I bloody love Lakeland. This is not a sponsored post. Lakeland have absolutely no need to pay me to make me throw twenty pound notes in their general direction, shouting, “TAKE IT ALL! JUST GIVE ME YOUR LOVELY THINGS!”
My most recent purchase was a cake pan set, which came free with a Wilton food colouring kit. I had decided to make a rainbow layer cake for YoungestGirl’s birthday. I love a bit of baking, but I’m generally a bit shit at making things look nice. I thought if I followed their usually-foolproof directions, I might be able to knock up something that looked halfway decent.
First up, then, the cake mixture. This was an odd one as it called for four egg whites – but no yolks. I haven’t come across this before in anything other than meringue-type desserts, but who am I to question the Lakeland gods? Unfortunately, the recipe was American, so I had to do some cup conversions too, which I hate as I almost always fuck it up at some point. I do actually own and use cup measures, but then the recipe will say something like, “1.5 sticks of butter”, and I have no bastarding clue what a stick of butter is, so then I look it up online, convert it into grams, and then panic that everything else needs to be in grams too, so spend the next 30 minutes with a calculator and saying things like, “Hey Siri, how many grams in a cup of flour?” (Siri helpfully replies, “Gram and cup are not compatible” like the DICK HE IS.)
Once the mixture was made, I divided it into five bowls – one for each layer of the cake, and, using the colour chart provided with the food colouring kit, added a fairly ridiculous number of drops of food colouring into each bowl. I’m not going to lie; it was a lot of fun.
Then, into the oven and out again to cool. I was then supposed to trim the cakes to flatten them, but I was 90% sure I would balls that up, so I only trimmed the roundest. Retrospectively, I should have bitten the bullet, as I ended up needing to fill a lot of gaps with much too much buttercream.
Anyway, when all was said and done, this is what it looked like. It tasted… sweet. I think another reason I’m a bit shit at presentation is that I’m naturally a lot more interested in how something tastes rather than what it looks like. This was definitely a cake which was style over substance (and not that much style by the time I’d finished layering 9000 calories of buttercream over it like an inept plasterer).
I put a cake sparkler from Waitrose in the top, which may or may not have given YoungestGirl (and EldestGirl come to that) a lifelong fear of pyrotechnics.
So why do I love Lakeland so much? Well, like a dick, knowing that the colouring kit came with free pans, I added the free pans to my cart, and didn’t notice they didn’t discount… apparently because Lakeland added the pans to my cart themselves and I shouldn’t have done it. So essentially they despatched to me (and charged me for) an additional set of pans. I phoned them today to organise the return and apologise for my stupidity, and they only said I could keep the extra set of pans and donate them to charity! This was really impressive – it’s eco-friendly because a delivery driver is not collecting them and driving them to a warehouse. It’s also reducing packaging, plus presumably their own overheads (or mine) of the cost of returning the goods, and the cost of restocking them back into the warehouse. And finally, it generates a massive amount of customer goodwill. Good work, Lakeland. Now take all my money and send me lovely things.