Sunday, 12 June 2011


Baking is my antidote to a rainy day.

Rich Almond Cake
I have made two of these old-fashioned little cakes this weekend.  The first I made on Friday lunchtime.  I knew that when J arrived after school he'd be starving.  He loves anything almond flavoured, I had some ground almonds to use up and it was such a miserable day I felt like baking something.  It also had to be quick and easy because I was on a tight timescale.  It's a really plain cake, nothing to look at (as you can see!) but it is rich and moist with a good texture and delicate flavour.  It smelled like heaven when it was baking and with Friday being so chilly and rainy I knew it would be a welcoming smell (and sight) when my best boys arrived home.  They made a beeline for the cake plate as they came through the door and cut huge chunks.  I was still working and when I joined them in the kitchen an hour later the whole cake had gone!  Slightly miffed because I fancied a bit myself but also thrilled that this easy little ordinary cake was so massively appreciated.

So I made another this evening.  The house smells gorgeous again, I have used up my leftover ingredients and there is still some cake left for tomorrow's elevensies.  It is perfect on its own with a cup of tea but with a generous blob of whipped cream and some morello cherry conserve it would make a delicious pudding.

I've enjoyed the rain today.  We didn't get to the car boot sale because of the weather but had brunch out and spent the rest of the day in conservatory, chatting, watching the rain and playing Wii Sports.  We've got a little portable gas fire in our conservatory (which we had to use, it was so cold!) so it was really cosy.

I nipped into town to fetch a couple of magazines.  The English Home is one of my favourite home magazines.  The homes featured in it are always gorgeous and the articles are interesting too (really liked the article this month on choosing and displaying wall art).  I picked up Country Living at the same time - there are some great cake recipes in this month's issue and I am already craving the broad bean and pea soup that it also gives the recipe for. Yum.

These pretty Dahlias I brought home from the garden centre yesterday have been providing a bit of sunshine in the kitchen:
 I plan to plant them in the garden but for now they're cheering me whilst I do the washing up.
Film night with the husband tonight and I'm finally getting him to watch Withnail & I.  I have spent the last three years quoting this film to my husband but he hasn't seen it and never has any idea what I am on about ('Oh god, I don't feel good... Look, my thumbs have gone weird! etc).  I hope he likes it, I find it really disappointing when I share something I love and the other person hates it (or worse, is indifferent to it!).




  1. cake (+ those particular magazines) = antidote to anything/everything!

    OOOh, withnail and I you say? A firm favourite in our house (is it really THAT old? 1987?) but a dangerous game to introduce it to someone so important - I do hope he likes it! saying that - it might be better if he hates it ...indifference would be far worse.
    fee x
    (I demand to have some booze)

  2. As you know, I UTTERLY love Withnail & I!!!!! We love it with a passion that no one would understand.
    Now look here Mrs Blenahasset, we want cake and wine, we want it here and we want it now.
    In fact we bought the script when we were travelling, think we picked it up in Sydney.
    My husband is always saying things like "Roses are prostitutes to the bees."
    Hope he enjoyed it. Took me two goes at watching it before I fully appreciated it.
    I think an afternoon at The Crow.....

    PS your cake looks lush! x x

  3. Mmmmm, cake!!

    I made the apple cake that was in that issue of Country Living - in fact I better have another piece as I'm not allowed tomorrow (we're doing Weightwatchers on weekdays!!)

    S x

  4. Oh I did some baking yesterday, I made Cuckoo's cupcakes and they turned out perfect, except for the shape...note to self, need to bake them in muffin tin...Did more rows to my blanket, it is growing quickly. Withnail & I????Don't know that one.
    x Sandi

  5. Your cake looks lovely, no wonder it didn't last long!I haven't seen Withnail and I either! It's on my to do list!
    I only recently watched Breakfast at Tiffanys! Been meaning to do that for a few years!
    So pleased you liked your garlands!I love your new curtains, very pretty!
    Have a great week!
    Rachel x

  6. Great post! What a shame the boys ate all of your cake, but what a compliment! Ooh, Withnail and I. Great! 'Here hare here!' xx

  7. Oh yeah I LOVE that quote "Here hare here" Ha Ha.
    "I mean to have you, even if it must be burglary!"
    My husband says that when trying to woo me!!!!
    Thanks for your comment on my post today Nicki, yes I was bridesmaid to my little sister.
    The dress is indeed gorge and one I can def wear again - we both wanted to steer clear from typical bridesmaidy ones as far too unforgiving for my curves!
    Glad your hubby loved Withnail & I.
    I always say I have the fear, even that comes from the film!
    x x

  8. Hi Nicki, thanks for the advice on Paris.We are staying in Rimini,we've been there a couple of times before and the beaches are lovely.The children both love it there too,which is a bonus.We usually fly,but fancied a bit of an adventure,stopping in Paris and Switerland with family.We honestly cant wait.
    Your almond cake looks yummy,I love almond cake.
    We stopped in yesterday too,the weather in Cardiff was terrible,freezing,(we had to put the fire on too!) and I ve never seen so much rain :( take care,love julie xx

  9. so...did he like it (or was he brave enough to admit he didn't?)

    have spent the day with Cleggy (still putting furniture back after Saturday - not such a perfect photo opportunity now!) and i read out your that you were introducing your OH to Withnail - Cleggy actually sucked through his teeth - with a worried frown!!! Serious stuff. He thinks it should be part of a pre marriage interview!
    fee x

  10. Hi Nicki
    Have put a comment on my last post trying to answer your questions re the scarf - I hope it's okay, and I haven't just made it more confusing! Basically just get going with your rows of trebles and email me when you get to the edging if it's still confusing! (Yes, edging comes last)
    That cakes looks lush - can I have the recipe purleeeees?
    Emily x

  11. I just love when a cake goes down well. I made one for friends who came round for coffee this week. 6 people ate a whole cake - I was thrilled at the success but also a little miffed there was none left!
    Just found your blog, enjoyed reading!
    Nelly xxx

  12. Hello again! Just to say good luck with the scarf and I'm really excited about seeing your recipe tab...can't wait to try the cake!! Keep me posted on the trebling:)
    Emily x