A few days ago I mentioned that I’d bought the Marian Keyes baking book, ‘Saved by Cake’.
The thing is, I don’t necessarily buy cook books with any realistic intention to use them for the purposes of making food. I read them as a hobby, particularly if they’re written by people like Nigella Lawson (and now Marian).
Despite my reluctance to actually follow recipes, I decided today that I would attempt the first recipe in this book: rock cakes. I used to like baking, but I’ve had a series of culinary failures in recent months and suspect that my oven is a bit screwed up. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. But I figured that Marian’s recipes were designed to be easy, particularly for those who might feel a little fragile. I decided to give it a go.
This is what rock cakes look like in Marian’s book:
But mine… well, let’s just say that things didn’t go my way. My alarm bells started ringing when Marian told me that, after rubbing butter into self-raising flour in baking powder, the mixture should resemble breadcrumbs. Mine didn’t: it seemed to have too much butter (and I SWEAR that I followed the recipe to the letter). And the recipe said to bake the rock cakes for 15 – 20 minutes at 200C. I could smell mine baking after ten minutes and, upon checking them, realised that things weren’t going well. I took them out after 15 minutes and they looked like this:
Too much butter, right? They just didn’t rise at all. And my stupid oven singed half of them, making me believe that it’s at least 25C hotter than it pretends to be. And these stupid pancake rock cakes didn’t even taste all that good – I ate two and chucked the rest.
I think I’ll stick to no-bake tray treats for the foreseeable future.