or at least the possible need to make a cake. I do not often make cake. We do not often eat cake. On the rare occasions I need to make cake I tend to use one of the few "tried and true" recipes I feel comfortable with.
I have books of cake recipes, inherited from my mother. She never used these, just looked at them.
I have occasionally looked at these books as I sought inspiration. Do I want to make a cake with squashed, over ripe banana or grated carrot or courgette? Do I want to try a sticky looking concoction? Do I want to melt chocolate and use it in a cake rather than just eat the chocolate? Coconut? No, I think not. Cake you need to eat with a spoon? No, this is not that sort of occasion. This recipe uses multiple bowls. This one requires the tin to be lined with three layers of paper. That one takes more than an hour to bake.
Our friend Polly makes wonderful cakes and decorates them properly. She recently asked my father to make a tiny wooden house for her nephew-in-law's birthday. Nephew-in-law is a real estate agent. The house went on top of the cake with a music box movement inside which played "Happy Birthday".
It was undoubtedly fun but I hope nobody ever makes that sort of fuss of me. If I had cake for my birthday I would have to make it myself. My sister only makes packet mix - and only chocolate at that. Packet mix is not cake in my view.
Cakes can be works of art. The idea of cutting into them seems sacrilege after all that work. Is it really worth the effort? All too often they look better than they taste. A thick layer of cream? No thankyou. I am quite hopeless at the decoration part anyway.
It might be easier to fling some ingredients for a fruit loaf into the bread machine. I just might do that. It will not be cake but I suspect my nephews would prefer the bread.