How NOT to Bake A Birthday Cake

As you know, I do pride myself on my baking. Ever since I took part in the Stacie Stewart Masterclass. Actually before that, all those hours baking up cakes in the kitchen with the lovely Home Economist Lorna Rhodes and then further back still, baking as a child...  I have really been stepping up my game recently. Anyway, back to the tale...

You must have had a day like this. A day when time just runs away with you and before you know it, the grand plan you had of achieving something goes terribly wrong. For me, the day ended up something like this:

Day before the birthday I told myself "I'm really not going to have time to bake today am I? Blog posts to write, emails to follow up, orders to rush through. Don't worry," I tell myself, "there's still time..."  So that day comes and goes. No cake.

Day of the birthday - you wake up, still no birthday cake ready for the birthday tea, let alone baked the night before. I sit bolt upright in bed "Why did I not bake last night?" Ponders that thought a moment. "Never mind. I can still do a proper cake, lemon cake I think, her favourite..."

That's OK you tell yourself, (OK you do kick yourself), you think there's still the morning to conquer that task. First though, let's just do that overdue quick shop, straight after school drop off, quick trolley dash, rush back home, laden with shopping bags. Stuff the perishables into the fridge, and freezer. All the store cupboard items can wait 'til later. Bags are left scattered on the floor, kicked to one side. The breakfast dishes are still all out on the table. Just as everyone left them after swallowing that last mouthful... That'll have to wait too.
Parking those thoughts, I wander into the office, fire up the laptop and put the orders through and do the essential tasks of the day. I can then carry on and catch up with emails later.
The morning passes in a whirlwind. I never make it back into the kitchen. The links don't work on the blog posts, the webcam doesn't work for the Google + Hangout, so more time spent troubleshooting, re-loading software...

Quick glance at the clock. 1215 already. Have to be out to lunch with sister as it's her birthday too in 15 minutes and I still haven't done her birthday surprise.
Quickly grab all the flowers from the bucket in the garage and put together her cupcake flower arrangement. Voila!

I am still thinking, "It's ok I've still got time... Although it'll have to be AFTER lunch now."
With a full stomach, I re-enter the home at 1400hrs. Right this really is it. Birthday girl will be home in 2 hours!
Pull the mixer out the cupboard. Hurriedly grab the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and start to line up all the ingredients on the work surface. Search for baking powder... baking powder. Where is the baking powder?
Sweat really is building up now.
Grab the eggs, the butter and hurriedly check I have the rest of the ingredients. Icing sugar, vanilla essence, embellishments. Yep, got all that. I had checked earlier, but I ALWAYS have baking powder. I could have sworn I had a new jar of it... (Spike must have take the new jar and used with his chemistry set grrr!)
I yank everything out the cupboard. Check everything again. Nothing. Just two measely teaspoons. That's half what I need.
Cripes. I rush to the car, slamming the front door behind me and head the car towards the closest supermarket, (muttering under my breath over not having bought a jar that morning. As a back-up).
Lock up hurriedly and leg it in to the shop, pausing briefly to admire the spring plants and flowers as I head in.. Drag myself away and head straight to the bakery aisle.
Baking section. Check. Baking powder. Right. NO! I check the shelves again. NOTHING! Not a single jar of baking powder. Ooh there's some sachets to the left. That'll do. Just check the date... NO just gone out of date. Well, I'm not buying those!
I abandon the basket and hurry out the shop. 1510 now and I have to pick up King Julien in 10 minutes.
This time the car is pointed in the direction of our little Express store. Success! I grab the eggs, you can never have too many, and a jar of baking powder. Back in the car and this time head straight to school, grab the youngest by the coat, and steer him hurriedly out of the playground and towards the car.
"Come on!" I shout over my shoulder, "we've a cake to bake! Hurry!"

We pass a school "friend"
"Sorry can't stop! Have to go and bake my daughter a birthday cake!"

"What? Haven't you done it yet?"

"Er no! It's OK though," I reply. "It's a microwave cake, it only takes 9 minutes. Just been running around for baking powder... Hope to have it done before she comes home from school...Must dash though"

"Is that all she's worth then? Just 9 minutes!"

I hurry off without a further comment.
I was feeling bad enough anyway...

So to the cake recipe. It has been passed to me from a dear friend in South Africa and I do regularly make it. You know for times like these....

Microwave Chocolate Cake - the perfect last minute birthday cake... loveheart shaped, of course!

- hop over to the 365 Lunchbox Challenge blog for full details. It really is super quick and is ready in 8 minutes. Well, the cake will be, but then you must allow extra time to ice it. Plus you must allow it to cool before adding the icing. If you ice whilst still warm, be prepared to watch that butter icing start to glisten and shine, before slowly sliding straight off the edge of the cake, and down the sides into puddles all around the cake...
Yes you can tell by my description that that's happened to us too!

So what has been your near-miss baking incident?

The Lunchbox Lady x

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