Defective Baking

To be honest, I knew it wasn’t going well when it turned green. I’d followed the instructions exactly: It said “gradually add a few drops of blue food colouring (don’t add too much or the cake will look green.)” Well excuse me, but any yellow mixture is going go turn green if you add blue. It couldn’t be helped.

The Gingerbread House’s Battenburg turned green. Did I really expect mine to go differently? No. I looked at her photo and knew mine would go the same way. In hindsight I should have used white butter instead of yellow butter. When I was in Tesco’s surreptitiously buying a kilo of the stuff it just didn’t occur to me to peal back the wrapper to take a peek inside.

So my cake batter was green. Not the nice bluey-green Gingerbread House managed to achieve. Mine was more of a sickly pea-green. At least it didn’t curdle when I mixed the sugar, butter and egg. Oh wait, yes it did. The recipe said “If the mixture looks like it is curdling add a spoonful of the flour”, so I did. It didn’t help.

I probably should have used a proper cake tin. Instead I used a flimsy latex one from The Pound Shop. You’d think I’d have taken more care when putting it into the oven. It nearly ended up on the oven door. I caught it, just in time. I balanced the flimsy square on my left hand, the edges drooping on three sides threatening to overspill, whilst my right hand battled the oven rack.

Grabbing it with both hands wasn’t much better: the cake flopped into a V shape redistributing the mixture once again. (Note to self: Use a baking tray in future). I scrapped the mix back into the ‘tin’ and popped it in the oven.

I shouldn’t have opened that bottle of wine. I was home alone and baking on a Saturday night. I knew it was a mistake but I did it anyway. I thought I deserved it at that point. It couldn’t get much worse, could it? …

…That’s as far as my diary entry went for Saturday night.

I meant to finish writing about my disastrous Union Jack Battenberg and post it in a blog. I also meant to write about the wonderful chocolate / vanilla marble muffins I successfully scraped together. (Number 44: Tick!) The recipe said they were cupcakes. Who am I to My Chocolate Cup Cakesargue? If I’d known they were muffins I’d have used a muffin tin instead of a Yorkshire pudding tin, then maybe they wouldn’t have spread out and covered the tray. They still worked out well, considering. They look good though, right? They tasted good.

I also meant to write about the “Northern Quarter Loves You” festival which took place over the weekend. (2 day, 3 stages, 30 bands etc.) I wish I had the time to tell you about sitting outside Centro Bar on Tibb Street listening to J.P. Cooper and chatting with a fascinating ex-pat Mancunian who nearly died in the Boxing Day Tsunami, but survived with just one leg amputated.

I wanted to tell you how much I loved seeing Manchester come together like that: having fun, eating, drinking, dancing; and I wanted to debate the idea of having a NQ festival monthly, bi-annually or annually.

I just don’t have the time. Not this week. Instead here are some photos from the Northern Quarter Loves you festival.

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If you didn’t go – You missed out. If you did go – Tell me about it. 🙂

All comments welcome. 🙂

… P.S. We’re looking for a Canadian themed venue in Manchester for our next book club. Any ideas?

P.P.S. My cupcake photo isn’t suppost to be part of the slideshow but I don’t know how to remove it without removing it from this page completely. Just ignor that one! :-p


17 thoughts on “Defective Baking

  1. Hmmm, I’m not having much luck looking for any Canada themed venues in Manchester. There are a few Canada Grills about, but a takeaway isn’t the best venue to discuss books. There’s a Canada House on Chepstow Street but I doesn’t look as though it has a bar (unless the gym has a bar?). There’s a Canada Street in Miles Platting. Not ideal either. Any other suggestions?

  2. So come on, not even a glimpse of the green battenburg?

    I was there, there are people in your N4 photos that are in my photos too! We must have just missed each other, I was there 2:30-5:00 on the Sunday. Very good times.

    Canadian Charcoal pit, Burton Road, M20 (0161) 445 3207
    probably too far out – West Didsbury, near the Metropolitan if you know that pub? It’s a bus ride of about 20 minutes, my Gran used to live over the road from the pub but I don’t know the restaurant. Ah well, of all the restaurants in Manchester…..we should still impose a venue on Lou, shame it’s not a hellfire-related-scary-book-choice.

  3. I think we got there at about 2.30 pm too. We wandered around a lot but spent most of the day near Centro. You were probably eating in Sugar Junction at the same time I was studying the menu in its window.

    We ate on Thomas Street – Couldn’t resist the BBQs.

    P.S. I promise there will be Battenburg faliure photos… 🙂 Coming soon…

  4. I googled Canadian Charcoal Pit – There are 3 in south Manchester. They’re probably all too far for the book group 😦 Although, hmmm, West Didsbury isn’t that far… There’s one in Altricham too – easy enough on the Metrolink?

    I don’t think the book group will go for it. Lou, any thoughts?

    • Hey guys,

      Mm those cakes look amazing, nice one! I’m especially jealous of the marble ones.

      I don’t know any venues that are Canadian, what about something that plays on the whole hermaphrodite theme, there must be somewhere in the Village? Or will it turn into a cross dressing book group? I’ll say YES to anything : )

      • Too bad we missed The Ladyboys of Bangkok. They were here in Manchester in July. We could have bought tickets for £10 each. (Ok, so watching a show and discussing books don’t really go hand in hand – There was an intermission we could have used :-p)

        • Yeah to be honest I’ve heard the same, o well only one way to find out : ) One of my challenges was to try 3 new foods, I tried Foie in Spain which sounds different but I can’t find out anywhere what it is. I hope it’s something exciting not just ham 🙂

          • Foie gras?
            Foie gras?
            Not good Lou, this is the liver of a duck or goose it is made in France, the duck or goose is force-fed ‘Gavage’ by a tube which is fed into their stomach and the fat/corn feed is shot into their stomach by a pneumatic pump. It is banned in some countries and is quite nasty. For the last half month of their lives they are forcefed a few times a day to put on lots of weight, they often die or get very inflammed throats. The word Foie alone is not a food, it means time, or occassion, I think, but in foie gras it means liver, I think. I don’t think it is a Spanish word. Naughty.

      • also Canadian charcoal pit or not I think we should arrange to get some food next book club because the last few have involved people eating alone, and people rushing off early to eat. If we arrange to meet say at 6:30 somewhere and actually arrange the BC at like 8pm either at the same place or somewhere else, then if people don’t want to eat it gives them time to get home and get changed instead?

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