Monday, 5 December 2011

Sunday - Disaster Day

Oh sorry man, I meant baking day!!!
Ever since Chad decided a couple of weeks ago that he was going to be the next great baker and our chocolate cake flopped, I have wanted to bake another chocolate cake. Well on Friday I stumbled on an easy chocolate cake recipe, which I found over here. The author added that it is very easy and if there is one thing you must do this year- it is to bake this cake.

Well it was easy enough to make and I measured carefully, followed the recipe to the T, but I never greased the pans as well as I should have so the cake stuck to the tins but not too badly. The meringue filling was a disaster though.

Chad decided he was going to ice and decorate the cake, but then declared that baking is not for him. It is not as easy as it looks. So as I have always maintained my baking is only meant for my family and I could never serve it to anyone else. It is at times like this that I really miss our nanny, who worked for us for 9 years, first looking after Chad and Clinton when I had to work full time and then just being our domestic worker when I was fortunate enough to stop working full time. Patricia, who Chad called Tee-Ta, when he was little, was the most amazing baker. It is times like today that I realize how talented she was. She made the best milk tart ever. No shop, bakery or person could make a milk tart like she did. Another one of her prize items was a carrot cake.  It was the best carrot cake ever. I always used to order special birthday cakes or ice cream cakes for Clint and Chad's birthday parties, but after Patricia started working for us and he had tasted her carrot cake, there was no more ice cream cake for Clint. He always requested a carrot cake made by Patricia. All the kids just loved it. She made muffins and cup cakes and cakes, all sorts, but maintained that she could not cook. I think it was more of an excuse in case I got her to cook for us every night. 

She used to work for people who owned a Home Industry. A Home Industry, for those you don't know, is South Africa's version of a bakery. We don't have bakeries anymore, like in the old days. Now you buy your cakes at Spar, Pick 'n Pay, Checkers etc and they are conveyor belt produce. Then we have Home Industries, where a network of women bake for a particular shop and you buy "homemade" goods. Well Patricia worked for people who owned one, so she baked for them, looked after their babies, cleaned their house and basically did everything for them - including cooking!!! She decorated the cakes so nicely, especially the cup cakes and made little faces on them. She was always so proud of her baking, but always needed reassurance from us that it tasted good. I know first hand that icing and decorating is not easy at all. I am not creative at all!!! To think a lady who only has a grade 4, could learn to bake and decorate so quickly and do it so expertly is beyond amazing. Whenever we had the boy's parties, the mothers would always ask where I bought the cakes from and were totally shocked that my "domestic" worker baked everything. 

Sadly, Patricia, who had a pacemaker before starting to work for us, eventually had to retire, because her other ventricle was blocked and she had to stop working, so now it is back to buying conveyor belt cakes from supermarkets or over priced not so fresh Home Industry cakes or make my own disaster like this.

And then have to clean up a disaster of a mess like this

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