On the night of Friday, February 2nd 2007, myself and the Miller Bros ventured out into Normanby for a "few quiet pints" and "bit of relaxed chat". Later that night, after expertly throwing up on myself, my hangover kicked in.
Now, when you've got a stinking hangover, things become difficult. Simple motor tasks become arduous tests of patience. So why the flying fuck did I agree to a cake baking competition against the missus?
Some mess (Joanne's)
My logic was simple. Women make cakes. In fact some women are famous just for making cakes. So how hard could it be? After all, I am a bloke, so in my mind I thought that making cakes was the easiest thing in the world. How very, very wrong I was.
In preparation, I consulted the oracle on fairy cake manufacture - dinner ladies - and quickly found a recipe. Piece of piss. Of course, dinner ladies are usually women, and if women can be instructed in the arts of cake manufacture, then hey, so can I!
Away we went. I bashed on with plenty of enthusiasm but little technique. Joanne started sieveing things and folding stuff into separate bowls, with perfectly measured ingredients; in contrast, I just stuck it all in a big bowl and mixed the lot up, hoping for the best. In the end though, our respective mixtures looked a lot alike, with one minor difference. I had heard somewhere that you need to fold some air into the mix to make your cakes rise in the oven. Following much folding and air inducement, my cake mix was so aereated that I thought it started farting. Luckily, it was the dog instead.
The pair of us then scraped our mix into the cake cases, which gave the first inkling of a problem for me; whilst Joanne's mix had a gloopy, cake mix-like texture, mine was about as thick as Professor Steven Hawking and was the colour of cat sick. We proceeded undaunted, sticking our creations into a ready warmed oven. Then we waited. Well, washed up anyway....
15-20 minutes later, the cakes were ready. Joanne's cakes were beautifully risen, with a golden brown colour and firm texture. Mine were brown, no, burnt. Not burnt to a crisp, but decidely browner than the prime specimens sat next to them.No worry; we shall prevail. Surely mine being brown meant they contained more flavour, plus I still had a taste sensation trump card to play - chocolate icing.
After cooling, I set about making the choco-icing. But then - DISASTER! I misjudged the water addition, and finished not with the anticipated choco-icing taste sensation, but with brown fucking water instead. Gutted. I was reduced to normal white icing. With sprinkles. Hmmpph. Joanne moved onto another level all together, with fancy dan butter icing and butterfly wings and all that. Smartarse. My sprinkles then failed to glue to the icing, falling limply to the side of the cake case. Thankfully, Joanne (now known as Young Delia, not just for her prowess in the kitchen but also for her love of a drunken outburst) came to my aid and rescued the sprinkle problem.
I haven't tasted one of mine yet. I daren't. Joe's were very nice, and went down a treat with a cup of tea. I might let the dog sample one of mine, in a sort of toxicity test. But Zack will eat literally anything, so that might not be such a good idea, plus I will probably have to pick a very offensive turd up later in the week.
Two lessons from this; firstly, cake manufacture is more difficult than it looks, especially if you're a bit of a fly by night cowboy cake boy like me. Accuracy and attention to detail is the key, and I took no heed of either. Secondly, dinner ladies make shite cakes, and really shouldn't have their own website. I mean, remember how dodgy school dinners were? Exactly.