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!