With Middle Mudlets party over and several months until the next birthday cake was required, it was with relief that I consigned my scales to the drawer, put the greaseproof paper away and put the final cake tin back into the cooling oven which is where I store my tins and trays. All thoughts of baking anything other than a batch of yorkshire puddings, or maybe the odd quiche base were banished – I was all baked up.
So it came as a bit of a shock when, at around 2pm Monday afternoon, Mud remembered that he was supposed to take cakes into work the next day. Furthermore he had promised his colleagues a supply of glorious, thickly coated, chocolate crispy cakes!
As is the case in many firms, it has become a tradition to bring in cakes to celebrate ones birthday. This is a tradition that has always baffled me, as I have never really understood how it came about that the birthday person bought the cakes, instead of the colleagues having a whip round to buy them, after all, surely the whole purpose of a birthday is for others to celebrate the day in which you entered this world.
Being more than capable of making my own cakes, I have, over the years baked sufficient cakes to fulfill the requirements of Muds’ office – that is to say, so long as Mud isn’t the one doing the slice cutting as he has never really grasped the concept of portion size.
This year, however, with the sickness of the Mudlets, Mud taking a two week holiday away from the office, Middle Mudlets’ party and Eldest Mudlets’ drama with her sick boyfriend, Muds’ birthday had been and gone and the need to supply cakes had gone clean out of my head and so when Mud announced his requirement for cakes, to be ready to travel at 4am the next morning, I was not amused.
A quick look in my cupboards and I realised that I probably had enough caster sugar left to do 2 if not 3 cakes and so I set to work. By the time I left to pick the girls up from school (3.20pm), I had two slab cakes in the oven and by the time tea was served (5.45pm) the coffee cake was iced, sliced and wrapped in foil for its’ journey South. Sadly I forgot to take a photo of that one but I did remember to snap the jam swiss roll I made for the house, to pacify the girls who weren’t at all pleased with the plan to remove the other cakes from the house.
At some point during the icing process Mud wondered in and seeing the cakes on the cooling tray, asked who they were for. Duh!
“Work!” was my exasperated reply – surely that was obvious.
It was at this point that Mud dropped his bombshell: “But I told them you’d be making chocolate crispy buns and they were all really excited because they love crispy buns.”
Excuse me! Run that by me again! I have only just been reminded that cakes are required and in the space of 3.5 hours since then, I have managed to bake and ice two cakes only to be told that they were the wrong sort of cakes! I should point out at this point that the average age of Muds’ work colleagues is probably 30-32 years old and so to be told that they were all looking forward to cakes made from cornflakes covered in melted chocolate which is a treat I tend to associate with primary school children like, say, the two youngest Mudlets, had the affect of a stun gun on full power.
“We have no cornflakes!” was my response,”And probably not enough chocolate! We only just had enough ingredients left to make the cakes I made!” I finished, feeling much aggrieved.
“Well,” he said,”I’ll take the two cakes in tomorrow and then I’ll get some cornflakes and chocolate and you can make the crispy cakes on Wednesday!” and obviously feeling pleased with his solution he trundled back to his office.
So to recap: after a couple of hard weeks dealing with sick younger children and a distraught older child, planning and preparing for a party, doing hours of hard graft in the garden and sowing seeds or repotting seedlings and then baking two cakes for Muds’ work, at the drop of a hat I might add, I now had several dozen chocolate crispy cakes to make, on Wednesday ……… oh and that would be after the school trip that I was going on as a ‘responsible adult’ on Wednesday afternoon! Oh joy of joys.
So today after work Mud popped to town and came back with 2 huge boxes of cornflakes, several bars of cooking chocolate and I have made 62 crispy cakes, 38 with plain chocolate and 24 with a 2:1 milk chocolate:plain chocolate mix. There are also 8 in the fridge for the Mudlets, after all it would be cruel to make chocolate crispy cakes and NOT have some left for the girls and I give you all fair warning – I am all baked out for the foreseeable future.