Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Resurrection of the Ghost Blog

Because dear Toby asked about a cake.

This cake was born out of a few unusual circumstances: first, I'm on a diet (and it isn't going fantastically well) in order to get a bit sexy before flying out to LA and trying to impress people by being a totally serious professional photographer type while dressed as Nyssa from Terminus; and second, it was only after I'd measured my first two dry ingredients that it occurred to me, at 20 to 9 in the evening, that I was out of eggs.  All things considered, I count my blessings that I apparently have enough baking know-how that it didn't turn out like a fruit-studded brick.  I could weep with joy, though that might also be the fact that it's 2 in the morning and I've reached that hysterical state of tiredness where everything makes you weep if you're not careful.  My point is, it's a healthier bake, kind of: the yoghurt replaces some of the fat in the recipe, which itself, I'm pretty sure, is one of the good fats.  It's not one of the worst fats, in any case, and there's less of it.  And there's fibre and fruit in here!  It's kind of wholesome!  I hope my kilt still fits by Gally weekend!  *tries not to panic*

135g oats
180g self-raising flour
6-8 shakes cinnamon (if I’m honest, I wasn’t counting – I eyeball a lot of this stuff)
2 decent pinches of sodium bicarbonate
¼ teaspoon salt
150ml soy yoghurt (or soymilk, whichever’s handy, or regular yoghurt or milk if neither’s handy and you can have dairy and/or aren’t vegan)
125ml canola oil
½ teaspoon vanilla
60ml maple syrup – this is important – pour this into your 125ml measuring cup, realise you haven’t enough maple syrup when you reach about halfway, and top up with sugar. If you’ve recently become suddenly unemployed like me, the golden organic sugar you always pocket a few extra packets of from coffee shops works wonderfully.  Slightly overfill your measuring cup for good measure.
1 medium-sized apple (I used Worcester), cored, peeled, and chopped
45g (give or take) sultanas, raisins, and chopped dried apricots, soaked in strong hot tea (I used assam, because I think it’s jolly lovely)

Preheat oven to 180/160 fan.  Line 2 sandwich cake tins with baking parchment.  In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, flour, cinnamon, bicarb, and salt.  Add yoghurt or soymilk, oil, vanilla, maple syrup/sugar (can you tell I super hadn’t planned ahead?), apple, and carefully drained dried fruits.  Gently fold together until mixture has just come together – be careful not to overmix, as vegan cake batters are more temperamental than others, overmixing can result in a poor texture, and if you’re anything like me, you’d sooner stick your head in an oven out of shame than serve rubbery-textured cake to your beloved friends.  Spoon mixture gently into prepared tins, place on the centre rack of the oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Transfer to wire racks to cool.


By which I mean, empty a few packets of that sugar you took from Starbucks because 3 quid for a chai latte when you’re unemployed is a bloody luxury and you’re skint and afraid and they’re really not going to miss a few extra organic sugars anyway, and add to a small saucepan with a splash of soymilk and bring to a gentle boil.  When the mixture has reduced slightly to a delicious caramel, scoop into a little wee piping bag, and squizzle in whatever pattern you please over your little squares of cooled cake.  There you have it, petal.  Eat!