Instant Cake

Instant Cake

Category : Food

Freshly baked cake in 60 seconds… sounds too good to be true? Believe me, it really, really is.

This turned up on the shelves of Cheers convenience store and I could not resist, even though the $2 price tag should have been ample warning.

In theory it is a fine idea… empty the sachet of powder into the tub, add milk (or water) to the marked line, stir well then microwave for 1 minute. Hey presto – instant cake!

In practise it was all another story. It would have been very much more helpful to mark the line on the inside rather than the outside of the tub. It took rather longer than 60 seconds to stir the powder and milk into an acceptable consistency. The lid was so flimsy that it came with a warning that it was a burning hazard and therefore unsuitable for use in the microwave. And the 60 seconds baking time had to be followed by 120 seconds cooling off time.

You will note that I have not mentioned the taste or texture yet. You can probably take a good guess at those. This was supposed to be a chocolate cake but it ended up something like a dark brown, slightly damp bath sponge. I managed one spoonful before it went in the bin.

Brexit Fancies

brit fancies

Temporarily in the UK several weeks after the Brexit vote, I noted there were differences to be seen in London. Everyone had an opinion on the result, obviously, and no hesitation in telling everyone else about it. Newspapers were full of the impending end of the world as we knew it, and – most painfully – our about to be new tenants ran back to Brazil despite having signed a contract which had entailed us buying them furniture we absolutely did not need for ourselves.

Amid the gloom, it was nice to find something that made me laugh…

There on the supermarket shelf was the confectionery version of a raspberry blown in the direction of the EU. Mr Kipling’s French Fancies, renamed for the brave new post Brexit world.

It was hilarious to see an update on the sort of national pride which was most famously seen in the USA both when German favourite sauerkraut was re-christened ‘Liberty Cabbage’ during the Second World War, and more recently when Republican representative Boy Ney tried to launch a resolution banning the use of the term ‘French fries’ in favour of ‘Freedom fries’. (The crime of the French? Failing to believe in the WMD hype of 2003, and voicing concerns about the proposed US invasion of Iraq.)

I expect that ‘British’ Fancies were a summer special, and the ‘French’ version are back in stock by now, but they put a smile on my face on a bad day, and for that I was very grateful!

24 Carat Brownie

Category : Food

24 carat brownie

This one stopped me in my tracks as I was passing through the Paragon in Singapore. It’s a brownie, but coated with edible gold dust, and it twinkled tantalisingly under the lights of Chalk Farm cake stall. At only S$5 for a generous slice (S$60 for an entire cake if you wanted a special – birthday? – treat) I could not resist. Often, the prettiest cakes are all about the looks and not the taste, but not in this case. The brownie itself was dense, delicious and rich with dark chocolate. No annoying walnut bits to break your teeth on, either. It is only a matter of time before I am back for more…