Cheating at dinner parties is sometimes just unavoidable. Yes, you may have slaved over that beef Wellington, but the pudding is handmade by the good people at M&S and that’s nobody’s business, OK?
However many food shows we watch on TV, we rarely have a day to devote to prepping complicated meals, so we’re all for easy recipes – especially when they result in professional-looking bakes you can smile smugly over as you carry them to the table.
This might be why the low-fuss, high-style magic cake often does the rounds online.
It’s a dessert with three distinct layers – a light sponge top, a custardy, mousse-like layer and a dense, fudgy base.
And the best part is that it bakes itself into those layers, no separate mixes or fiddly spatula skills required.
There are several variations online, from matcha tea to chocolate, and all look worthy of a patisserie window. Blog jocooks.com has plenty of options, including Nutella, pumpkin, lemon and butterscotch, while eatmeblog.com has a mocha version.
And, of course, an Instagram search will provide plenty of inspiration.
The key, it appears, is the low, slow oven temperature, which cooks the cake in stages, and not overmixing the beaten egg whites.
See you later, we're off to pretend we're Nigella...
Main image: @gormandelleblog