By day, they tend their desk plants, type with two fingers (oh, is that just me?) and fume silently at their colleagues who email them on what seems an hourly basis to ask the same annoying questions (just me again?) but invite us to bake our favourite treats, and tell us we’ll be judged by a panel of our hungry peers, and we’re domestic gods and goddesses. We’re weighing up the merits of scones versus muffins, and pondering whether more-icing-than-cupcake cupcakes are passe? Deciding that fairy cakes are definitely the right side of retro…but then perhaps a crowd-pleasing chocolate brownie is the way to go? Or is chocolate anything too obvious, possibly the lowest confectionery denominator, yet likely to garner those all-important votes?
The question is: how much do you want to win?
I tell myself I don’t care, it’s only an office bake-off, but I’m kidding myself. I want to win! Who enters competitions if they don’t?
I’ve placed my free-range large eggs firmly in the traditional basket. An almond butter sponge, courtesy of a Dan Lepard recipe from Nov ’08 delicious. filled with a mascarpone/fromage frais cream, and good old-fashioned raspberry jam.
It’s longer than I care to remember since I baked a sponge cake, and I nervously skewered it after 25 minutes in my contrary oven, more used to the sticky wetness of a brownie, or fruity dampness of a tea loaf, I doubted the gamble. But I trusted my instincts (and the clean skewer) and took them out to cool. If the feel of them in my hand as I gingerly sat the bejammed top half on the creamy base is any indicator of texture, they should be light and airy, yet still taste… well, buttery and almondy.
Now to get them it to the office without squishing it, slamming it into the side of the tin or otherwise ruining my creation. Bike will therefore be left at home tomorrow. Bus may be too crowded. Wonder how much a taxi to Holborn is?