When my best friend and I were about 12, we decided to make a coffee cake for her Dad's birthday. He was at work, and her mum (who was looking after us), was upstairs doing something or other. To this day, I have no idea how he actually managed to eat any of it - it was horrific.
For starters, we didn't have a recipe, so we were working off what we could remember from baking with our mothers before. (Which turned out to be not a lot!)
Here's a list of things I can remember about it going wrong:
- We didn't realise you had to dissolve the coffee granules (instant) in water before you added it to the mix, so the cake were seriously grainy and bitter tasting. (We used way too much coffee, as well!)
- We used plain flour, and no baking powder, so the cake didn't rise. At all.
- Because the cake didn't rise, we turned the heat up, and left it in there longer - which just resulted in slightly burnt, almost rock solid, severely over-cooked cake.
- We couldn't find any jam or cream to put in the middle, so we used lime marmalade. Incredibly expensive lime marmalade, which just made the cake taste even worse.
- We did manage to find icing sugar, but we added far too much water to it. So we added loads of coffee granules. These ones did dissolve a little bit, but it did result in quite lumpy, runny icing. Which we slathered all over the cake.
So, we ended up with a practically solid, over-baked, grainy, bitter cake, filled with sour/sweet marmalade, covered in bitter, lumpy, runny, mud-coloured icing.
Her dad choked down a slice, but we got in serious trouble for wasting ingredients, using the expensive marmalade, and using the oven without supervision!
(You'll be pleased to learn that I'm quite good at baking cakes now!