January is for hibernating - a red berries and vanilla cake to read a book by
January is always a rough month. It's usually cold and wet and so long, with no respite whatsoever from the daily grind. It's also the one month I long to hibernate, like a good old bear, I dream of returning to a primal mode and just lurk under the blankets for the whole month, hidden from the world and life in general, pretending there's nothing out there for me. January really has me feeling tired and dispirited the moment it begins.
It is also that month when I crave some comfort. Be it in the form of fluffy throws, warm jerseys, bucket-loads of milky, hot tea, a cup of hot cocoa, some cake. Yes, it is the month I long for these types of respite, in the drinking or eating form, to pull me through when I really don't want to do anything other than moan. But being the month that follows that well-known disaster that is holiday eating, I tend to pause, stay away from indulgence, say no to these comforts.
I turn to soups and stews, braised anything, curries and slow cooked pans full of goodness. Roasts are a must, and to add interest, or pretend I'm having something indulgent and sweet, I add fruit to my roasts. Figs, wintery tomatoes, apples of every kind, mandarines. It quietens the cravings, it distracts the brain, it adds warmth and cosyness. I still crave for cakes, though, so enter the crumbles, or just a tray of baked fruit scattered with oats and nuts. Nothing fanciful nor too indulgent, but that does help do the trick. But then somedays, I really want cake.
Like this one. It's a simple, rustic, unimpressive cake. It does not want to be other than that. Because it packs loads of flavour, and that's what matters, really. It's light, but also dense. Fragrant and just the perfect amount of sweet. With lots of fruit, it carries an acidity and a sourness that cuts through the sweetness and makes it moore-ish, lustful, delightful. A cake that goes well with a piping hot cup of tea and a good book. While I sit on my couch, hidden under my comfy throw, hibernating away from the dreary January world.
So here's the recipe:
- 175 gr flour
- 175 gr butter
- 175 gr brown sugar
- 4 eggs - separated
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup red berries of your choice
Featured book is "MARIANNE" by Ruth Miranda