Oh well, I guess it had to happen. I've had too long a run of excellent baking results, so it stands to reason that the law of averages would kick in with a solid wallop. And it did. Boy, it sure did. And the recipe it chose to make an appearance with was one which I tried today from the Eggfree Baking book by Cintia Stammers - an apricot cake. I chose it because the recipe was simple. Really, really simple. In fact, so much so that I should really have listened to my inner voice which was jumping up and down and yelling "It's TOO simple! It's TOO simple!", in an effort to get me to notice that among other things, the ingredient list didnt include any flavouring for the batter at all whatsoever (other than sugar, which cant be classified as a flavour, can it?).
I guess after a point, simplicity becomes stupidity. Hands up, I was simply stupid.
Imagine a recipe that requires flour, sugar, baking powder and yogurt for the batter. Some chopped dried apricots to sprinkle on the basic batter. And a simple topping of flour, sugar, a bit of butter and a bit of cinnamon. That was it. The recipe didnt even call for the apricots to be mixed in the batter - which in its simplicity was really only a (slightly sweet) flour paste. I could have used it to make papier mache sculptures. If papier mache calls for flour paste, that is.
Anyway, the finished cake was a disaster. The cake part, which should have had the texture of a sponge cake, turned out opaque and like congealed glue. Those of you who were "craft-y" in your younger days might remember how Fevicol* used to get when it got dry. Exactly that colour and consistency. It tasted absolutely dire and the texture was like rubber. If I'd dropped the cake, it might just have bounced back and bopped me on the chin. It was like eating slightly sweet congealed Fevicol... although I cant personally testify to the flavour of Fevicol! The apricots tasted awful in the topping as well, and there was just no flavour to the whole sorry mess.
I'm in two minds whether or not to post photos (yes, I took photos. I think it's second nature now, to have my camera within easy reach when I'm in the kitchen). What do y'all think? Photos or not? :)
*Fevicol - an instant-drying adhesive sold in India