Dearest Martha Day,
I was recently visiting a friend for afternoon tea and I spied your delectable dessert baking book in his kitchen.
Hot damn, Martha! The Amazon description got the baker in me hard:
Covering all the traditonal teatime favorites such as gingersnaps, fruitcake and blueberry muffins to more special-occasions treats such as light as air meringues, black forest gateau and chocolate chiffon pie, this compilation of 500 recipes is a must for every home baker.
I’m a man a who fucking loves his light-as-air meringues, let me tell you. 500 pictures of dessert? You gotta be shitting me! And look at that strawberry cake on the cover! Oh, god! It looks like a little slice of heaven, oozing clouds of fluff and dusted in sprinkles of shredded angel wings. Delicious.
I think I’d like to make that cake.
I flipped to the inside page, under the publisher’s information that nobody ever reads. Thankfully, I found the page numbers for your cover photos there (If I hadn't, I would have flipped through the whole book to find this cake anyways.)
Tia Maria Gateau? Page 215, you say? Sweet!
Flip. Flip. Flip.
What the hell is this, Martha?
Not only is this the wrong cake, it’s not even strawberry. It’s fucking chocolate and caramel! Who is Tia Maria and what has she done with the strawberry cake that’s supposed to be here? (In your defense, there was a Strawberry Gateau next to the Tia Maria but it certainly wasn’t the one on the cover.)
Anyways, I flipped through the entire cakes and gateaux section to find that cake, the elusive strawberry bastard. On my second search through the book, I found a Strawberry Shortcake Gateau on page 129 – 129, Martha! That’s almost a hundred pages away. What kind of oversight is this?
But, y’know what? That wasn’t it. It was close. Real fucking close. But no cigar.
In fact, I found several cakes that looked like the one on the cover but, upon closer inspection, they were completely different cakes. You gotta stop making so many cakes that look the same, Martha. The anticipation of finding my cake, the joy of finding it, the disappointment of realizing it was the wrong one, the acceptance, the moving on... it was all just too much for me.
Page after page of this shit. Where's my cake, you crafty bitch??
Maybe I wasn’t meant to find it? Maybe I was meant to enjoy the picture and drool over what I think it tastes like. That must be it.
Well, you win Martha. I finally gave up looking for my strawberry heaven and decided it didn’t exist. Thanks for nothing. I hope you choke on a sponge cake.
PS - After further investigation, it seems that this may be a second printing and the original edition did indeed have the Tia Maria as the main cover image. It looks like I have a nasty letter to write to World Publications, your lazy prick of a publisher, who, when updating the book in 2009, didn't bother to change the photo index from 2006.
My apologies. Enjoy your sponge cake.