Cake, once more

If you compare the output of pre-October-2012-Nicola to post-October-2012-Nicola you might notice the conspicuous absence of one activity: baking. Yes, ever since I went to the dark side, eschewing all things glutenous (most of the time), my fondness for mixing flour and sugar and butter has diminished considerably. More accurately, my baking output has diminished because I do not possess enough self-control to make things and not eat them.

A fact that is not lost on my boy-children. A friend came over for coffee yesterday. ‘Can you make scones,’ the Hen asked a few hours later, when his belly had lost the memory of lunch. ‘No,’ I shook my head, much as I would have loved an oat-maple scone. Or three. ‘Is that something you do – bake scones?’ the friend asked. And I muttered something about how I used to bake scones, and muffins, and cookies and cake.

After a few failed experiments (I can still taste that weird, gritty cookie) with gluten-free baking, I more or less stopped. Save a quinoa cake here and a chocolate flourless cake there. But when I saw this recipe on The Telegraph’s website last week, I knew I would make it. And eat it. Less than 24 hours later, after purchasing the smallest bottle of whiskey I could find and listening to the boys tell the professor ‘mom’s drinking whiskey’, I had a 9×13 glass dish in the oven filling the house with one of the seven wonder-smells of the world: ginger cake.

I had used up the last of the powdered sugar for making the boys’ heart-shaped cookies earlier in the month, so I had to find an alternative glaze to the one included with the recipe. I remembered about a sticky toffee pudding I’d made a couple of years ago and made its glaze, swapping the half cup of coffee for a quarter cup of whiskey. After ingesting five two pieces in two days, I cut up the remaining cake and stuck it in the freezer.

Now I spend my days trying not to think about said cake in said freezer; how I could put just one little piece on a plate and stick it in the microwave for 30 seconds and consume all of its gingery glory in three bites.


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