Wednesday, 1 February 2017

A Little of What you Fancy!

In my last post I promised you cake but it almost never happened. You might recall, although more likely not, that when I last baked with The Cake Slice Bakers one of the choices for January was a blood orange and vanilla cake. As there were blood oranges in the veg box last week and I was due to bring a pudding for a lovely gathering of friends at a Burn's supper last Saturday it seemed an ideal opportunity to bake this cake.

All went well with the slicing, mixing and stirring etc although I was a little concerned that the instructions for making caramel said to stir the sugar until it melted into a dark caramel. Everything I have ever read or seen about making caramel is quite definite that stirring should not be part of the process, causing the sugar to crystalise... which it did! I did manage to rescue it but it was very thick and my instinct would have been to have started with a little water mixed with the sugar. After a longer than specified cooking time the cake was finally baked but when I turned it out upside down, most of the thick caramel hadn't even begun to melt into the cake and was stuck solid on the tin, so I would definitely make caramel my way next time!

I didn't think it looked too great, not the least shiny and glossy like the photo in the book and I almost didn't bring it along but in fact it tasted much better than it looked... so although it wasn't very photogenic, it turned out okay. It was a real treat to go out to supper and have pudding, not something that has really been a feature of our healthy eating plan over the past few weeks.

Apple , raisin and cinnamon porridge.

Since the weekend we are back on track with tasty breakfasts and delicious soups, and loads of wonderful vegetables and it really doesn't feel like a hardship. We are eating regular meals, cooked from scratch and are enjoying every one.

Leek, bean and spinach soup

I've also been reading this book which gives loads of sensible advice for healthy eating for life. Lots of ideas for tweaking ones diet to make lasting healthy changes, without having to give up the occasional treat.

It focuses far more on the pleasure that should be had from all our food and it's definitely not about denial or giving things up. There is no doubt that cake should be an occasional treat rather than a regular part of our diets, but when we have it, it should be enjoyed for the treat that it is, not be something we feel guilty about, which I guess is good news for someone like me who loves to bake so much!

I'll finish with one of the best quotes I've read lately "We shouldn't feel guilty about eating a slice of cake... it's not naughty, it's not a sin... sleeping with your best friend's husband is a sin. Cake is just cake, get over it"

I promise no more evangelical food posts... it's just we both feel so good plus we are both half a stone lighter since the beginning of January so it's hard not to want to shout about it!


  1. Seeing the cake makes me want to bake a good old fashioned pineapple upside down cake! I've been baking a bit more lately, but it's never enough for my sweet-toothed family.

  2. My dear Granny always said that what food tastes like is more important than how it looks. She made very tasty meals but always had dozens of other things to do so would never have made it into the supercook class!
    Glad your cake turned out better than you thought and thanks for sharing the details of that book. I could do with taking it's advice and will try to find a copy.

  3. You're right, a balanced diet is definitely the way to go. I find once I am in a good groove I don't miss the unhealthy things, in fact I'm happy not to be eating them because I feel so much better for it. CJ xx

  4. ...does you good! And I firmly believe that.
    Plus its good to know that cake is not as bad as adultery. ;)

  5. I'm having some healthy days, and some less so. I've got a bit of a cold, and they say 'feed a cold.....' so I had Toast for lunch, smothered with your delicious Damson and amaretto jelly! It was really fab - tasted delicious and looked like molten rubies! Fantastic!! x

  6. How disappointing about the caramel. Funny how we sometimes know instinctively something is wrong but still follow the rules/recipe anyway. Glad it tasted good.

  7. Half a stone is fantastic. Well done to both of you. Think I need to source that book for myself!


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