Baking Crazy

3 Aug

I acted out of character yesterday.  I had the urge to bake.  Not any old urge, like the urge to go to the toilet or to eat a Malteser, or to go to the toilet while eating a Malteser; but an urge like my guts will burst if I don’t get to the bathroom on time; like I must empty that box of Maltesers right now before someone comes in and wants one.  It was quite frightening.

I don’t bake.  I barely cook.  I muddle along as best I can and hope not to poison anyone.  Sometimes, I don’t.  So what brought this new and terrifying desire upon me?  Grocery shopping.

Life is only worth living if we have the occasional treat; by which I mean that we must have snacky things to eat in the house at all times, or the family will at last realise they are running on empty.  We haven’t done a great deal of shopping lately and I needed to stock up on staples.  Once I’d bought all the staples, however, there was nothing left for cakes.  You could misquote Marie Antoinette and say, ‘Let them eat bread!’ but I’m trying to cut back on stodgy food – cakes aren’t ‘food’ but ‘snacks’, so it’s not cheating.

Thus, I decided to make my own.  The itch had been there for a while, if I’m honest; ever since Viv told me her secret: weigh the eggs; make the dry ingredients the same weight; add the flour last and stop mixing.  Viv is a genius.  Usually, my cakes look like this, if I’m lucky: _ _ _ _ _ .

But not with Viv on the case: dear old Viv, wonderful Viv, knows how to bake Viv, glad I listened to her Viv, I love Viv Viv, genius Viv:

You should be looking at the ones at the back; the ones at the front are yet to go in the oven. 

I hung on to Tory Boy’s school recipe booklets, you see, and yesterday I went through them, selecting several recipes to try.  I didn’t just bake one thing: I baked for hours and hours and hours.  At one point the Hub walked into the kitchen and asked me who I was.  It was that phenomenon where you meet someone in the street and you know you know them but it’s not where you usually meet them and you can’t place them until you picture them with a milk float or a lollipop and yellow coat or a sack full of post.

Here’s the next batch:

I didn’t follow Viv’s instructions for the cakes at the front, and it shows.  I have an excuse, however: the recipe said ‘buns’ not ‘cakes’.  I didn’t know they were the same thing.  I suppose I should have guessed when the ingredients were exactly the same, but I was high on the excitement of my first batch. 

The glass dish at the back holds the leftover mixture from Viv’s cakes.  I bunged in some tinned peaches and made a peach cake.  How cool am I?

Then I was left with half a tin of peaches – no problem!  I had a recipe for apple crunchy top so I could halve the topping and make two puddings.  One snag: not enough topping.  No problem!  I made up another batch.  How double cool am I?

While they were baking I made up a variation cake mix from TB’s booklets, still not making the connection that I needed to about the egg weighing thing.  I was too high on my double cool new baking skills to do any thinking.

Then I thought, ‘I’m good enough to bake scones.  Yes I am.  I know I am.’  Turns out I’m not.  They were as flat as all the other cakes that didn’t obey Viv.  But you know what?  Who cares?  I baked.  And, what’s crazy: I enjoyed it.

Back Row: peach cake/apple crunchy top/peach crunchy top/variation cake mix, or flatasapancake for short.

Front Row: Viv’s stupendous cakes/all in one buns/what’s laughingly known as ‘scones’.

The scone downstage left is the one made from all the mushed up left over mix.  Perhaps I’ll make them all from mushed up left over mix next time.

Yes, there will be a next time.

Where’s my lollipop?



44 Responses to “Baking Crazy”

  1. beckysefton August 3, 2011 at 11:28 #

    Mmm I love baking. For cakes, I’ve never heard of Viv’s method’s – I juse use 6oz butter, sugar, flour and 2-3 eggs (size depending). My favourite thing to make: chocolate brownies. MMMM. I would bake all day given half a chance. And I love making dough (for bread or rolls or pizza base) – really a good anger release. Pretend that dough’s someone’s head 😉


  2. Cindy August 3, 2011 at 12:22 #

    I love baking, the problem is to ration myself so there aren’t cakes standing all over the place going stale. Where are you going to store all that??? Well done, by the way!


  3. Big Al August 3, 2011 at 13:29 #

    You’ve written some great blogs but this one takes the cakes. Will you mail me one?


  4. vivienne Blake August 3, 2011 at 14:08 #

    Tilly, I’m proud of you.

    The weight of eggs in their shells = the same weight in sugar, fat and flour – only works for sponge mixtures! The critical bit is not to beat once you add the flour, just fold it in gently. That obviously worked brilliantly.

    I promised to send you my foolproof scone recipe when we chatted this am, and I will. Good job I read this post or I’d have forgotten!


    • Tilly Bud August 4, 2011 at 10:48 #

      Oops! I weighed them out of their shells – but they were still perfect!


  5. Pseu August 3, 2011 at 15:03 #

    Where are the biscuits?


  6. nrhatch August 3, 2011 at 16:17 #

    Glad you had such FUN in the kitchen.
    I’m not a fan of baking (the process) . . . I do appreciate the end result. 😀



  7. We're Jumpin' August 3, 2011 at 16:18 #

    I wish I could bake haha!!! 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration though 🙂 I shall once again try to bake!


    • Tilly Bud August 4, 2011 at 10:52 #

      I can’t, really; but as I said, the urge came upon me.


  8. SammyDee August 3, 2011 at 16:35 #

    You made all them in one day? Wow! You did really well. They look tasty.

    I recently learned how to make banana bread. I love simple recipes that make you look good!


    • Tilly Bud August 4, 2011 at 10:52 #

      I can’t eat banana bread; it sets my teeth on edge 🙂


  9. SchmidleysScribbling August 3, 2011 at 17:35 #

    I believe you are better at this than you let on. Dianne


    • Tilly Bud August 4, 2011 at 10:54 #

      I only wish that was true! I love to eat; I loathe cooking.


  10. gigihawaii August 3, 2011 at 17:35 #

    Congratulations, Tilly. You’ve managed to out-do yourself. I am so proud of you.

    As for me, I usually bake just one item at a time and it lasts less than a week. It’s a lot of work, but so worth it.


  11. colonialist August 3, 2011 at 19:13 #

    *hands over lollipop and at the same time filches a tray of peachy cakes^


  12. slpmartin August 3, 2011 at 20:03 #

    I have friends in England that may be able to recommend a physician that may be able to address these unusual feelings you’re haveing. 😉


  13. Janie's Place August 3, 2011 at 20:58 #

    You rock! They look good, even the flatasapancake.

    I once had a marathon cookie bake. I made literally a gross of cookies one afternoon. And, then I realized while diligently making everyone else’s favorites that I forgot to make my own, so I baked again later.


    • Tilly Bud August 4, 2011 at 10:53 #

      Glutton for punishment, you are, Janiewan.


  14. barb19 August 3, 2011 at 22:04 #

    Well done – your urge paid off!


  15. kateshrewsday August 3, 2011 at 23:07 #

    Baking is a spiritual experience: to misquote Chevy Chase, “Be the buns”…. it is the creation of something wholesome and cost-effective, a regresion to times when we roasted mammoth round an open fire.I love using my hands – shortbread is fab for that. Only problem is I eat it all afterwards.


    • Tilly Bud August 4, 2011 at 10:56 #

      I wish that whole spirituality thing was true for me 🙂

      Have you met my Hub, the shortbread demolisher? I’d like to see that meeting over the last piece 🙂


  16. johnnathanielfernando August 4, 2011 at 04:36 #

    haha we both just did something out of character!i posted something out of character too! now that’s 3 for synchronization. you know that i’m thinking about? maybe my subscriptions are the work of the hands of destiny itself, guiding me to like-minded humans although i’d also would like to meet a like-minded alien.


  17. Sharp Little Pencil August 4, 2011 at 05:22 #

    Good for you, Linda. And in the heat of summer! I admire you. I only bake one thing, but it’s a good thing: Chocolate cake, my mom’s recipe. As for muffins, etc., it drives me nuts because they never come out uniformly browned! So I gave up years ago and let all the cafes in Madison do the baking for me!! Thanks for a sweet treat of a post. Amy


  18. earlybird August 4, 2011 at 05:31 #

    Amazing! I’m breathless with admiration! But where did that urge come from? Most unlike you! I was glad to read you’d frozen some of your production. It looked quite a lot to eat unless you were planning a party.

    Do I see a third blog coming on? Tilly’s adventures in the kitchen? 🙂


  19. Perfecting Motherhood August 4, 2011 at 07:28 #

    Er, I hope you shared some with your neighbors! The various smells must have driven them nuts.


    • Tilly Bud August 4, 2011 at 11:03 #

      Nope! I’d be too embarrassed – my neighbour is an excellent cook.


  20. eof737 August 4, 2011 at 10:40 #

    You did good. Congrats … and ship us some will ya! 🙂


  21. speccy August 4, 2011 at 16:51 #

    Wow! Tilly! Feel free to come this way the next time you have this urge. I sometimes have a similar urge, but it only lasts for 1 cake. I like the weighing eggs thing too, tho my MIL is very sceptical. You have the proof in your pics 🙂


    • Tilly Bud August 5, 2011 at 09:10 #

      I swear, it’s the only time my cakes have ever risen.



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I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

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