I have no idea where the past two months have gone. I am always vaguely aware that the older we get, the smaller a proportion of our life a month becomes. When we were five years old, a year felt infinite. But now, I’ve already made plans that lie six months ahead, and that time seems hardly a blip in the scheme of things. The years have become busy and blurred, and I often seem to find myself looking forward to a point several days or weeks or even months ahead. I’m trying vigilantly to stop this pattern, because it becomes too easy to wish life away trying to attain the next goal, experience the next milestone and arrive at the start of the next adventure. Life is now, and now is fantastic.
A flower-adorned Lemon and Raspberry Naked Layer Cake! I made this delightfully pretty tower for a recent pot-luck dinner, after dreaming about its creation for a few months. Layers of light and zesty lemon cake are enveloped in slatherings of raspberry cream cheese frosting; the combination of sweet and zingy flavours is so simple but absolutely foolproof. And yum. Very yum. I also love naked cakes. They’re so unassuming and modest, sitting delicately in their light coat of frosting, giving admiring passers-by a peek at the beauty of their concealed layers. They also lend themselves wonderfully to decoration, and I had such fun arranging these seasonal blooms from my local florist atop the cake’s surface!
The banana muffin just upped its sass factor. I’ve taken a childhood favourite banana muffin recipe from my legendary Aunty B and thrown in a few of my favourite things; success! These muffins are made with vegetable oil and wholemeal flour, and each warm bite is fluffy, moist and full of juicy blueberries. Topped with a generous dollop of lime cream cheese frosting and crunchy coconut flakes, these babies promise comfort, scrumptiousness and a little zing. And they are super easy to bake, the muffin recipe is one-bowl and there ain’t no funny business. Just pure and sweet cakey goodness.
Before you raise your eyebrows in suspicion of this cake’s unusual secret ingredient, let me argue its case. I was served this Dark Chocolate and Beetroot Cake upon arrival in London last year. It was baked lovingly by my cousins, drizzled with dark chocolate ganache and intricately decorated with a white chocolate welcome message. I was so taken aback by how incredibly rich and velvety the first bite was. The idea is not to actually taste the beetroot, but there is a dark, seductive, earthy tone to the cake that is utterly delicious.
This is a monster for chocolate lovers; layers of rich, moist, chocolate buttermilk cake held together in a delicious embrace by a thick, velvety, dark chocolate cream cheese frosting, topped off with fresh juicy blackberries! The cream cheese frosting is decadent, but its slight tang provides the perfect offset to the rich, chocolatey sweetness of the cake itself. And I just love blackberries…I summoned my inner jungle girl and went crawling through a dense forest near my house to pick a whole container-full of these bad boys. I came back with some pretty severe war wounds down my legs and arms, but it was so worth it.