There were festivities at Agents of Field HQ this weekend as Agent Soph got to wear her party dress and celebrate her birthday. But for me, it was time to down the spade, lock up the allotment shed and wheel out the traditional birthday cake. Each year, Soph reluctantly vacates her kitchen domain and leaves me to conjure up some kind of cooking calamity as I attempt to bake her a cake!
So this year, in keeping with our allotment adventure, it was all about the vegetables. Arming myself with several carrots from the plot, I made Agent Sophie an Allotment Carrot Cake.
At this point, to try and impress you, I am tempted to tell a tall tale of how I created this amazing recipe from scratch. A pinch of this, a dabble of that and a cheeky tablespoon of the other. However, truth be told, it was simply a case of trawling through various internet recipes and trying to find the easiest one that had an impressive looking final result. So, to chef William Leigh, I am forever in your debt; you have my whisk at your call, Sir.
Now, to those who like a bit of drama and want your partner to know that this isn’t just baking, but a quest of the highest order that rests on the most dedicated shoulders, here’s my quick guide to ‘winging it’:
1) Let your partner know you need a pinny. With the mention of this garment, your partner will quickly realise this project is going to be BIG and you must truly love to them to go to such lengths. (Truth is, you’re no Da Vinci and this work of art is going to make a lot of mess.)
2) Banish your partner from the kitchen and tell them it’ll be more fun for them if it’s a total surprise. (Truth is, if they can’t see the numerous mistakes you’re making, then they’ll never know what a bad baker you really are.)
3) There are only so many utensils in the kitchen and you know the one you need is the one you’re never going to find. Solution: God gave us fingers! Think Patrick Swayze in Ghost and icing a cake will never be the same again.
In conclusion, my baking apprentices, it doesn’t matter what kind of mess you make, so long as it makes the person you’re baking for smile. (Furthermore, if you catch them licking the remaining frosting from the mixing bowl when they think you’re busy in the kitchen doing the dishes, then you must be doing something right.)
Oh, and you know when I said I copied a recipe? Well I did add a little something of my very own. The orange zest on the top of the cake was all my doing. The apprentice is now the master.