Cake calamity

What could be better for your birthday than a home-baked cake? Exactly. Jocelyn, the first one of the group to reach old age before the rest of us, was turning 23 and we decided a show-stopper of a cake was in order. A couple of my friends and I plumped for a red velvet tiered cake, which, according to the recipe, was going to give us a beautifully breathtaking cake like this:


After struggling with the concept of beetroot in a cake, then struggling to find beetroot not in vinegar in the supermarket (surprisingly difficult) , we donned our aprons and set to work. The batter did slightly resemble lumpy, pink Calpol, but we were convinced that it wasn’t anything twenty-odd minutes in the oven couldn’t fix. How wrong we were!

Despite the fact that the sponge crumbled like sandstone, we persisted in creating a three-tier cake (if you could call it that). In order to compensate for the erupting volcano mass of sponge, colouring the icing red seemed, at the time, a logical thing to do. Unfortunately, the baking Gods were not on our side that day. The icing turned the exact colour of Heinz tomato soup -our colour matching skills would have given B&Q a run for its money, that’s for sure. Nevertheless, we poured it all over what was left of the collapsing ruin and threw on a few sweets to distract from our deplorable bake.

The life lesson learnt from this is probably that Red Velvet Cake is not my forte and I should never attempt it again. Ever.

To make matters worse, once the link had been made between the colour of the icing and tomato soup, the cake tasted oddly like said tomato soup with a few lumps of beetroot thrown in for good measure. We ended up treating the seagulls to the rest, but even they avoided it like the plague. That’s how good it was.

Mary Berry,eat your heart out:



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