I had heard of these mysterious, magical machines many years ago, but until last week had thought them only a rumour; a thing of such power and beauty one could only imagine in their wildest dreams. But last week, as I trekked through the wilderness that I can only call 'a farm', I saw through the mist a glowing beacon. It called to me, beckoning me towards all its baking goodness it held beneath it's PVC-with built in handy window to perv at what's cooking inside window-roof, and I knew I had finally found the holy grail of idiot proof baking. What I had discovered my friends shocked me, confused me, but above all, excited me. Behold, The Breadmaker.
Yes, it's real.
My cries of joy could be heard across the land when I discovered my true love. It even had an option for a crusty loaf! So without a moments hesitation I read its little instruction manual cover to cover, assembled my ingredients, threw them into the bestower of bread machine, selected 'white and crusty' and waited nervously. I couldn't believe I had found something so glorious that eliminated the week long process ye olde bread making usually is of the kneading, the proving, the kneading again until you can finally fill your nostrils with the aroma of freshly baked bread.
In 3 hours and a cup of tea later my little machine had done it for me! It's 'bleeps' of readiness were like bird song.
Perfect. Plus you avoid the inevitable cries of 'I'VE GOT DOUGH ALL OVER MY KNEES!' when for the hundredth time you find yourself misinterpreting the instruction to 'knead' your bread and think it's a fantastic idea to literally, roll your trousers up, bend down, and stick your knees in your bread, and then wonder why a) you look ridiculous and b) have no bread.
Not content with simply using The Breadmaker to make bread, the little voice in the back of my head that often screams 'CAKE!' for no apparent reason made me wonder if you could in fact turn The Breadmaker into...The Cakemaker!
Flicking through The Breadmaker bible that was the instruction manual I actually found a recipe for cake that weirdly said you need to prepare your ingredients for battle. On one side you must have all your wet ingredients INCLUDING your secret weapon, melted butter, for soft butter is not man enough.
Yeah see I may have forgotten about the whole keep your wets and dries separate and started adding my cocoa powder to my wets before hastily ordering the rest of the cocoa powder and flour to retreat before any more damage was done...SO what I did have was a chocolatey mix of my melted butter, vanilla essence and a bit o' milk!
To which I added the dries: Flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and suagr and made a crazy stiff chocolate mix which at first alarmed me but I was reassured it would emerge 'fudgey' which is never a bad thing.
So basically, if baking a cake in The Breadmaker, one must have their entire cake mix ready, so all you need to do is plop this into The Breadmaker's bucket thing, press the handy 'Cake' button and wait anxiously!
Now, I love me a cake that rises with a nice little dome on top. And I must admit I did think this cake would rise up and beyond The Breadmaker's bucket and be more like a cakey chocolate loaf. But alas the mixture sat on its cakey backside for 3 hours, got nice and warm and basically cooked itself into a massive brownie which I managed to pass off as a 'small square cake' to my extended family. I think they bought it. So here you have the cake what was baked in The Breadmaker!
My week at the farm was nicely rounded off with an Angry Cow obstructing the road. The best way to finish a holiday I always feel.