I don’t know what’s come over me recently, maybe the weather (how boring) but I’ve taken to sugar. I’ve been a habitually salty creature for most of my life so this has caught me by surprise. I’ve even taken to using serious-looking mouth wash in case the sweetness wreaks havoc on my teeth. For example, I’ve visited milkshake and gelato diner Kaspa’s three times in the last month where I had a chocolate milkshake, a waffle and pistachio ice cream and a Nutella banana crepe. I want to go again. Also, for every breakfast last week in Ukraine, I had sweet things. On a previous visit, I eschewed sweet things and ate smoked fish and ham every day. Every day I thought about eating the same savoury nourishment I had before, I gave myself internal pep talks about it, but I just couldn’t. So instead I doused plates of bacon and ricotta pancakes with maple syrup, even occasionally followed by Baklava. If my mother reads this, she’ll be shocked.
We had a back-of-the-cupboard/fridge kind of Valentine’s evening meal due to a great degree of disorganisation and work. Sam made fried haggis that we’d failed to eat for Burns’ supper in January with leek and mushroom white sauce on toast (absolute hit, with a side order of tomato ketchup), and I made us cherry sponge with a pack of frozen fruits from Aldi and various ends of butter. To my great surprise, as I bake very rarely and did not follow a recipe other than the principle of ‘all in one’, the sponge emerged golden and distinctly edible from the oven. We had it with sour cream.
130g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
110g caster sugar
110g unsalted butter, room temp
1 heaped tablespoon of cottage cheese
a splash of milk
1 teaspoon of baking powder
zest 1/2 lemon, and a squeeze of juice
350g packet of frozen cherries (a less sweet variety would be perfect) or other soft fruit like raspberries
2 tablespoons of caster sugar
How to make:
Pre-heat oven to 200 celsius (gas mark 7).
Mix all ingredients apart from cherries with an electric whisk. Whisk as long as you can be bothered, until the batter is as smooth as possible. Pour the fruit into a greased oven dish such as a metal Falconware dish, or other similar dish. Sprinkle over 2 spoons of caster sugar. Pour the batter over the top and place in the oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven. Remove when it has risen, including in the middle, is golden-brown all over, and does not leave batter on a knife when you stick it in – try not to open the oven before this point.
Serve with sour cream or Greek yogurt.