Let them eat cake – if they can make it.

Poor old Marie Antionette. No doubt she was a lardy Sloane with arrogance issues. But apparently she never said for the people to eat cake, it was misreported by the French revolutionaries. She was actually talking about brioche. Which of course, makes it alright.

But this slightly (ok, very) contrived introduction brings me to cake. Now my mother is a master cake builder. I can still remember as a child, birthday cakes in the form of a tank and Thomas the Tank Engine, both home-made. My dad also got a computer-shaped cake for his 30th birthday in 1984. Cake mastery at its finest.

But being male, cakes are something which so far I have failed to master. Actually, what sex you are is clearly crap. But anyway, I follow the recipe but when the sponge comes out the oven it is flat. It takes ok, in fact, it tastes pretty good. But it is really thin, more like a jam sandwich using piss-poor own-brand supermarket bread than a thick, light Viccy sponge.

When I have ventured to ask those who are more expert, views are somewhat divergent. Too much liquid, too little liquid, too long cooking, not long enough.

Still, at least icing is easy, never realised it is a matter of: take icing sugar, add water, mix and spread. What they didn’t say to me was “make icing about an inch thick”, but I did that of my volition. Calories, what calories?

I end this post requesting your answers and guidance in baking a perfect cake – give me the shining light of your culinary illumination.

"Oh go on then, just a small slice."

Actually, that isn’t the end, as when I was looking for a picture to illustrate this post I stumbled across this picture being used to advertise this website. While I appreciate the skill, I wonder if there is a more bad-taste (in visual terms) cake in all the world?

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