Yesterday was a nadir in my cake making days. Usually I can bake cakes. I mean, they are not going to win me prizes at the local village fete, but I can add some combination of eggs, butter, sugar, flour and occasionally milk, chocolate and other yummy stuff to make something relatively palatable. Making cakes with the boys is a regular afternoon activity, best done the day before the cleaner comes. We all enjoy it, flour and eggs go everywhere, and sticky fingers create havoc, but it is a great rainy day moment, and there are a lot of rainy days right now so we have been doing a lot of baking.
Yesterdays effort, in theory a Nigella Lawson buttermilk cake (so easy it said on the recipe), ended up with the consistency of a stodgy flan and for the first time ever, had to go into the bin. I cannot work out why I can't get the cakes to work. Possibly the oven is not as hot as I think it is. Possibly my scales are very inaccurate (they are very inaccurate, but so were my English ones). I can't get to grips with the different types of flour here, but do feel that I know what plain flour is. The baking powder and bicarb of soda has been bought from England so should behave like normal. I have no idea.
Then, relief. I've been in contact with another Brit in Bosnia who is also struggling with cake making here. She can't work out the flour situation either and also has only about 5 recipes per recipe book that are usable out here. It's not just me! Phew! So, as long as we stick to chocolate brownies which don't need to rise then we should be ok. I'll just have to keep the Victoria sponge attempts on hold until we go home.