chapter 1 series 1, episode 1 - cake weekAmy was no cook. She would burn water if she could because she burned everything else! She lived with her husband of five years, Robert. He did most of the cooking in the house because he did not want to die of food poisoning or have a side helping of charcoal with every meal.
There was nothing unusual in the couple. Robert was an electrical engineer, Amy worked as a medical secretary. They were both slim, but not skinny. Neither of them went to the gym or thought about food much. They sang in a community choir, they went out with friends. Nothing in their lives was unusual.
Robert had a late business meeting one night. Amy had the telly on, but she was not really concentrating on it. She was sitting checking her emails and catching up on social media. A new programme came on, 'the great British bake off'.
"Oh, yet another cooking programme," she thought. She'd had her fill of celebrity chefs being able to cook up a feast from two ingredients in five minutes. Only it wasn't just two ingredients was it? They had access to a huge store cupboard of other stuff and still made it look amazing. She'd tried to emulate them, but she cut her finger trying to chop an onion when the tears were running down her face. They'd said to season everything, which she'd done, but her meal ended up so salty it was inedible.
But this was not like that at all. Ordinary people baking in a competition. They made mistakes. Their produce did not look perfect, but tasted great!
Amy had never tried to bake a cake since she was at school, but after watching that programme, she wanted to now!
She rummaged through the drawer to find an old, barely used Be-Ro recipe book and leafed through the pages for an easy cake to bake with ingredients she had in the house.
She settled on a Victoria sandwich cake. She did not have cake tins, but she made do with a pie dish.
By the time her husband came in she was just putting on the finishing touches.
It was a mess! The mixture had stuck to the bottom of the dish, so it hadn't all come out in one piece. She stuck it back together with buttercream and jam.
Robert was surprised at what she had been doing while he'd been out. He wasn't used to seeing his wife in the kitchen! Her efforts did not look appetising at all, but he felt obliged to try a piece.
Amy cut him a large slice - quarter of the cake actually, oozing with buttercream and jam.
Robert made a face, he wasn't looking forward to this. Then he took his first bite. The cake was light and fluffy, the icing was sweet and buttery. It might not look good, but it tasted gorgeous! He finished the whole portion she gave him. It was better than bought cakes! He kissed her to show his appreciation for her hard work.
The next day, they both had a slice, but he was sure that his portion was bigger than hers. The cake was a bit drier than the day before, but still good to eat.
The next day, there was still quarter of the cake left. Amy divided it in half. It was very dry. She moistened it with milk to make it more edible.
She was determined to do a better job the next time. She thought that if she had to correct tools it would help. She took a trip to the nearest baking shop and stocked up on cake tins, whisks and sprinkles. She visited the supermarket and stocked up on ingredients.
On Saturday, she was ready for her second cake making attempt. She had the ingredients ready, she had the correct equipment. She made a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting sandwiched in the middle and more cream cheese frosting on the top. It was not the neatest cake in the world, but she could not wait for her husband to come in so that they could try it.
Robert had been to a football match. He was cold and grumpy, so she presumed his team had lost. She put the fire on for him and made him a cup of coffee to go with his fresh carrot cake.
He looked at her with an apprehensive smile. Her last attempt was not the best. At least this one looked better. He took a bite. The cake itself was full of sweet spice, balanced out by the sweetness of the cheese frosting. "Mmmm" he managed to say as he warmed himself by the fire. "Maybe we should lose every week if I get greeted like this when I come home! What would you have done if we'd won?"
She didn't know about the outcome of the match when she made the cake, but she said that if they'd won, she would have poured alcohol on it. Robert raised an eyebrow and smiled. He would have liked to have tried that! instead he caught hold of her around the waist and gave her a big kiss.
Robert had to make the dinner. He made a quick chicken stir fry with Chinese seasoning. It was followed by more cake.
The next day, Amy told him they had to eat the cake before it went off. He was given a large slice. Amy's slice was much more modest. This time she served it with a generous amount of fresh single cream. Robert rolled his eyes in pleasure it tasted so good! He couldn't believe that his wife was so good in the kitchen after all these years. How had she been able to keep such a skill secret?
She confessed, she had just followed the recipe. She was no genius, but the right ingredients and the right equipment helped.
Robert was simply pleased that she had found a creative outlet for herself.
He suspected it was a fad. He suspected it would not last much longer than the series she was watching. He didn't mind because he suspected that by then he might have put on a pound or two. A break from the baking would give him time to get his figure back before she thought of the next fad.
On Monday, Robert brought what was left of the carrot cake in to work. Although it was absolutely delicious, he couldn't eat it all. One slice was enough for him, even if it was a generous slice.
At least it was a weekday. Amy would not have time to bake again. There was words to learn for choir, there was the household chores to finish off from the weekend.
He was mistaken. After tea, Amy made a chocolate cake. It was rich and dark and full of whipped cream with a chocolate ganache over the top. It sounded fancy and spectacular, but visually it was not that stunning. The cake was unevenly baked, one side was so overdone it was crunchy, while the other side was soft and spongy. The cream had been over whipped and gone grainy and something had gone wrong with the ganache as well because it had gone thick and wouldn't spread properly. The cake looked a mess. Robert would be embarrassed to take it in to work to give to his colleagues, but in terms of taste, it was the best yet! He ate a big slice, then had another slice before bed.
The cake had to be eaten quickly and be kept refrigerated, so, instead of his usual breakfast, he had another large slice of cake. He knew he was being naughty, but it was too nice to waste. He enjoyed it so much better than his usual breakfast.
There was still some chocolate cake left that night to finish off between them. This was the overbaked section. Amy added single cream in a bowl to soften it and make it more palatable. Robert didn't think the extra cream was needed, but he enjoyed it just the same!
39 chapters, created 7 years , updated 4 years
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