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
Start by turning on your oven at 180ยบ and lining a loaf tin with parchement paper. Separate the eggs, whisk the whites into stiff peaks and reserve. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale, and add the vanilla extract. Blend well. Start adding the flour (with the baking powder) and the egg yolks in batches, making sure each one is well combined before adding the next batch. Fold the berries into the cake batter and mix well. Finally, gently fold the egg whites, you want to keep all the air in so the cake's soft and light. Pour into the tin and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the skewer comes out clean. Indulge yourself, on this cold, dreary January!

Featured book is "MARIANNE" by Ruth Miranda


  1. Yeah bookmaking this wasn't a risky decision great post!

  2. I get serious seasonal depression during January as well. I am planning on making this cake this weekend and spending two glorious days reading. Only a week left until February!

  3. Yeah bookmaking this wasn't a high risk decision outstanding post!

  4. Yesterday, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it
    can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is
    now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off
    topic but I had to share it with someone!


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