AN: Just filling a prompt that struck my fancy on tumblr. This is for the lovely kendrapendragon who wanted a cute sherlolly baking scene. As you'll all be able to tell, this is set during the Fall meaning Sherlock is trapped in Molly's flat and absolutely bored out of his skull.
She made it look so easy.
A simple combination of flour, eggs, and sugar and suddenly, magically, biscuits appeared. An addition of cocoa powder and suddenly she had chocolate biscuits. A bit more time with some butter, milk, and sugar produced frosting to cover sugar cookies cut up into friendly shapes. He didn't know how she did it, didn't know why she did it, but Molly was apparently adept at baking and did it nearly every day.
Cakes, biscuits, muffins, or scones, they all poured out of her kitchen at an alarming pace then were packed into pink cardboard boxes and carried out of the flat. No matter how much she produced, there was never any left over and none ever returned to the flat which was, frankly, a waste. Haunting her kitchen after she'd left with her boxes for the day, Sherlock snacked on biscuits deemed too burnt to place in the boxes and picked up traces of frosting on his fingers, sucking it off.
"You never brought anything like that to the morgue," he said accusingly from her sofa one day as Molly artfully decorated a carrot cake. He frowned as she piped out little orange carrots all over the white frosting before adding little sprays of green to top them. His stomach rumbled softly and he ignored it, turning his attention back to the telly.
"Bit odd bringing food to a morgue," Molly said. She turned the cake slowly, inspecting it carefully, before nodding to herself. Transferring the cake to one of her pink cardboard boxes she tied it up with white string before grabbing up her coat and shoes. "It's not a good idea to mix baked goods and corpses."
"Then why do you do it?" he asked, trying his best not to stare at the box. "You work in one of the oldest hospitals in England and yet you bake on the side." He watched as Molly shuffled through paperwork until she found the order form she needed.
She shrugged at that. "I worked at a bakery to get me through uni and just didn't stop," she said as she pulled off her apron. "I have a small client list and only take on a job a day, but it's good for a little extra cash. Besides, I find it relaxing."
She smiled at him and he met it with a scowl, wrapping his coat tighter around him as she went out the door. As soon as she was gone he was on his feet, pouring over the kitchen as if it held a great mystery. Molly never used a cookbook, never even glanced at a recipe as far as he could tell, and it drove him mad to see it. How could she do it, add together such basic things and end up with something so beautiful? And how had he not seen it before?
The utensils she'd used were already in the sink soaking, but he managed to collect a fingertip worth of frosting and sucked it off carefully as he surveyed the room. Baking was simple chemistry he decided with a nod. A simple reaction of different particles in a predictable, well documented way. It was simple.
Snatching up Molly's laptop he ruffled through the order forms until he found the one for tomorrow. Chocolate custard sponge cake. He didn't think that would be so hard.
Molly returned that evening to find her kitchen in disarray and the fire alarm screaming. Gasping at the sight of everything covered in chocolate powder and flour she stared in horror as a four covered Sherlock cursed loudly and tried to pull something black and smoking out of the oven. Grabbing the hot dish with a thin towel he shouted and swore, dropping it to the floor before slamming the oven door shut with a curse.
"What's going on here?" Molly asked, voice shocked.
"Molly!" Sherlock shouted in reply, turning quickly to face her. His face was streaked with batter and flour covered his hair. Glancing around the ruins of Molly's kitchen, he bit his lip as he met her gaze. "I was attempting to bake a cake."
He shrugged. "You can do it. I assumed it would be simple."
Rolling her eyes, Molly sighed loudly and pulled the battery out of the smoke detector. "I need a shower," she muttered, kicking off her shoes. "Get this cleaned up and afterwards I'll help you bake your cake."
Sherlock scowled at her as she went but, with a sigh, went back to work.
The kitchen was still a disaster when Molly emerged from the shower, but at least it was better than it had been. Her mixing bowls were stacked high in the sink but filled with soapy water and Sherlock had scrubbed most of the flour from the surfaces. Watching him as he dropped the ruined cake in the trash, she smiled as she reached for her apron. "Why did you even want to bake a cake?"
Shrugging, Sherlock turned towards her, his face still covered in flour. "Bored."
She shook her head at that, glancing around her to take stock of things before spotting the printed out recipe. "You were trying to make a sponge cake?"
"Yes, but the recipe was defective. The first three cakes turned out completely flat rather than fluffy and the custard was a disaster."
"Well you did pick one of the harder recipes out there. Sponge cakes are harder when they don't have baking soda in them." Sherlock scowled at her for that and she smiled at him weakly. "But I'm sure we can manage."
Pulling out all the ingredients, Molly cleaned a bowl and preset the oven. "Okay, so first we need to separate the eggs-"
"Done," Sherlock interrupted, gesturing to the counter. There, the eggs had been carefully moved apart so that they were no longer touching. Glaring down at them, he crossed his arms. "Though I ran into this problem before. I don't understand how this step aids in baking."
Molly blinked at him and choked back a laugh. "N-No, Sherlock! It means when you crack the eggs you separate the yolk from the white. Like this." Cracking the first egg over a bowl, Molly carefully moved the yolk from one shell half to the other until all of the white had drained away into the bowl. Setting the yolk into a second bowl, she grinned up at Sherlock. "Would you like to try?"
"I'll take over on the next step," Sherlock said. He watched in fascination as Molly separated each egg, her movements quick and practiced. "Now we whisk?" he asked, picking up a beater.
"Yes, but it's easier if we use the electric mixer," Molly said, dumping sugar and honey in with the egg yolks. Going over to her standing mixer she placed the bowl underneath and beat the mixture until it was smooth and creamy. Setting the bowl aside, she took the beaters off and quickly washed them before reattaching them. "Here, you try. Beat the egg whites until they start forming soft peaks and then we'll add suger."
Sherlock frowned at that but did as she said, nodding as she showed him what 'soft peaks' looked like. Adding sugar to the bowl they continued to beat them until the mixture went thick and glossy before removing the bowl.
"Okay, so now we fold," Molly said, placing the bowls in front of her. "You have to be really gentle for this step, otherwise you loose all of the air and your cake goes flat." Adding the yolks back to the whites she carefully folded them together with a spoon until the yolks were just barely incorporated.
"Flour and cocoa now?" Sherlock asked, going over to the canisters. At Molly's nod he added the items and she gently folded them in, leaving the batter a light brown. Pouring the batter into the prepared baking sheet, Sherlock gently placed the cake in the over and set the timer for eighteen minutes. "Well, that was simple."
Molly laughed, wiping her hands on her apron before reaching for another bowl. "It was, wasn't it? Now we do the custard!"
This time Sherlock separated the eggs, working slowly and carefully to not break them. Adding cocoa and cream he heated them on the stove as Molly pulled the cake out of the oven and sprinkled brandy over it. She chopped up chocolate and butter, adding them to the hot mixture as he pulled it off the stove, watching it dissolve with a smile. Making the meringue quickly she let him fold it into the chocolate this time, cautioning him to be more gentle when he lost patience and tried to move faster.
At last it was done. Spooning it over the cake he watched as the thick liquid seeped into and over the edges of the sponge cake, covering it with a thick glaze. "Is that alright then?" he asked, eyeing the cake wearily. "Can you bring that to your customers?"
"Actually, I thought we could eat this one," Molly said with a smile, fetching out plates. Taking a knife she cut the cake, putting a large helping on each of their plates before handing Sherlock a fork. "You're actually supposed to let it cool overnight, but I think it's good warm too."
Sherlock nodded absently, cutting the cake with his fork and putting a bite of it in his mouth. Eyes widening as the rich taste of chocolate hit his mouth he swallowed and eagerly took a second bite as Molly smiled.
"Do you like it then?"
"I prefer desserts that aren't so sweet but yes. It's good."
"I'll have to teach you how to make tarts then," said Molly, taking a bite herself. "You can make those with whatever fruit is in season and they're not nearly as sweet."
Nodding, Sherlock finished his slice quickly before looking up to her as she ate. "Molly," he said softly, "don't move."
She froze, blinking at him as he stood up and went around the table to her before leaning in. "Sherlock?"
"I said, don't move Molly."
Her breath raced and her heart began to pound as Sherlock leaned in closer, his hands gripping her shoulders for balance as his lips brushed her cheek. She squeaked loudly as his tongue darted out to lick a bit of chocolate off her face, her cheeks going scarlet as he pulled away.
"Quite good indeed," Sherlock said with a smirk.
Dazed, Molly watched him as he stalked back into her sitting room and took up residence on her sofa again, switching on the telly with a sigh. "Aren't you going to help me with the washing up?" she asked, voice wobbling as she tried to get her heart rate back under control.
Sherlock smiled up at her warmly, a glint in his eyes. "Next time perhaps."