I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right: this is a cake.
Inspiration, as I’ve been told countless times and experienced many more, can spring from unexpected places. And after not writing on here for a while, it was a cake that inspired me to return and continue to tell my story. Why a cake? I hear you ask – here’s why.
I always loved baking. I’m also pretty good at it (if you follow this blog, self-deprecation is something you’ve probably grown accustomed to, so you know I don’t say this lightly).
But there was much more to this cake than meets the taste buds.
Because life often gets in the way, I’ve allowed my baking (much like my writing) to take a back seat for far too long. Some of the excuses I’ve come up with during this time were somewhat justified (please introduce me to the heavily pregnant woman or the new mother caring for a newborn who find the time to whip up something delicious and made from scratch in the kitchen), but others (I need to relax more / I’ve got too much work on / I’m too stressed out to enjoy the things I enjoy / There will always be time for that later) were not.
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to make a layer cake. You know the type, right? The one you see in catalogues for kitchen supplies, or in the movies? The one that makes your mouth water like you’ve never actually had cake before? The type that is so incredibly beautiful and professionally made only a fictional character could’ve baked it in between neighbours coming to visit, picking up children from school and any other impending drama?
Yes. I’ve chased the elusive layer cake for years, and always used the aforementioned excuses (and many more) not to bake it. Yesterday, I decided that was about to change. So I looked through the contents of our fridge, found the recipes that matched the ingredients I had available, went to France (where Good Friday isn’t a bank holiday) and went through the positively barbaric experience of a French supermarket on a Swiss holiday. Full to the brim. Madness, I’m telling you – pure madness!
Once home, under the curious supervision of The Angry Chef and The Little Sous-Chef, I descended into a thick, heavy baking craze. The result is in the photo above: an almond sponge layer cake (for those curious, here‘s the recipe), held together by a thin layer of ginger preserve (full disclosure: I didn’t actually make this, but you can buy it here) and covered in dark chocolate buttercream frosting (here‘s the recipe), baked for The World’s Nicest Neighbours, who are having us over for tea today.
The cake, of course, won’t make it all better. It won’t make me finish my manuscript tomorrow, or even the day after that. It won’t make me accomplish the things I want to accomplish. Between you and me, I don’t even know if this will forever be the best cake I ever baked (now, there’s that self-deprecation back – now you know it’s really me).
But it’s a start. A fresh start, made mostly from scratch.
The saga of me whipping my manuscript into shape continues. For those still counting (by the way, thank you for still counting – you’re keeping me honest, and this is deeply appreciated), we’re now at 54,060 words. A few more thousand are coming, and I hope to share some of them with you in the near future.
Thank you for reading, and enjoy your Easter – even if you are in France!