More often than not it’s the little things in life that make me smile the most, especially in our Covid-restricted world of lockdown. So this morning I’ve been looking through a beautifully illustrated little book titled ‘The Art of Kindness: Caring for Ourselves, Each Other & Our Earth’ by Meredith Gaston and enjoying a cup of tea and a home-baked lemon cake.
I only made half a dozen small cakes rather then a huge batch (and now only four are left) but even so I really enjoyed the familiar process of measuring out the ingredients and mixing up the cake batter – and the lemon glace icing ended up a little on the runny side but that doesn’t matter, after all cake is cake and it all goes down the same way 🙂
Right now it feels like the world needs a lot more kindness and consideration in it, a lot more love and a lot less hate – and of course a little culinary indulgence now and again to lift our spirits! ❤
What better way to cheer myself up on a restful, rainy summer afternoon off than enjoying a refreshing cup of tea and a freshly baked fairy cake, light and fluffy and only an hour out the oven… And the icing on the cake is that the kitchen still smells of warm, sweet vanilla – Yum! 🙂
To be honest I’m not a huge cake fan, and I’m certainly not at all keen on those ultra-fancy minimum sponge, maximum icing (frosting) constructions that seem to be so fashionable just now. So my top five cakes tend to be the more traditional types, preferably home made and for me the simpler they are decorated the better. Here they are in no particular order, as my favourite flavour depends so much on my mood at the time 🙂
Cheesecake – My favourite recipe uses limes rather than lemons, and has a crunchy ginger biscuit base – I like to serve it with sliced kiwi fruit and blueberries on top… Mmmm…
Gingerbread – Rich and treacly, sticky and scrumptious, gingery and cinnamony… Melt wet ingredients, add dry ingredients, mix well and bake…
Carrot Cake – Moist and light with the softest scrape of cream-cheese frosting on top…
Lemon Drizzle Cake – Tangy and zingy, the lemon-syrup-drizzlier the better…
Fairy Cakes – Mini vanilla sponge cup cakes in individual paper cases topped with a blob of white glace icing and sprinkled with hundreds and thousands… A real taste of childhood ❤
After a week of warm sunny weather, it’s much cooler today and we’ve had nothing but rain all day today. Bummer. Good for the garden though.
I was sitting on the sofa tonight watching TV and I fancied something sweet to eat. I checked the fridge, but found nothing tempting there. I looked in the larder cupboard, and found nothing there to fit the bill either. So I decided to make something using store-cupboard ingredients.
I took a tin of mango in juice and chopped the fruit into bite-size chunks, laying them in the bottom of a Pyrex dish. I quickly mixed up some basic cake mixture and flavoured it with ginger powder, vanilla essence and a little of the mango juice from the tin. I poured the batter over the fruit and stuck it into the oven.
While the cake was baking, I boiled up the remaining juice from the mango tin with a slug of apple juice, a dash of sugar and some more ginger powder and reduced it until it made a thickish syrup. Once the cake came out of the oven I pricked it all over with a skewer, and poured the syrup over the top and left it to cool a little.
I didn’t leave it for too long though, and was soon tucking in to a substantial portion warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream… and it was yum! Guess who has a big contented smile on her face now, as well as something sweet in her belly.
Nice yummy surprise for my husband when he gets home from work at 10pm too! 🙂
These little cakes fresh from the oven probably couldn’t look any more beige-brown boring if they tried, but oh, the warm and comforting sweet smell of cinnamon and vanilla fills the kitchen with the most wonderful aroma. As soon as they cool enough to eat, I’m going to have one with a steaming hot cup of coffee – and that’s another lovely smell to add to my day at home! 🙂