Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Nigella's Birthday Custard Cake

As we grow with experience, we can let our culinary instincts guide us to our own clever inventions; a blueberry eaten with blue cheese or the addition of gin to an aperol spritz.

With a baking recipe from a trusted source in your arsenal, cake baking is rarely enhanced by our own instincts (unless perhaps you are a professional). Cake decorating is where the creativity comes in, the rest is science: precise weights, timings, vessels, temperatures. The use of said 'trusted source', such as a reputable book, means that you've had legions of recipe testers come before you to ensure that this recipe will work. For me, there is undeniable satisfaction to be had in crafting precisely the number of fairy cakes you are told you will produce without a lick of batter to spare (ala Nigella or Mary Berry).

I got bitten by a baking bug a couple of weeks ago and proceeded to deviate from my usual recipe bank and found a few exciting recipes on the internet I wanted to try. This was a mistake. Perhaps a more experienced baker would have foreseen discrepancies in this selection of recipes and used their instinct to adapt, but as a novice I know it's best to do as I am told. My spiced apple rock cakes were short to the extreme, and a cup of tea was a required accompaniment; whilst my jaffa cakes had sodden bottoms, not just soggy. I have learnt that the internet is not a trusted source, no matter how much you trust the website, ahem, The Guardian, proceed with caution.

Finally, a good excuse for me to buy more cookbooks.

Here is a Nigella Custard Cake that did go right, a little something to be proud of.