When we were first told that MK were holding a Bake-Off I experienced a minor panic. Having just moved into a new flat with an unpredictable oven, and without the best track record in the baking department (more than a few pans had been left burnt back at University), I wondered what I could create that would be a) Edible and b) Even slightly appealing.
Going with the philosophy that ‘the old ones are the best’ I eventually chose to make a traditional lemon cake, using a family recipe that had been tried and tested across the generations, though, admittedly, never tried or tested by myself!
Gathering all the ingredients together was the easy part, especially as the most exotic item on the list was the humble lemon. Despite having only moved into my accommodation a few weeks ago I had all the equipment too, give or take an actual juicer!
With the ingredients lined up and my pinafore in place I began the measuring. I set the oven to heat as soon as I began, knowing that in the past few weeks the average meal had taken twenty minutes longer than expected in its less-than fiery furnace.
After the pouring and the mixing of the sugar, eggs, lemon rind and milk I scooped it all into the baking tin. Unfortunately, the mixture looked lumpier than I had anticipated and no matter how much I attacked it with the spatula it just wouldn’t become smooth and flat. Once in the oven matters seemed to get worse, as the outer edge burnt and the inside bubbled up into a raw and unappetising bulge.
But as I watched and grimaced at my monstrous creation I began to think about why I was making the cake in the first place, and soon realised that this was far more important than the bake itself.
MK are holding the bake-off to raise funds for the invaluable work of the Helen’s Trust. The organisation aims to help remove the barriers that may be preventing a terminally ill person from staying at home by funding and providing care and equipment. Everyone has a reason why their home is a special place for them and returning to your own home, even after a short time, can be one of the most comforting feelings.
By the time I wrapped up my cake and took it to the MK headquarters I had stopped worrying about the results, instead thinking only of what a great idea it was to take part in the bake-off and raise money for such an important charity.
And, as it turns out, the scores weren’t too bad either…
Total Score: 164