The perils of bicarbonate soda

A word of culinary advice when the recipe tells you to add bicarbonate soda to the ingredients DO NOT and I mean NEVER put it in the liquidiser. I doubt that any of you would be so stupid but I, on the other hand, am clearly that stupid. Had I read Nigella’s recipe for Humous correctly I would have added the bicarbonate to the chick peas when they were cooking and not when I was whizzing them all up with the lemon juice. See nothing has changed my teachers always complained that I never took the time to read the questions. First up all wrong they used to say.

“If only Roma would take the time to read the questions then she might have a chance of getting the right answer.” Patience has never been one of my virtues.

It took me hours to clean up the exploding humous that splattered with enormous enthusiasm over the entire kitchen, including my eyes, my clothes and the cat. Have you ever tried to get humous of a high ceiling? Not easy. And to add salt to what was already a very raw wound, it was inedible. It tasted more like a chick pea mousse, light and fluffy with a distinctive fizzy taste.

On researching bicarbonate and whether it was possible to salvage my humous – which it wasn’t – I did discover there are many wonderful things you can do with bicarbonate soda.

Clean an automatic coffee maker, deep cleanse your hair, wash wallpaper, remove musty odour from books, clear a clogged drain make, fluffier omelettes, soften dry beans, get rid of fishy odour, deep clean dishwasher, salvage a burned pot, make tomatoes taste sweeter, take the sting out of sunburn, soothe a canker sore, make your microwave sparkle, soothe a sensitive stomach, stop a mosquito bite in its tracks, discourage weeds in cracks and soak away smelly feet. Who would have thought!!!!

Today I am making Honey Cakes. Pre COVID my baking was restricted to chocolate brownies but now, with so much time on my hands, I have discovered baking and am loving it. Big decision is whose Honey Cake recipe do I choose. Devonshire Honey Cake, Easy Moist Honey Cake, Amazing Russian Honey Cake, Absolutely Perfect Honey Pound, Medieval Honey Cake, Hawaiian/Greek/Eyptian Honey Cake. Or shall I stick to my favourite Nigella’s with butterscotch sauce or Evelyn Rose or Gloria’s mother’s cake, my neighbours or my cousin’s honey cake – certainly not my mother who had never made a Honey cake in her life.

Russian Honey Cake Recipe - olivemagazine
This is the Amazing Russian Honey Cake
Honey Cake | Nigella's Recipes | Nigella Lawson
This is Nigella’s Honey Cake with butterscotch sauce.

And talking of cake how about a Colin Firth cake? Who could forget his wet shirt appearance in Pride and Prejudice. To mark the 25th anniversary of his Mr. Darcy, Lyme Park in Cheshire where Pride and Prejudice was filmed, are baking a six foot cake. Its creator Michelle Wibowo took 200 hours to construct it using 25kg of flour, 25kg of butter and 45kg of sugar.

Life size Mr Darcy cake made for Pride and Prejudice anniversary | The List

And fellow baking enthusiasts Bake Off returns next week. Can’t wait.

“Let’s be careful out there”