Poetry by Jeff Green


A Recipe Rhyme (for chocolate cake)

by cricketjeff on January 7, 2010.  © Jeff Green, All rights reserved

Take six ounces of the finest English butter
Fold in castor sugar to an equal weight
Then before your mixer starts to moan and splutter
Beat in three eggs, each followed by a wait
A three-quarters SR flour and cocoa mixture
Sieve six ounces straight into the mixing bowl
If a bland and boring diet’s not a fixture
Then a chocolate cake a month should be your goal

When the mixture’s smooth and brown and quite delicious
You divide it into two round baking tins
If you’re worried about fate, or superstitious
This is where the nervous waiting time begins
Set your oven to 350, gas mark four-ish
Give your timer twenty minutes, more or less
When the smell of cakes is getting still more more-ish
You are getting near the time to end your stress

They are cooked if there’s no dents left after tapping
Turn the pair out on a wire cooling rack
While they cool down you have time for happy napping
Till the pangs of cake-fuelled hunger brings you back
Take two ounces of fresh butter, which you soften,
Beat in four of icing sugar, water too.
Add a dash of cocoa powder and quite often
You will eat a bit while thinking what to do

With this butter cream you stick the cakes together
Glace icing is traditional on top
If you fancy it in brown and white you’ll feather
It, till boredom with the process makes you stop
(Glace icing just for those who do not know it)
Is an icing sugar – water sticky paste
Tip it on the cake but do not overflow it
Or the rather lovely mixture goes to waste

Now you need to take yourself back in the kitchen
Since a cake is not a cake without some tea
Hurry up and fill the tray, I’m sure you’re itchin’
To get back and cut a slice for you and me
With this recipe you’ll soon have conquered baking
And be icing celebration birthday cakes
Just be sure that all the friends you will be making
Do not overeat and end as fat mistakes!

Author notes

SR flour is self raising flour, if you are using all-purpose or plain flour add about two teaspoons of baking powder and half a teaspoon of salt to the six ounces. In cups, it is 1 cup of flour, a generous 1/3 cup of cocoa powder and 3/4 cup of caster (fine granulated) sugar. 350F is 180C, I think that should let anyone bake it!