"Okay guys, please follow the instructions on the recipe book. I hope everyone can bring their delicious masterpieces home!” my baking instructor, Miss Linda, announced in a crisp voice, clapping her hands together cheerily. Tightening the knot that tied my floral-patterned apron around my waist, I took a deep breath. I was determined to make the most of my beginner baking class as I grabbed the wooden bowl on top of the countertop. Picturing my mother’s wide grin at the sight of the cake, her sweet voice squealed in my head, “It’s so good, my dear! Thanks for making this the best birthday ever!” My heart fluttered with warmth at the thought of her warm embrace. My confidence boosted, I yanked the rolling pin out from the bottom drawer and began kneading the dough.
Tossing the dough into the bowl, I swiftly grabbed two eggs from the carton and cracked them with effort. Then, my eyes darted across the table top, looking for the small jar of sugar. Grabbing the jar filled with sugar, I scooped out two huge spoonfuls and dumped it into the bowl. Mixing the batter with the mixer, I pondered over the flavour I wanted to give the cake. Staring at the evenly mixed batter, I leapt up with joy. Who knew baking a cake would be this easy? I thought that it took years of expertise to make a decent one, but I was delighted to find out that I was wrong. “You know what, I’m going to taste the batter, just for good luck!” I mumbled to myself cheerfully, scooping a big spoonful of batter from the bowl. Little did I know, I was going to regret that move.
To my utmost horror, instead of a sweet and creamy heaven in my mouth, all I could taste was pure salt. The moment it touched the tip of my tongue, it flew out of my mouth like a catapult, followed by a blood-curdling scream. “Ew!” I shrieked, spitting out the batter as I quivered in utter disgust. All eyes were glued on me while Miss Linda scurried over to my side. After I had explained the salty sensation in my mouth, she chortled heartily. “Did you use the salt by accident?” Miss Linda queried in between her uproarious laughter.
I jerked my head towards the jar. All of a sudden, there was an extra jar! Since when did that jar teleport there? Then, I glanced at my tableside partner. Suddenly, the extra jar, the mix-up and the salty taste, why my batter tasted that way, everything became crystal clear as it dawned on me. My partner had taken the sugar just now, resulting in my mix-up with the two condiments!
With no other options left, I had no choice but to pour away my batter. As I watched the batter sink away and disappear into the abyss and depths of the dustbin, my heart could not help but sink in disappointment with every drip wasted. Shortly after, with the help of Miss Linda, I set aside my discouragement and began making another batter. This time, I managed to turn it into a delicious cake! After adding my mother’s favourite fruit, mangoes, on top of the cake in cubes, I was ready to take my creation home.
Knocking on the door, I held my mango cake with two hands out. “Happy birthday, Mum!” I cheered, delighted at the sight of my mother’s wide smile and sparkly eyes. Even though not everything had gone as planned, at least I managed to create a successful cake the second time around.
Ever since that fateful incident, I will always remember to never give up, as well as being aware of what I am putting in my cake! Even though it was rather tiring to redo the batter from square one, I think this experience was quite successful, considering that it was my first time trying something new.