A Berry Christmas cake to mark the end of the season
I have been very under the weather, lately, and that has reflected upon the blog. I seem to have caught up with the flu virus going round, and right now my body is a receptacle for bodily aches, sore throats, running noses and high temps. I find no strenght for working out, I hardly even manage to drag myself for the school runs - and there's about eight of them in my day! Cooking is out of the question, or would be if I were not the one respnsible for having meals on the table. I mean cooking imaginatively, worthy of blogging and instagraming. I did manage to get a lemon curd ready last Sunday, before I hit my low. I will try to bake a cornbread today. I also managed to drag my feet around and style and photograph said lemon curd, which is a victory of sorts, as I have been devoid of imagination on that subject.
I think the bigest problem has been I have been hit by one of my writing spurts. I get these huge creative bouts whenever Mercury is leaving retrograde and they seem to last for a couple of weeks, which is a good thing, because other people - should I say normal people? - seem to always have a very hard time whenever Mercury is retrograde, while I always swim in a sea of creation and good writing. So I have been writing a lot, and spending my time at it. It is something that doesn't force me to physical activity which my sadly sore body cannot stand at the moment, so as far as I'm concerned, it's all good. But my writing creativity seems to stop when it comes to blogging, so, and despite having had these photos for quite some time, I haven't yet been able to force myself into posting this cake. Which quite frankly was delicious!!
I have been so largely immersed on my third volume of the vampire series I'm writing that there has been no space in my head for anythig else. I know, I know it's terribly boring coming here, to a food blog, and always end up with these huge posts about vampire literature, and witches and writing and books, when all I should be focusing in here is food food food. But I can't. Sure, I love food, I love to eat and I love cooking, I love talking about food as well, and I love talking over good food - along with great wines, in an other life I would have been a sommelier for sure. But the thing I'm most passionate about is writing, and I have never hidden that from anyone else, at least not on this blog. I have always stated that I am first and foremost a writer. And writing gets me high, and discussing my writing - and other people's writing too - gets me high, and whenever I'm obsessing about something, I can't shut up about it.
So yeah, right now I am obsessing about my novels, about my characters - lord, I hate them!! why do I always end up hating my main characters? - about the narrative. I miss the times when I had a group of people who read my writings and then discussed them with me, when I had a group of people who would let me know how they perceived certain characters, and their actions. It really did improve the fabric of the writing, especially if someone found something that seemed, well, out of character for a certain character. The simple act of explaining why that character did or said that, it helped me see if it was really a stretch, if it was so out of character that no matter how I tried to justify it, it wouldn't work. It helped me create better characters. Nowadays I end up discussing it all in my head, and I do have a tendency to see my own characters in the worst possible light. I mean, I do not think they act out of character or in unrealistic ways, but I do hate the way they behave most of the time.
Anyway, truth is I haven't baked a cake in a while because I haven't been able to be bothered by that. This cake is the kind of thing I usually do right after the holidays, with some of the leftovers I have. I might have confit fruit left over, so I use it. Or maybe it's nuts that I have, or an overload of chocolate. Whatever is handy will do to set my mind working and help me create a new cake. This one made use of leftover red berries and my spiced sugar. The base for it was a simple sponge, something I tend to resort to whenever I want to bake a simple, easy cake. I love the simpicity of sponge cakes, but I love their versatility even more. Take that no fuss recipe and make it into whatever you like. A berry Christmas cake this one was, with scents and flavours still reminiscent of the season.
So here it is, my berry Christmas cake:
- 150 gr flour - I used 75gr spelt and 75gr regular flour
- 120 gr sugar - dark muscovado was my choice
- 150 gr butter
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- half a cup of mixed red berries
- two scant tablespoons of spiced sugar