The “bake off”


Chocolate cake, oh chocolate cake.
I have very fond memories of Vicki baking
her delicious chocolate cake. It is a thing in
our family, Vicki’s Chocolate cake, no better
cake could ever be found in any shop,
commercial or home bakery.

With this in mind I decided to recreate
Vicki’s Chocolate Cake, and then compare it
to the Chocolate Cake that I discovered and
modified through the years.

I did, for a moment, allow myself to dream of a simpler time where we could actually bake our cakes in the same kitchen and have all the family and friends share in the
opportunity to taste test them. It would
have been a wonderful day spend with my
sister, baking and talking. In my minds eye I
could see Vicki peeking over my shoulder
and giving me advice as just Vicki can, with
the inquisitiveness, guidance and love of an
older sister. It would be a great day indeed.
So much fun.

But back to reality, and I set out on the task of making each cake exactly as the recipes indicated.

The way it all starts

I got to work on Vicki’s cake first, making sure I measured everything perfectly, preping everything that needed
As I followed the recipe, and some advice from Vicki via whatsapp, I made my first mistake and added the egg whites
instead of the oil at the wrong stage. So with annoyance and shaking of the head and a very loud ‘ AG NEE MAN!”.

I started again from scratch, measuring and placing each ingredient in just the right place of order, and for good measure I read the recipe again.
Second time around was more successful, I got the sequence of ingredients right and ticked off each step as I went.
Again, trying to make sure everything was just right, to get the best results possible. Then the cake went into the
oven and the waiting started.

I quickly cleaned up the kitchen and got all the ingredients ready for my cake, again
making sure all measurements were exact (though I have made this recipe quite a few times, I wanted to leaving
nothing to chance).

The buzzer went and out came Vicki’s cake. A beautiful smelling and mouth watering warm chocolate brown cake
emerged from the oven, oh and that smell set me off in memory lane again. I placed the cake on a drying rack and proceeded to make my chocolate cake. It, obviously, went a tad faster because I am more familiar with the recipe and my technique is way less sophisticated than Vicki’s.

Vicki’s cake takes skill, focus and a smooth sequence of events, where mine you quite literally just throw everything together in a bowl, mix and pour into cake pan. No grace or skill.

As I was doing this I suddenly started doubling my cake that I have honed for years, trying to get just the right amount of chocolaty taste. But as it started baking and
the kitchen filled with that heavy chocolate aroma my fears quickly subsided and I was awarded with a beautiful glossy dark brown chocolate cake., the chocolate aroma filling the kitchen and making my mouth water.

With the cakes all baked and ready, I set out in the compound to a friend and offered her a piece of each cake, not mentioning which is which, then came the son and the husband, Daniel and Olivia, everyone we could find, even the tutor teacher got some cake.

Vicki’s Chocolate cake
My Chocolate cake

The results, well it is pretty much an even tie. Both cakes were absolutely loooovvvveeeedd by all. The children
particularly loved eating Vicki’s cake with Vanilla ice cream.

The last piece

Conclusion, I think that when we eventually get the opportunity to go back to South Africa, we would just have to make our cakes again, this time we each do our own and then try and get a bigger more critical crowd to test it out. I believe it would be very much worth it.

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