In times gone by, the only way you would find a delicious home-made cake on the table would be if your mum or your grandma took it upon herself to make one.
Thankfully, we now live in more enlightened times, and there is no longer any excuse for us chaps not to get baking.
With shows like the Great British Bake-Off making the art form trendier than ever, and male chefs regularly appearing on our TV screens showing us how to bake everything from bread to biscuits, it’s really becoming a must-have manly skill of the 21st century.
If you’ve never baked before, then Caketober could be the perfect time to start, as we’ve come up with several recipes to help set you on your way.
To make sure you avoid any kitchen disasters once you get underway, we’ve also compiled this handy list of Dos and Don’ts for you to bear in mind.
Novelty apron – check. Sleeves rolled up – check. A look of steely determination – check. If you look like you mean business, your fellow bakers are much more likely to respect you, and this can only benefit the finished product.
Make sure you have everything before you start
You don’t want to get to a crucial point in the process and realise you’ve forgotten to buy flour or something. The same goes for your utensils, we don’t want to see anyone stirring cake mixture with their hands because they couldn’t be bothered to get a spoon.
Remember to turn the oven on
Come on, you’re not going to forget something as obvious as that, are you? Well, just in case, it’s very important for the quality of your cake that you actually bake it.
Also, check your baked cake is cooked through by putting a skewer through the centre – if it comes out clean your cake is ready, if it has mixture on then it needs more cooking. Why not take that tip and tell your friends as if you thought of it yourself?
Add some personal touches
Let’s face it, everyone you know is expecting you to fail. So, what better way to prove them wrong than by adding an artful flourish to your cake decoration? You could try icing, sweets, chocolate; anything you like really. Just don’t go overboard.
This also has the added advantage of covering your cake up if it doesn’t look right coming out of the oven.
When it comes to baking, it’s important to set the natural male aversion to instruction manuals to one side. If the recipe says 100 grams, that’s exactly what it means, and any attempt to deviate from this, take shortcuts or decide you know better could have potentially hilarious consequences.
Forget about your cake
You’ve done everything according to the recipe, and your cake is coming along nicely in the oven. Time to relax with a beer. Don’t get too comfy though, or you’ll end up with a ruined cake and lots of explaining to do.
Drop the cake
Again, this seems obvious, but it’s happened a thousand times and we’d hate for it to happen to you. Don’t be a hero, get some oven gloves on before you go picking up any hot metal cake tins, and make sure you’ve made space to put it down again before you start.
Now It’s Your Turn
Hopefully those tips will mean your foray into the world of cake is a success. Remember, Caketober is all about helping out some great charities, so don’t worry if your cakes aren’t perfect, the important thing is you tried.
Good luck guys. Let’s be careful out there.