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I am beginning to realise that the reason a lot of my bakes go wrong is that I am a little bit lazy. I always start with good intentions but then time seems to slip away and when I am about two thirds done I start rushing to just get it finished.

Case in point; I made what was supposed to be an ‘Extra Special Ginger Sponge Cake’ last week.

My attempt looked like this:

Yeah. It’s a mess!

Here are the things I did wrong:

  • I was meant to grease and line the baking tins. I ran out of lining paper so I only lined the sides of the tin and not the bottom. Not sure why I thought it would be OK. Quite a bit of the sponge stuck to the pan when I was getting it out and made two quite wonky sponges. At this point I would say that the cake was rustic but passable.
  • I hadn’t checked my stock of icing sugar and it turns out I only had enough icing sugar left to make buttercream for the middle but not enough to make any for the top.
  • I did have a bag of fondant icing sugar so I thought I would use that instead. But it was getting late at that point so I didn’t bother sieving it. Mistake! This caused lumpy icing
  • I should have added the water to the icing sugar a spoon at a time but it was taking too long so I added some straight from the tap. Mistake! I soon had very runny icing and no sugar left to thicken it up.
  • Then I thought I would pour the icing on top of the cake and if it ran down the sides it would do so in a drippy but indulgent fashion. It didn’t. It ran down the sides and pooled under the cake straight on to the worktop because I hadn’t bothered to put a tray underneath.
  • ‘Top the cake with crystallized ginger and dark chocolate swirls’ the recipe said. I didn’t have any chocolate swirls. I had planned to use chocolate sprinkles instead but actually I didn’t have any chocolate sprinkles in either. At this point I knew I had a disaster on my hands but stuff it, I was going to finish it anyway, so I artfully placed some lumps of crystallized ginger in a wonky circle and ta da! My masterpiece was done.

I was so fed up with this cake and it was so late by the time I was finished that I didn’t even try any of it until the next day. I am pleased to report that it tasted much better than it looked. Also it looked a lot better when it was cut into slices so I have been able to share it without being too ashamed of it’s presentation.

Next time I promise to double check the ingredients, prepare properly and take no short cuts…..or  I will scrap the icing altogether and just make the sponge and serve it warm with custard!