Love is a funny old thing. It makes us do things we wouldn’t normally do. It makes us crazy, sad, angry, happy. It can lift you to the highest cloud where your feet don’t touch the ground. And it can drag you down to the darkest hell you’ve ever felt or seen. Love is indeed a powerful thing. It’s no wonder I am fascinated by it.
When I photograph weddings I love the intimacy that I see through the lens. Two people standing there before me completely and utterly exposed, hearts out and arms around one another as they make promises to keep loving each other for the rest of their days, no matter what. It’s a big promise, huge. What else do we experience in life with that same level of intensity and humility as genuine true love for another? Not much.
It’s school holidays here, and as fate would have it the timing has been perfect for me. I’ve been sleeping in (like seriously sleeping in), I haven’t made unfulfilled promises to myself to clean the house, I have been exercising and eating good, and some days bad. I have had long phone chats with family and friends, I have hugged loved ones, I have baked cakes and cooked delicious slow cooker meals to welcome the cooler autumn days. I have sat on the lounge with a cup of freshly brewed coffee and planned to do nothing else but browse Instagram for a good hour. Several times a day. I’ve been in serious slow mode, and this is another kind of love that we all need to indulge in now and again. Self love.
Baking and spending time in the kitchen are some of my favourite acts of self love. I find myself in my own little zone in the kitchen; stirring, tasting, cooking and smiling. I know there are rules when it comes to cake baking, I mean cake recipes actually rely on science. But I am less measure, and more haphazardly throw whatever in and optimistically hope for the best. It’s a trial and error kind of thing for me and I don’t mind tweaking a recipe a few times until I get it right. Much like love, I doubt any of us get it right every single time. It’s just a case of live and learn. And if the cake comes out of the oven beautifully domed then you’re on a winner.
I made this cake the first time in a square tin, and it dropped in the middle when I took it out of the oven. This one was made in a 22cm angel food cake tin, it came out beautifully.
Honey Cake Recipe
Ingredients // makes 22cm cake
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup honey
1 ½ cups caster sugar
3 eggs, room temperature, gently beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup espresso, cooled slightly (not hot)
200ml whipping cream
4-5 figs, quartered
Handful of pistachios, chopped
2-3 tablespoons honey
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease tin.
Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
Make a well in the centre and add oil, honey, caster sugar, eggs, vanilla and espresso. Whisk well ensuring ingredients aren’t stuck to the bottom of the bowl.
Once combined well, pour into greased tin and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Whip cream until soft peaks form. Add mascarpone and beat for a minute. Spoon on top of cake, scatter figs on top and sprinkle with pistachios. If you want to add an extra taste of honey, drizzle a spoonful or two over the top.