A shocking baking tragedy at Kentish Town! OH VILLAINY!

when icing goes wrong!
A fearful crime was committed at The Cottages in London's Kentish Town by a cook and housekeeper, Rachel Kelly. This is the particular account of the desecration, a murder most cruel, of a completely blameless cupcake.


This tale is strong meat for those of a delicate disposition. NASTINESS AMPLIFIED!

This cruel hostess invited unsuspecting friends and neighbours to a grim CHAMBER OF HORRORS that was her kitchen, where the horrid happening that terrified this fearful throng occurred.


We didn't know they whispered fearfully.



It could be that rhubarb cupcakes were an idea whose time has not yet come . . . I had ordered my groceries online and the rhubarb that arrived were long stems of pale green rather than the pink I had anticipated. I had hoped to use a rhubarb syrup to give the icing a delicate pink colour - infused with the colours of an early English summer. It was not to be.

Perhaps using golden icing sugar hadn't been such a good idea. Nor using the beautiful yellow farmhouse butter - a strong buttery colour rather than a pale European one. With hindsight, talking of butter that has a "buttery colour" might have been a clue.

I tried to compensate and true to form, over compensated. I added a little pink food dye to the pale yellow butter cream icing. I was hoping for a peachy pink colour and ended up with a neon pumpkin orange. This would have been fine if the cupcakes were pumpkin flavoured or even gingerbread. But the orange was clashing horribly with my delicate strawberry and cream cupcakes as well as the rhubarb ones.

when icing goes wrong!
"Never mind," said one of my friends consolingly. "I like the retro look. It's a bit like having an avocado bathroom suite and a space hopper." We sat eating the cupcakes out in the garden taking in the last of the evening's warmth, lights flickering in tea glasses giving off a faint glow in the dark. "Besides," he added, "nobody can tell what colour they are in the dark, apart from the fact that they are glowing a little . . ."

Strangely I didn't feel comforted just annoyed with myself and preparing to go back to my baking drawing board, yet again. Although perhaps there is something to admire in my attitude of optimism and hope over adversity. At least it is unlikely that I shall make the same mistake again. Although knowing my baking experiences, it just means that there are more disasters out there to be enjoyed.

So the moral of the story is . . . actually I don't know if there is a moral to this dreadful tale. Perhaps I should pay more attention to detail again. And I really must stop reading so many history books on Victorian crime and punishment. Although I suspect hell will have to get a bit colder and is about as likely as me ever getting the hang of icing cupcakes!


Fiona Maclean said...

Thats the sort of thing that happens to me when I try to bake! So mostly I dont!!!!

They actually look pretty good to me...and anyway...what really matters is how they tasted

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

I know you're right . . . but there was just a horrible disconnect between what I could see in my head and what I actually made . . . it's the frustrated artist in me. And yes, I can't draw either!

Actually what I didn't mention was that covering up the icing with Dolly Mixtures, Love Hearts, Jelly Beans and strawberry-flavoured popping candy was a bit of a winner!

Donkey said...

I agree with Fiona, they look fine.
This made me smile because any who bakes as a day like this. Also when I bake, it never looks like it does on the recipe or, as you say, how it looks in my head. But it is how it tastes.
My Chilli Chocolate Cake disater was very tasty, even if it did collapse.
Her'se to MANY more sucessfull baking...

o cozinheiro este algarve said...

The ups and downs of cooking and blogging.Its lovely to share those moments of culinary catastrophe.

All That I'm Eating said...

Brilliant story. It's nice that your friends were so supportive. They look pretty good to me and despite their appearance you can't beat a homemade cake.