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The importance of cake

Rosalyns-CakeI was thinking a lot about cake yesterday. It’s not unusual for me to be distracted by food. There are days when I think about cumberland sausages, days when I become obsessive about balti curries, and days when I dream of cheesecake.

Cake was on my mind because AbeBooks employees conducted a silent auction yesterday lunchtime in aid of the Power To Be charity. Lots of folks donated things. Rosalyn is one of our customer support representatives and if you are a bookseller then you might have spoken to her. Her contribution to the auction, a mere cake (which is pictured), was outstanding.

Rosalyn has a talent. She can bake. Or rather she can bake very, very well. You know Bernard Malamud’s book about the gifted baseball player, The Natural, well Rosalyn is the baking version of Roy Hobbs. She hits a home run every time she turns on the oven.

I first noticed her baking around 18 months ago when we held a charity bake sale and Rosalyn donated the most delicate, beautifully decorated cupcakes I’d ever seen. Since then I’ve taken to wandering over to the customer support department whenever someone has a birthday just in case Rosalyn has been baking.

hello-cupcakeMy colleague Fernando won the auction for Rosalyn’s cake. He generously paid $50 for it and then laid the cake down in the middle of marketing and invited everyone to tuck in. My slice was probably about $8 worth of cake. So did the cake taste like a $50 cake? Yes, it was sweet and light and delicious, and looked so beautiful it was almost a shame to cut it into pieces. I believe everyone agreed it was worth every penny.

If you want to bake like Rosalyn, she tells me one of her favourite cookbooks is Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. But somehow I think a cookbook will only take you so far. Rosalyn’s talent is God-given and at 25 she’s only just started on her baking career. What will her cakes be like when she’s 45?

So enough cake. Must… focus…. my…. mind…. on books… and the Internet…

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