To mark the end of a successful half-year of homeschooling, I thought I would treat the kids to a big chocolate cake, complete with thick frosting, sprinkles…the works. I had just enough ingredients in the house to complete one 10-inch cake, and boy, did the batter ever look good. We all salivated over the cake as we stirred in one delicious ingredient after another – unsweetened cocoa, organic cane sugar, vanilla extract…We melted butter, greased and sugared the pan…
In the meantime I made a large bowl of delicious fudgy frosting, let A+F lick the whisk, and placed the bowl into the refrigerator. This cake was going to be fabulous.
Until disaster struck. I should have known not to bake when it is 100F + outside. Not only does our house heat up abominably from the oven, but the oven itself – well, I just think it cannot compete in this weather. There is indeed a reason why serious bakers bake in proper professional kitchens! After a solid 20-25 minutes of baking, I removed the cake from the oven. The outer edges seemed well-cooked but the middle was still bubbling and clearly uncooked. I lowered the oven considerably and baked until my cake tester came out clean.
I don’t know how with so many wonderful ingredients a cake could taste bad, but did this cake ever taste awful! I had to pry it away from the fingers of my ravenous children, who after waiting patiently for nearly 1.5 hours, burst into tears. So now not only did we have a rather dejected, mangled-looking cake sitting on our countertop – a total waste of time and energy – but that coupled with hysterical children – this was not going to end well. The children were demanding that I bake another cake immediately while I explained that mama is too pregnant to be on her feet any longer in a hot kitchen. That certainly fell on deaf ears. Breaking bad news to your kids is equivalent to your children hearing you and processing your words but refusing to comprehend why logistically, this might be a tad complicated.
A+F returned to the dining room, weeping and weeping. “We’re the saddest kids in the whole wide world” declared my daughter, who has a great flair for the dramatic. “All we ever wanted was to eat chocolate cake.” Good heavens, is she ever good at pouring it on! As a parent you never want to disappoint your children, and feeling that you have let them down, however unintentionally it might be, cannot possibly sit well with you.
I pulled out the frosting from the fridge, sliced up two bananas and spread the frosting on top of the banana pieces. I then cooled it down in the freezer for a few minutes, popped them out and shook rainbow sprinkles all over them. Two plates of chocolate-covered banana ‘cakes’ for two very deserving children. Sometimes all you have to do is to use a word in a slightly different context and children’s imaginations will do the rest. There was not one ounce of cake on those plates, and yet apparently they were ‘the best cakes we’ve ever had.’ Crisis averted, I now can send my superhero cape to the dry cleaner with confidence.
|Makeshift and last minute – but evidently delicious!|