Sunday, January 25, 2009

An open letter to The Guardian OR When cupcakes go bad.

It is not often that I am drawn to personal anecdotes on this blog, but I feel that what went down in my kitchen in the late hours of Saturday night deserve to be recounted for the greater public good. Due to the impending nuptials of my Father and his gorgeous lady friend, I was called upon to put my renowned cake baking skills to good use and make 30 cupcakes for their assembled guests. And so, Blue Peter-like, I commenced stage one last weekend by baking said cupcakes according to the Red Velvet recipe on the Guardian website (here). And, I must confess, was slightly disappointed with the results - no light-as-air sponge as expected, but chewy, flesh coloured patties. Putting this down to the 'American' style, I froze them for this past week, ready to ice them the day before the party.

And so, arriving home late last night, I duly set about whipping up the butter cream icing. 7.30pm - first mixture separates and resembles scrambled eggs. 8.10pm - second attempt, same scenario. I put in an urgent ship to shore call to a fellow baker and we deduce that 'sugar' in the Guardian recipe is ambiguous - they meant icing sugar. Tears and whimpering. 9pm - drive to Sainsburys re-purchase butter and buy icing sugar. 9.30 - Start over and, now using a hand-whisk, proceed to coat the entire kitchen and my good self with icing mixture. Angry sobbing. 9.55 - What remains in the mixing bowl is piped on to the cupcakes only to run out half way through. 10.15 - Operation icing, stage two. More kitchen decorating and near-hysterical crying. 11pm - Cupcakes look horrendous and taste worse. Totally lose it, abandon entire project, decide to attend wedding party empty handed and spend the next hour trying to get butter out my hair.

And so, dear, dear Guardian, in future, please check and double check your recipes before another eager baker risks getting themselves committed in the quest to bake the perfect cupcake. Meantime, Dad and M, if it's the thought that counts I think it's the biggest wedding present you got!