Entry 12: In which the Koala bakes a cake, starts a nuclear war and makes a hated enemy

Oh my. That….was an incredibly busy two weeks.

As I may have mentioned before, I’m a member of a group of gaming enthusiasts. Board games, D&D…all that sort of thing. Every six months or so, we have a big meet up with folks coming from all over the UK to play games for a couple of days. This time, I had an incredibly sweet and adorable friend of mine staying with me as well for the four days. So last week was spent running around like a mad thing ensuring that my flat was fit for human inhabitation. >.>

But of course you folks came here for delicious bakery goodness and for the meet up, I decided to go with a raspberry bakewell cake. Which was rather apt, given that it’s been blazing hot here in the UK for the past couple of weeks and the cake wasn’t the only thing that was baking well.

Let’s get the ball rolling with the recipe:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/11695/raspberry-bakewell-cake

So at a glance, it’s a pretty straightforward sponge cake, with the addition of fresh fruit, which is a pleasant change from dried stuff like raisins & sultanas.

So having spent ages cleaning from top to bottom, the Koala sets about undoing all my hard work.

So having spent ages cleaning from top to bottom, the Koala sets about undoing all my hard work.

As with the salad I made a couple of weeks back, it is important to properly clean and wash fresh fruit to clear off any leaves and pesticides:

Raspberries submerged in cold, crisp, icy water. It's good to be a raspberry on a hot day.

Raspberries submerged in cold, crisp, icy water. It’s good to be a raspberry on a hot day.

While the raspberries were being rinsed in that wonderful cold water, I was busy mixing the various bits and pieces together. It might just have been where this particular recipe lacked any chocolate or cocoa powder but it seemed to mix somewhat differently to the previous sponge cakes I’ve made. The dry ingredients were mixed together, along with the butter and the net result looked something like crumble topping:

It might just have been the searing heat but this looks far too dry to me....

It might just have been the searing heat but this looks far too dry to me….

Once the eggs had been added, it started to look a little better:

Getting mixed up is not always a good thing...

Getting mixed up is not always a good thing…

…and get mixed up I did. I have a number of different tins I use for baking stuff and accidently chose the one I use for cheesecakes. I didn’t take a photo unfortunately but there was this tiny pile of cake mix sitting forlornly in the middle of a huge tin. A few minutes work with a spatula soon transferred the mix to the *right* size tin (which was the same one I used for the chocolate sponge, in the end) and the mix was just right. Every 33% of cake mix I’d pause and scatter some of the raspberries through the cake and then I topped the whole lot off with some flaked almonds. The finished result was quite presentable:

The finished cake.

The finished cake.

This was the easy bit done.

The following day, the cake went on a very long trip in its carrying box. From northwest London to central London, from there down to southwest London to meet a very sweet friend for the day, then back to central London to catch a train to Derby…all in all, this cake travelled over 150 miles. 150 miles of being bounced around, luggage racks and being dropped on the floor in order to give someone a hug. Needless to say, when it was time to actually divide the cake up at the meet, I had visions of this small pile of crumbs and raspberries. >.>

I’m getting slightly ahead of myself. The cake was divided up on the second day, after the board games and meeting of peoples. The Koala was generally well received…with one notable exception:

This was going to end in bacon sandwiches or a set of furry gloves.

This was going to end in bacon sandwiches or a set of furry gloves.

The rather grumpy brown fellow goes by the name of “Hateboar” and has a somewhat negative view on life, the universe and everything, according to his owner. This somewhat clashed with the Koala’s easy going view on things, especially those containing cakes and other baked goods. They both joined in a rather large game of Nuclear War but before one could be crowned victor, another player managed to destroy both himself and every other player on the table through a 100 megaton…”mishap”. After the fun was over, the group retired to a friend’s house for some late games and delicious goodies, including the cake. While the cake had gone 150 miles, it didn’t go much further than that:

He decided to hog it all to himself.

He decided to hog it all to himself.

The cake turned out pretty well, according to the feedback I received. It was pleasantly moist, which was quite surprising – possibly a side effect of the raspberries. I neglected to add the vanilla essence however and it did have an impact on the sponge – the texture was good but the flavour was a little drab. A reasonable effort but in need of more raspberries next time and a few other flavours.

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