Thursday, 21 February 2013

When baking goes wrong

So often on blogs I see beautiful pictures of beautiful things - sunsets, children, crafty output, baking - the list is endless.

I am here to buck this trend.

Let me tell you a little story that may make you feel better and realise that everyone in the blogosphere is not a perfect human being, living in a Cath Kidston quilted world with bluebirds putting up my perfectly coiffed hair whilst I embroider with silk.

I decided for one of my Not Really Resolutions this year that I would bake once a month because I miss baking. (It's once a month because my hips do not need me to bake more frequently) In February I decided I would try something a little different and attempt to make some Cookie Monster fairy cakes that I've seen hanging about on the interwebs for some time now.

Everything went very smoothly at first which gave me a false sense of security. The Person's oven has a mind of its own and baking in it should only be taken on at your own risk but, by some miracle, I had 12 happy little fairy cakes all ready to be decorated with blue icing, cookies and marshmallows.


"Turn icing blue" should be a simple enough task but I, in a feat which only I could be capable of, managed to cock it up. All I wanted was for my icing to turn a nice bright blue colour and logic told me that I should add more food colouring until it happened. But at some point, when my icing was refusing to turn any brighter than a powder blue no matter how many extra drops I added, this logic was replaced by a crazed obsession which flew in the face of reality and before I knew it, I'd used a whole bottle of food colouring without effecting any change in the colour of the icing.

So I think we can basically call this a fail. The Cookie Monster is supposed to be bright frigging blue, but instead mine were going to look like the Cookie Monster had gone 10 rounds with a bottle of bleach.

There can be no disappointment greater than that of someone whose baking has gone wrong. All that stupid time and effort (not to mention money) and nothing very impressive to show for it. It's gutting.

But I had started and I was bloody well going to finish.

I tried to do fancy piping to make it look like fur but guess what? I can't do that either so I just slapped the icing on any old way and decided that would do. I soldiered on with my decorating until I hit the next stumbling block which came in the form of a lack of white marshmallows (I could only find bags of pink and white ones!) meaning that half my Cookie Monsters looked like they were battling a case of pink eye.

So let us recap my baking adventure:
1. Icing didn't turn blue
2. Fancy piping to look like fur didn't work
3. Ran out of white marshmallows

Don't be jealous of my life bloggers.

And so I challenge you to put up pictures of your shit baking, your crap crochet and your blurry sunsets. For we shall represent what is real and make others feel better about themselves.

Artistic representation of the colour that I wanted my icing to go


PS I took to Twitter to lament my icing woes and the consensus is that gel colouring/paste is the way forward if I want bright colours. Noted although I don't know I have the internal strength needed to face doing this again.


  1. Aww, I think they are cute!
    I have also had the marshmallow issue though, it seems impossible to get a bag of marshmallows which aren't pink and white, hopeless for making marshmallow snowmen with the guides before xmas. :/

  2. I think they look YUM. I would eat one right now.

    I know nothing at all about cake decorating but my mind is telling me that you can dye dessicated coconut and that I think that would make really good (yummy) fur. But really. I know nothing. I don't even know where that thought came from...

  3. I bet they tasted great. All those perfect pictures do make you a bit sick don't they? You just know that there is an almighty mess lurking just out of shot.
    You have some great not really resolutions this year by the way.

  4. They do look rather poorly little cookie monsters. I hope they tasted as good as I think they should, despite the incorrect colouring. I admire your persistence in the face of adversity. I'd have given up when the colouring did happen and just eat it with pale blue icing.

  5. I still think they are very cute, maybe the Cookie Monster in his arctic guise? I'm sure they tasted good as well! x

  6. I was going to post about the gel dye crap stuff but then saw you'd written it already.

    I eat the bad cakes before I photograph the rest for my blog. Just sayin'.

  7. I bet they all got eaten though, didn't they? That's the most important thing!

  8. Aww they're the pale and interesting British cousin of the Cookie Monster that's all. I read a recipe that puts coconut bits into the icing to make the fur furry.
    I think they look cute - did they taste okay?

  9. Bet they were just as yummy - blue or not! Pretend he's a special Space Cookie Monster he looks like he might have his spacesuit on and has been on a misson for moon cookies! x

  10. Aaah, I think they still look fab even if a little pale and pink eyed! Bet they tasted awesome too. I've had similar experiences with food colouring - my Halloween 'green slime' whoopie pies were more a gentle mint green rather than the shouty hazardous type of green I was hoping for!

  11. I thought this was going to be a case of the icing turning green which tends to happen with butter icing, because the butter is yellow. At least these problems were only of a cosmetic nature - it's SO much worse when the baking itself goes wrong and is inedible. You're right about the disappointment though, it's the worst :(

  12. These look bloody brilliant, and you are far too hard on yourself xxx


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