There are some things a man should not do. This is not a sexuality thing, it is purely that for the most part, we are completely crap at it. In this instance, it was me baking a birthday cake for my daughter’s first birthday. Of course, had she eaten any of it, I am confident that it would have also been her last birthday.
The day started so well. By well, I mean that we had hired a tin that would mean that the cake would be already in a mould of monkey and my wife started to make the cake mixture. Thus I was not involved. Therefore, well.
Then I got involved.
Then it all kind of went to hell. “Kind of” being another way of saying “completely”.
Following all the instructions to make sure the cake did not stick to the tin, I eagerly placed the tin in the oven. I was eager because I had promised myself a beer, and couldn’t have it until I had finished this part. So, cracking open the beer, I stood back to marvel at my ability to turn up late, do the last part of the job and merrily swigged on my beer.
30 minutes later I removed the tin from the oven. Ah yes. Look at it. I am a genius! So turning it over on the stand, I removed the monkey from the tin on to the stand.
By removed, I mean shook violently. But it was stuck like an ant that has stood on superglue. Ah crap. And being the shape it was, I couldn’t even encourage it out with a spatula. But it is OK, because about 2 minutes of encouragement of the vigorous shaking later, it came out. Well, half of it did. The other half was stuck to the bottom of the tin.
So. Cake screwed. May as well have another beer.
It was about this time I said to my wife “Hey, you know…I saw an awesome Spongebob cake at the shop. Lets just go buy that, and I will take the credit for making it!”. This was met with as much approval as the time I asked her if she would dress up as a banana and let me broadcast her peeling herself on the Internet. Instead, it was agreed (she told me how it was going to be) that she would go bath our daughter and put her to bed while I made more cake mixture and put it in another tin. A round tin. A standard as you like cake tin.
What could go wrong! I should probably open another beer.
So making the next lot of mixture, I get the cake tin and pour the mixture in to it.
The mixture starts leaking out of the bottom of the tin. Sod it.
Pouring the mixture back in to the bowl, I turn the base of the cake tin around…just incase I put it in the wrong way…and pour the mixture back in to the tin.
Yet more mixture escapes. Highly amused, I pour the mixture (what was left of it!) back in to the bowl and take a step back to look at the carnage.
The kitchen counter looks like a cake had been horribly murdered. It’s soft gooey innards splattered all over the counter, running down the cabinet doors and on to the floor. You could almost imagine the screams that must have taken place as the poor mixture was abused, beaten and destroyed. I started to feel like a murderer who was pleased with his work, but wondering how to hide the evidence.
Using my head, I put greaseproof paper in to the tin to stop it leaking. This worked great…except that after cooking, the paper was stuck to the side of the cake, so on removing the paper from my awesome looking cake, I also removed dirty great chunks of cake.
I was left with something that resembled the thing you find on the grass in a field of cows…but the cows have been on a diet of extra hot curry while eating marmalade sandwiches. It literally looked crap.
By now, I was several beers for the better and found the whole thing highly amusing. My wife, obviously enjoying my abject failure, decided I really should carry on and start icing it. I accepted because by now, it was more of a joke than a cake.
First thing first…filler. So making a bowl of icing so thick you could plaster the walls with it, I started to fill in the big chunks of missing cake in order to make something that was actually round rather than star shaped. Perfect (well, I was pretty much drunk by this point).
But he needs ears. I mean, how many monkeys do you know without ears!? Ah-ha! Taking chunks of the original destroyed cake, I cut two ears and jam toothpicks through them and in to the side of the cake. There. Ears. Damn I am THAT good.
Right. Chocolate sprinkles around the top to make the fuzzy face. Ah man, I am a genius! Of course, I failed to mention that by now, on top of the empty beer cans, myself and the good wife have now managed to make a wine bottle empty itself. I have also eaten most of the chocolate sprinkles because I have the munchies from the alcohol.
OK. Cocoa powder all over the sides to make it the right colour. Except that I missed most of the side of the cake and now the floor is a pretty brown colour. Being the lazy arse genius that I am, I vacuumed up the powder. This worked well…except that I now get a smell of hot chocolate every time I vacuum anywhere in the house.
There. One cake made with all the love and attention of someone with the motor skills of a sloth which took some LSD and got very much involved.
It looked absolutely horrendous. But we decided that screw it…it’s made and it will be used for the party. This went well because I had used so much filler…erm…icing…on it to patch up the edges that there was about as much sugar in it as you would get in one of those pamphlets that tells you “this much sugar will kill you”.
So naturally I gave the sugar overload to the kids at the party. It was like giving the roadrunner a huge does of laxative and told that the nearest toilet is 200 miles away, so he better get running. I have a high level of confidence that by now, there are a few kids in my neighbourhood walking up to strangers saying they need a fix while looking at them with bloodshot eyes and shaking uncontrollably.
I took a photo of the cake, but I am honestly going to need some serious begging before I show you it. Honestly…it’s THAT bad! Tasted great, just looked like a mix between a deformed monkey and a car crash.
© 2009, Sy. All rights reserved.