Monday, 7 September 2015

Fictional Food Adventure: Making Anne's Liniment Layer Cake

As well as being the final recipe of my challenge, this cake represents something of a victory for me. I have always had great trouble with Victoria Sponges. They have always ended up closer to a biscuit than a cake, and the repeated flat disappointments led to me giving up on them. I wonder now, if it was the recipe that was at fault, because I've now finally triumphed and made a cake to be proud of. A cake that I can be happy to share.

I know many people would consider this a basic achievement, but when you have tried and tried your best, and still you fail, the joy of eventually producing such a soft, cushiony cake that sighs as you slice it and tastes sumptuous, is enormous. It was really pretty yummy, especially spread thickly with homemade blackcurrant jam. The tang of the fruit cut through the sweetness and richness perfectly, and in my opinion there is no better filling for this cake.

Anne's own cake was less than a triumph, sadly, despite her best efforts. Knowing her tendency to omit the flour, or leave it in the oven too long, Anne purposely takes extra care to concentrate whilst baking this layer cake for her dear kindred spirit friend, the reverend's wife. And though she did take great care, and brought a beautifully baked cake out of the oven, her mistake was to emerge later, at the point of eating. 

When the revered lady finally takes a bite of the first slice, her face reveals that something is wrong. Marilla, is dismay, then tastes it too, to discover the problem. The taste is so inedible that Anne is quizzed as to what she has put in it. In tears, she claims that it was only vanilla extract. Eventually when asked to produce the bottle she used, it turns out that the vanilla essence bottle actually contained liniment, emptied from its own bottle that had broken. Though innocent, Anne is beyond comfort until her the reverend's wife kindly puts it all into perspective for her.


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