Dig out the aprons from the back of the cupboard, being sure to unstick the plastic material gently where it’s fused together from dried, sticky smears. Make a mental note to remember to give them a wipe down at the end this time, rather than just shoving them back in the cupboard because you’re too lazy to clean them again.
Assemble your essential ingredients: For the cake you’ll need flour, sugar, eggs, spread, cocoa powder and baking powder. To get yourself through the next half an hour, you may also require alcohol, mild sedatives and / or a maid. Turn on the oven to preheat.
Attempt to convince your beasts / children to wear the aprons. Give up after 5 minutes and decide it’s more hassle than it’s worth.
Weigh out your sugar and spread. You’ll have several little fingers pressing down continually on the buttons and center pad of the scales so it really is just a case of winging it and hoping your eye can tell if you’ve the right amount. Put these ingredients in the bowl and cream together. Your helpers will want to provide assistance with this part so give them both a spoon & watch the chaos unfold as one stirs one way, and one stirs the other. Don’t be alarmed if clumps of sugary margarine come flying towards you, it’s perfectly normal and I suggest just flicking them off onto the floor since the place is a shithole anyway – at least it’ll give the ants something to do.
Once creamed together, it’s time for your eggs. You need 3, so I recommend allowing 6 to give adequete capacity for breakages, droppage or one child cracking an egg over the head of the other. Have some baby wipes or kitchen towel at the ready to wipe the egg off child’s hair before it dries hard. Add the eggs to your mixture – once again your helpers will want to assist and no matter how many times you remind them to gently tap the egg on the side of the bowl, they’ll swing it down to the rim with Thor like strength and smash it to bits. Fish out as much egg shell as you can but accept that your cake may be a little crunchier than anticipated. Give your wine a swig.
Weigh your flour and baking powder. I would advise not turning your back for even a nano-second at this stage, or the floor will be as white as Christmas in the movies (you know, the ones you never get time to watch) when you turn back around. Add cocoa powder and place in your seive. This, of all the parts, is a particular favourite of The Beasts and once again you can say ‘just tap it gently, remember’ as many times as you need to so that you feel you have even the tiniest amount of control over the situation, but be aware that it won’t make the slightest bit of difference and you’ll be cleaning flour and cocoa off parts of the kitchen for at least the next three days. Add the cocoa and flour to your sludgy, crunchy mixture and combine.
At this point your helper(s) will realise you now have a bowl of raw cake mixture and will furtively go in for a lick. Invariably they will manage to get the uncombined smear of marge at the top of the bowl and will make dramatic gagging noises whilst hollering for a drink. I suggest you provide one at this stage, as you can easily get away with a few bits of egg shell in your cake, but will be hard-pushed to factor in a pile of puke. No amount of icing can cover that up. Have a bit more wine.
You may find at this point, your smaller beast is losing interest because they still don’t have the cake you promised twenty minutes ago. So you can go ahead and add some chocolate chips, (what’s a bit more sugar at this stage anyway) as you’ll find that his or her selective hearing doesn’t extend to the clatter of chocolate being poured into the bowl. So although two minutes ago they ‘couldn’t hear’ your simple instructions to leave the bloody oven alone, he or she will be back over to the worktop faster than you can say ‘where’s the wine’ once you’ve opened the chocolate. Allow beasts to stir to combine – it’s worth noting that at this stage it won’t be a furtive lick you have to watch out for, it’ll be a *shove entire hand in* type of affair & you’ll find cake batter dripping down the cupboards/ washing machine / dishwasher for around a week afterwards. Shove a handful of chocolate into own mouth and promotly forget about it to avoid having to count the calories. Have a little more wine.
Add batter to prepared cake tins while you try desperately not to think about how long it’s going to take to clean up & put in the oven. It is advisable at this stage to check your oven temperature / setting because, working in cahoots, one beast will have been distracting you while the other has snuck round the back to fiddle with the knobs – so unless you want your cake grilled on a low heat, just double check before you pop it in. Be mindful that you’ll need to check the oven every 2 minutes or so during the baking process to ensure the knobs stay where they are supposed to. This is not the point at which you want to be taking a charred & blackened mess out of the oven because one (or both) of your beasts has managed to stealthily jump the kitchen stairgate & give the knobs another twirl.
Cave in to the persistent and incessant requests to lick the bowl. Surely a bit if raw egg couldn’t hurt anyways. Survey the armaggedon that appears to have unfolded in a remarkably short space of time. Consider going and finding that maid we mentioned at the beginning. Slurp a bit more wine.
Insist that your beasts help tidy up, and then turn back around to find the room emptier than postman pat’s van (he literally only ever seems to have the one package he’s delivering in there – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – he’s the shittest postman I’ve ever seen). Wonder in bewilderment why The Beasts can’t possibly leave a room that quickly when you’re trying to get out for work in the mornings.
Drink a bit more wine and give the kitchen a half arsed wipe. It doesn’t seem to matter how clean (or not) the house is, you can’t get seem to get rid of the bastard ants anyway because they just keep coming, so why bother exerting yourself ? *one day my little ant nemeses, one day. I will end you -eventually* Retrieve cooked cakey goodness from the oven, at which point beasts are likely to reappear like magic. Be prepared to remind them approximately 17 times that it has to cool down first before it can be eaten, amid furious wails of CAKE! I NEED CAKE MUMMY, CAKE!
Hand out far more cake than you probably should, coveniently forgetting the huge amount of sugar 15 minutes later when your beasts are running around like chipmunks on speed, & reward yourself with a small (enormous) slice for being such a great parent. Give yourself a pat on the back if you made it all the way to fruition without needing the sedative drugs. And then go and buy more wine because the bottle’s empty again. So there you have it – a complete guide to Baking with Beasts. 🍷🍰
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