This isn’t going to be a cheery post. It’s going to be honest. In advance, I’d like to apologise to anyone who finds what I say ungrateful or selfish.
I have two young boys. Very young. 21 and 5 months old. I love them so much that I find the horrific loud-chewy noise my eldest makes almost too adorable to stomach sometimes. And the little one? I feel a rush of pride when I find an undeniably tiny poo in his nappy.
But sometimes. Sometimes I end up in tears because they refuse to nap at the same time or at all. Sometimes after they have managed to nap they are inconsolable because I give them the wrong spoon, because I don’t feed them fast enough or just because they don’t fancy being consoled. This would be fine if I’d had a full night sleep in five months. I’m also still breastfeeding. It can be a particularly grim time when you, yourself, are starving and you have someone screaming at you because you aren’t getting your boobs out fast enough just to have them sap a little more energy from you. I’m not going to get into the mental side of things, the thought of how others might perceive your choice to be a housewife.
Anyway, I thought it might be good for someone in a similar boat – sometimes partially submerged – to hear that it’s normal to have seriously rough times.
I consider myself a good mother despite my myriad faults and am so overwhelmed by the love I feel in every part of my being for my two boys.
But to cake. This ‘pudding’, a word I amn’t so fond of, is perfect for when you are having a crap time but can find 5mins to whip it up. It’s a Nigella Lawson recipe so you know it’s going to be terrible for you but make you feel better.
I made the one in the picture with homemade marmalade. Marmalade made by my own mother’s fair hands. She had seven children.
Let’s all take a moment to contemplate that…
Cross our legs and let’s begin.
Oven Temperature 180 Celsius
Caster sugar 75g
Light muscavado 75g
Marmalade 225g (75g for the glaze)
Plain flour 225g
Bicarbonate of soda 1/2 teaspoons
Baking powder 1 teaspoon
Zest and juice of one orange (1/2 juice for the glaze)
Preheat the oven and butter a 24cm square, ovenproof dish.
Put all the ingredients EXCEPT 75g of marmalade and the juice of half of the orange into a food processor.
Blitz till well combined.
Pour into the ovenproof dish.
Pop it in the oven and bake for 30 – 40mins. Turn half way through if your oven is uneven.
While that is baking make the glaze.
Put the remaining 75g of marmalade and the orange juice into a small saucepan and heat till all melted together.
When the sponge is cooked – it should be deep brown and a knife should come out clean after piercing it – pour the glaze all over the top. Use a pastry brush or the back of a spoon to smooth it over the whole cake.
I made some Mary Berry custard to go with it, the recipe is here, but no-one will judge you for using Bird’s custard powder. You should also have a cup of tea with it.