Category Archives: Cake

vicky’s banana cake

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What is it about bank holiday weekends that causes people to become quite such assiduous lawn-mowers? I seem to have spent all day listening to the blasted things: our next-door neighbour, for example, is now mowing his grass for the second time, today. Perhaps I do him an injustice, but as the next house along now has a large hole instead of a lawn (foundations for an extension, rather than anything more sinister (tunnelling, explosives testing, localised natural gas build-up – all these things are commonplace in Bath, you know)), I am disinclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Even John has got the mower out, an event which is only slightly more remarkable than if I were to do so, having never so much as started up a lawnmower in my life. I had been quite enjoying the dandelion patch (much more cheery than a boring old square of grass, no?) but John and the lawnmower seem to have ganged up on me while I was out, and instead I am being mollified with a G&T on our newly re-acquired lawn after a day which started with a slice of this banana cake and only got better from there. If only the same could be said for bank holiday radio playlists. Boyzone? Really? There’s no excuse.

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lime and yoghurt cake with rosewater syrup

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I’m not quite sure when (or how) it happened, but somewhere along the line I fell out of love with chocolate in things. Before you gasp in horror, be reassured: I am still known to smuggle a packet of Maltesers onto the train home, I wouldn’t dream of making banana cake without broken up bits of chocolate in, and I may have – may have – eaten half a packet of chocolate fingers on the way back from Sainsburys this evening (what? It’s a long walk!). It’s just that the allure of chocolate as the main ingredient in a dessert has begun to pall. I can’t remember the last time I opted for chocolate ice-cream, for example, or in fact chose anything chocolate at all from a dessert menu. Mind you, I did make my most recent pudding choice purely on the basis that it came with candied thyme, from which you can draw your own conclusions on my judgement. Be gentle, please.

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Perhaps this lack of enthusiasm has partly to do with the fact that most of my colleagues openly confess their disdain for any kind of sweet thing without chocolate in, and so most of the baked goods that grace the round table in our corner of the office tend to be just a little on the chocolate-rich side. An example: my friend made a Snickers cake, not so long ago. I think it had eight full-sized Snickers bars in. Even she couldn’t eat more than half a slice at one sitting, especially not after the calorific content of the cake was worked out (I think it was around a million. More or less).

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carrot and coconut bars

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This afternoon, among the errands I have to run is a drive up to the leisure centre to pick up my coat, which I left hanging in the changing room last night. This would irk me significantly less if I hadn’t walked straight past it when I went back up there yesterday evening, to collect the swimming costume I’d also left behind. Don’t trust me with your small children, people, or indeed anything you’d like to see ever again.

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We’ve all left a phone on the bus before, I’m sure (or at least something roughly equivalent) but really, who leaves their mobile on the grass bank next to the car one evening and doesn’t even realise she’s done so until she nearly trips over it the next morning? No prizes for guesses, there. It’s never quite been the same since.

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You see where this is going already, don’t you? In fact, you’re probably peering at the picture at the top, wondering if it is missing something vital. You may be thinking that the carrot and coconut bars don’t look particularly carroty. You would be correct.

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