Noel. I totally heart Noel Fielding.