Orange and walnut loaf cake with cinnamon and fresh ginger, that’s a wonderful combination of flavours. It’s made in a saucepan. It’s tender and buttery like a pound cake. And it disappears far too quickly!
Who doesn't like cakes?
I don’t trust people who don’t like cakes.
I understand teetotallers, vegetarians; I get intolerances, preferences and aversions. I for instance hate mushy peas and curry. The Weather Man won’t eat mussels because he doesn’t like the way they look. Irrational, but forgivable. But cakes? How on earth can you not like cakes?
Cakes are better than chocolate because sometimes they can BE chocolate but don’t have to. Cakes are better than puddings because you don’t always have to use a spoon.
Cakes can be eaten for breakfast, brunch and dessert (also for dinner if made of fish but perhaps I’ll skip this lame pun) (when did I ever skip even the lamest pun?).
Cakes make us happy
There’s no better smell in the house than when a cake is baking. It’s the highest point of a birthday, and of a wedding. You bring a cake round new neighbours to make them feel welcome.
You bake a cake for a friend who’s been dumped or burgled or sacked. Coffee and cakes invite usually meets with more enthusiasm than cocktails and nibbles. Everyone likes cakes.
So if occasionally I meet or hear of a person who says things like: ‘I’d rather have a starter again’; ‘I prefer savoury to sweet anytime’ or ‘Do you want my piece of cake?’ I become deeply suspicious. What’s wrong with you? How can you not want cake?
And I won't listen to pathetic excuses about how they can't manage cake. Everyone knows humans have a separate stomach for cake so however full you are, there’s always space for a little one. Especially cheesecake. Or sticky toffee.
All cakes are equal
I like the cakes that are really involved, with egg separation and tricksy folding; I like the bish-bash-bosh cakes too when you think ‘no way is this gruesome mix going to bake into something tasty’ and it does.
I take exception only to those stunning looking, barely edible, highly Instagrammable cakes – all fur coat, no knickers and what’s the point of them apart from decorative value? They are for when you want to just have your cake, and not eat it.
Orange and walnut easy loaf cake
The orange and walnut loaf cake recipe here, posted a very long time ago on The Guardian website by Dan Lepard, doesn’t need an electric mixer, just a saucepan you mix the batter in.
The only hassle involved is zesting and squeezing the oranges, but who would consider that hassle if there is a gorgeous cake in the making? I’ll just say that I made it on a Saturday morning and by late Sunday afternoon it was gone, baby, gone…