Blogs | “Baking Bad” – Made With Love And Incompetence

‘Mega Chocolate Fudge Cake’.

My whole house is finally reunited after the summer, so baking something for us all to enjoy seemed like a good idea. I found a simple looking recipe from my Jamie Oliver cookbook for a chocolate fudge cake and proceeded to make a mess of the kitchen.

Cue laughter and disbelief as my housemates witnessed just how awful I am at baking.

The Ingredients:

Self-raising Flour

Brown Sugar

Cocoa Powder



Dark Chocolate

Fudge Pieces

‘A pinch of salt’

The first issue came from Jamie’s recipe stating that I should use a food processor to mix the ingredients together. Unsure of how else I was meant to grind down a bar of dark chocolate, I proceeded to take a rolling pin to the packet and loudly hammer at it as if I were tenderising meat instead. It appeared that this was going to take a long time, so I asked for some kitchen help and had someone continue hammering while I measured out the sugar and butter.

Being a student who is wary of not letting anything go to waste, I wanted to use up some eggs that were about to go off. The recipe required four, but to use them all up, I decided to use six instead. This meant that I then had to add 50% more of each ingredient to the mixture. Mental arithmetic is not my strong suit, so no one is entirely sure if I added the right amount of anything. I definitely didn’t add enough butter though (‘the wrong kind’ according to the more experienced bakers in my house), as I used up the rest of my tub before getting to the (right-ish) amount.

With the chocolate-bashing still taking place, one of my housemates declared: “there must be an easier way to do this,” and proceeded to violently throw the chocolate packet to the ground. She then took up the rolling pin, tossed the packet into the air, swung the pin and hit the packet across the kitchen. And so, ‘chocolate tennis’ was born. Everyone took turns in hitting the bag, and we began a rally with saucepans and frying pans. Of course, the one sensible person’s cry of “the packet will split!” very quickly came true. In fact, it came true mid-hit, and as the packet flew through the air, so did a shower of tiny pieces of chocolate, covering the entire kitchen.

Realising that I now had less than half of the amount I actually needed, my only option was to substitute the chocolate with more cocoa powder, guessing how much and just spooning more into the mix. I decided I should just melt what was left of the remaining chocolate and risk burning it (something which seems impossible to most, but very easy to do for me).

With what had seemed to be the hardest part over, I started cracking the eggs into the mixture and stirring. Then, a few seconds later, the room was met with a cry of “Oh bollocks I meant to add flour!” With any form of level-headedness out the window, I quickly tossed some flour in and stirred vigorously. By this point, my ‘cake’ was being described as more of a cement mix than anything. I added one more egg and some more cocoa powder because it seemed like the instinctive thing to do, stirred some more and decided that was enough.

Bringing my ‘creation’ out of the oven half an hour later, everyone seemed a bit apprehensive to try a piece. It was a bit burnt on top, a bit gooey in the middle, and didn’t really look the way it was meant to. I’m guessing that the original recipe tastes better too, but I’m counting this experiment as a success, because, despite all the madness, the end verdict from my housemates was: “It really shouldn’t taste good, but it does.”


I checked that Jamie Oliver recipe again later on, and realised I had never read the introduction which told me that if I didn’t have a food processor, I should grate the chocolate into the mix…..better luck next time?


Alice Rafter








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