Sometimes, I want to create a cake. Spend many a lost hour with my head in a book trying to find inspiration for the next project which is then followed by hours of creaming, mixing, whisking and baking before unveiling a masterpiece. And then there are days where I just want an easy peasy slice of cake which desired minimum fuss but maximum yum. Today was that day. I was feeling super simple so I baked this super simple recipe which has been passed on to me by my mother (and possibly the only recipe as the only other thing she can cook successfully is fish finger, chips and peas) (Mum, I know you will read this, I’M JOKING! I LOVE YOU REALLY!). With the scorchio sunshine outside, who really wants to spend hours in a sweat box kitchen? I want to be outside with my cake soaking up all the vitamin D I can get. The sugar syrup which drowns the cake once out of the oven adds a lushy, zesty moistness to the sponge whilst leaving a crunchy sugar coating which is why you can get away with not icing this beauty. The poppy seeds give a great texture and on reflection, I have added an extra 50g in the recipe below as I think it needs a bit more crunch.
I find baking the most enjoyable, relaxing and calming activity. Its like my therapy, I can loose myself for hours in the kitchen. I get in the baking zone and forget everything else. This week has been one of those weeks, it has been pretty rubbish for several reasons (I shan’t bore you with the gory details) so I was just itching to get baking. I also really enjoy running and working out (Sadly, no matter how hard I wish, cake is never going to be calorie free) which I also find is good for the soul but nothing beats some bonding time with the Kitchenaid with Radio 2 in the back ground. The whole process of sitting down with a pile of books trying to find or create the perfect recipe, then measuring, making and baking. It requires all your concentration for those couple of hours and then, at the end you have created something lush that you can share with someone who deserves it (or, if it has been one of those weeks, just grab a fork and scoff it on your own. Note: Several runs needed after this). So next time you are feeling down or just need a little pick me up, don’t reach for the vodka, pick up your apron and get baking!