Today I baked a cake from Men Love Pies, Girls Like Hummus, a cookery book I borrowed from the library solely on the strength of its title. I borrowed three books: one by Gordon Ramsay that had at least one example of egregious copy-and-paste, a compendium of recipes from Epicurious, and Men Love Pies, Girls Like Hummus.
Of the three, I found MLPGLH the easiest to get on with. The Epicurious book feels quite impersonal as it’s just recipe after recipe from an assortment of random people on the internet. Gordon Ramsey’s book is dense, but MLPGLH is short, has an anecdote to frame each recipe that doesn’t go into too much detail, and has a chatty tone that implies the author is one of your mates who happens to like cooking a lot, rather than some expert stood on a lofty pedestal.
Plus, it includes a recipe for cake made with cola.
Most of the recipes are simple and easy to follow; there’s no booby traps like seeing in step 4 of a recipe that you should have marinaded something for 25 hours before you started cooking. The cola cake is only 4 steps, and delivers a chocolatey concoction that hardly hints at the two-thirds of a can of Coke that went into it.
It’s not aa sticky as I had hoped for: the recipe hints that it will be as moist as a Jamaican ginger cake, and it didn’t quite reach those heights. But it was pleasantly understated – the kind of cake that would be a good firm base for a thick layer of icing and a puddle of fruit compote, but maybe cant stand quite on its own.
I really enjoyed baking with my wife. Teaming up while both kids slept meant we breezed through the recipe and had everything washed up without a chorus of criticism and interruption from the peanut gallery. Plus she’s better at beating eggs than me. Tomorrow I’ll have a go ar one of Ramsey’s recipes and contrast.