Walking back home this afternoon, with a shopping bag of goodies, I watched families and couples walking through my local park. I've never enjoyed Winter; I hate feeling cold and just want to be wrapped up in a big blanket. I even get a little chilly in Summer. I'm unbelievable!
But today I felt my first pang of love for winter. I even began to enjoy it...!
Maybe because I have learnt the art of layering. And because, really, snow is quite beautiful.
I still have festive thoughts running through my mind, and these are mixed with excitement for Spring. See, it's January now. Which means that it is almost February. Which means that it is almost Spring. Do you see?
Spring is my favourite season. It's warm enough for cardigans but you can still heap your favourite old coat over a summer dress, and still have big pockets to carry your keys and phone and oyster card and receipts and lipbalm.
You can wear pretty dresses (with woolly tights) and you know that Summer is just around the corner- where the real fun begins. Spring is for planning. It's more of a new leaf than new years, and it's the start of amazing things. New things are sprouting and being born, and the sunshine is coming through. Lovely.
So that's what this recipe is about. It's this awkward stage where I still have the images of Christmas in my mind, but I want the clean, refreshing tastes of spring.
Glace cherries remind me of the dense spice of Christmas Cake, whilst fresh cherries are visiting the market in Summer. Bringing home a brown paper bag filled with the little gems, washing and bringing two bowls to the table- one for the cherries, the other for their stones.
Oranges are like clementines which are like Christmas gifts. They're fresh juice on a summers day. They're bright and clean and grated into cakes.
Cherry and Orange Cakes.
8oz golden caster sugar
Glug glug glug of oil*
8oz self raising flour
lots of glace cherries
Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the glug glug glug of oil* and mix together well, along with the vanilla. Add the flour and beat until well combined. Add enough oatly (or rice milk, soya milk etc) until the mixture is fairly creamy, wet and smooth. Chop the glace cherries in half, grate the two oranges, then slice in half and squeeze the juice into the mix. Give it all a good stir, pour into your chosen baking tray/ case and bake at 160c for:
25 minutes if it's a cake
18 minutes if it's cupcakes.
Leave to rest before trying to move the cake(s)- this is a delicate little sponge!
I iced with orange flavoured water icing; something delicate and not too overpowering.
Enjoy with nothing but a glass of tap water.
* I do apologise for my lack of measuring. I put a fair amount in, it helps it all to stick together and become quite fluffy. Don't put so much in that you feel that you are deep frying your cake.