In January this year I baked my first cake since I was 13. It was the same, the only recipe I had ever used, from a little book of mum's called 'A Proper Tea' by Joanna Isles. A cherry and almond cake, sweet sticky glace cherries folded into the creamy butter and sugar, ground almonds and 3 beaten eggs giving the mixture a flavour and fluffiness that sang on the tongue, and prompted the entire cake to be demolished by my greedy family within the hour.
It got me thinking: why, if it's so fun and easy to bake a cake, did I ever stop? Now in my 30s and settled back with Mr Eve in the Devon countryside where I grew up after years in Paris and London, I seem to have come home to my love of idle baking. Where once empty Sunday afternoons were a rarity in my metropolitan life, they now spread before me with a pleasing encouragement.
Baking a cake is so EASY. There's no better way to idle away the hours. Better still, homemade cakes are an indulgence: delicious, decadent. To idly bake a cake is to do so leisurely, with playfulness and laissez faire, while listening to the radio or singing along to a favourite song. An idly baked cake offers a very different experience to that of the rushed duty job or the pristine flavourless shop bought sponge. It is a celebration of messiness, of divine imperfection. There's the satisfaction of having created something so lovely from so little. Not to mention the pleasure of provoking delight in the ones we love (Mr Eve has taken to calling me his 'feeder').
In our fast paced modern lives, where hyper-stimulation rules and the shock of the new has begun to bore, the slow idling away of a few precious hours in the baking of a cake could be seen as the ultimate rebellion. This blog is a celebration of my idle baking, where I'll chart and test out various recipes from my large library of handed down bakery books and more recent modern classics, adding my own recipes and adaptations. I hope you'll be able to look at my idle cakes and feel inspired to make them yourself, only better, because if such an idle messy girl as I can bake a yummy cake then anyone can, I promise you.