Yesterday I got to do the thing I’ve been looking forward to doing ever since my little god-daughter Hannah was born: bake fairy cakes with her. I love the child’s play element to baking; the puff of the flour, the stirring of the mixture, the lick of the wooden spoon, and I’ve been so looking forward to the time when I could have that fun with Hannah and see it through her eyes. And of course, as you know, cooking is one of my greatest passions in life and to finally be able to start sharing that with my god-daughter is very special indeed.
Now, I’m a very messy cook – just ask Rob – and so this little two year old was my perfect partner in crime – although if I’m totally honest she was probably tidier than me. Yesterday afternoon Rob took one last look around the kitchen, with Hannah stood on a chair, me by her side, both of us smiling angelically up at him before leaving us to it and letting chaos descend.
First up were those gourmet cakes, perfect for young food connoisseurs, none other than the chocolate rice crispy cakes. I was in charge of melting the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and then it was over to Hannah to mix in the rice crispies. The fun part was seeing how much of the mixture Hannah could get into the cases and how much she could get onto the tea towel underneath, the kitchen top, my hand, the floor. We giggled with each dollop and it wasn’t long before we were tasting the mixture, as all good cooks do, with much of it ending up smeared around Hannah’s mouth and hands.
After a quick wipe up it was onto the fairy cakes. Sugar, flour, eggs, butter, a drop of vanilla essence and a lot of love; into the bowl they went. After a quick whiz of the mixer we were almost done, except for the final – and most important – stir with a wooden spoon by Hannah. With the cakes in the oven she was now a little tired; we had, after all, worked very hard indeed – such is the life of cake makers. But when the time came to ice the cakes and choose the toppings Hannah perked up and did a great job, with a little help from Aunty Julia and Mum.
Finally, after all that hard work, it was time for our reward: tea and cakes. And very nice they were too. Of course, as well as being nice, they were full of sugar – especially with all that icing on them – and this became apparent very quickly. Hannah went from being somewhat sleepy to somewhat bouncy and she soon had us all up dancing and playing. She was still full of beans when it was time for her to go home and as I waved them all off I knew my cousin and his wife were going to have their hands full. Oh dear. But of course that’s one of the thing’s that’s so great about being an Aunty and a Godmother; we get to have all the fun and then get to put our feet up!