Lately I have become mildly obsessed with baking. Cakes, especially. There’s something so very comforting about baking a cake. Weighing out and mixing the ingredients, the warmth from the oven, the sweet smells wafting around the house, the sense that you are doing something that women have done for generations. It’s very soothing. Whenever I feel like the darkness outside is creeping into my soul, I go and bake a cake.
I’ve been doing it a lot lately.
At this rate I will never lose those last 10lbs. But hey, its winter. I need some insulation.
I’m especially drawn to old fashioned, traditional cakes and recipes. The sort of thing I remember from my childhood, and Tony from his. Did you grow up in a house where there was always something homemade in the cake tin? I did. I like that. Not good for the waist, but good for the soul. (If I could master the art of breadmaking, I’d like to always have homemade bread in the bread tin as well. Although this soda bread is pretty fantastic.) It’s nice to be able to offer guests a slice of something homemade, especially if you can do so casually, in a I-didn’t-bake-this-because-I-knew-you-were-coming-I’m-just-the-kind-of-cook-who-always-has-something-delicious-on-hand kind of way. Makes you feel like a domestic goddess.
Some of the recipes I’ve baked recently include: Nigella’s Clementine Cake (keeps beautifully, and naturally gluten and dairy free), Hot Toddy Fruitcake (I had high hopes for this one, but missed a crucial step in the instructions – double line cake tin with baking parchment – so the sides and bottom burnt black), Parkin (so utterly delicious that I made it twice in one week), Hot Cross Buns (left in the oven too long, they were a bit bullet-like), and Malt loaf (not as good as shop bought, disappointingly).
Do you like to bake? If so, what are your favourite recipes?