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There’s been a dearth of cake in small, quiet, pretty land: a lack, a paucity, an absence. Sometimes, especially when you’re known for your baking, you just get sick of it. All the fun goes out of it when you’re expected to bake. I think that’s what happened. Also, I went on a very low-carb eating plan for about a month. I don’t recommend it. Low carb, it turns out, equals low energy. I yawned and dragged myself around like an old sack the whole time.

But my love of baking came back, albeit in modified form. I’ve resolved to bake only when the muse calls, when I see a recipe that just has to be made. This is one of those recipes. The original recipe came from an old issue of The Simple Things magazine, and you can find it here. I changed it by using raw sugar, almond meal and gluten free flour and losing the vanilla, and I think mine’s better (pretends to blush modestly).

My friend P said it was the best cake she’s had all year. Given that it’s October, I choose to take that as a huge compliment. My friend D had two pieces in a row (so did I) and asked for the recipe. Here, then, is a very good cake.

For the cake:
200g butter
175g raw sugar (coconut sugar would also be good)
3 eggs
½ a lemon
150g almond meal
100g gluten free self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon pomegranate molassses

For the syrup:
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
75g raw sugar
½ a lemon

For the icing:
250g cream cheese
2 tablespoons thick (double) cream
75g icing sugar

Heat the oven to 160° Celsisus. Grease a 23cm springform cake tin and line the bottom with greaseproof paper.

Chop up the butter and zap it in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften it (or, if you’re organised, take it out of the fridge a few hours before you start baking and leave it somewhere warm). Beat the butter and sugar together until well combined, then beat in the eggs one by one. Mix the flour, almond meal and baking powder together in a separate bowl. Tip half the flour mixture into the sugar/butter/egg mixture and beat it in well. Then beat in the tablespoonful of pomegranate molasses before you add in the last lot of flour. Add the zest of a lemon and half a lemon’s worth of juice. Beat everything until it’s lump free. (Shouldn’t take long if you’re using electric beaters.) Spoon the mixture into the cake tin, smooth it over and bake for about 40 minutes. When it’s done, it will be quite brown on the top and a knife blade or cake tester inserted in the middle should come out clean.

While the cake’s in the oven, heat the syrup ingredients slowly, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the cake is cooked, drizzle about two-thirds of the syrup over the cake. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.

Beat together the icing ingredients. Lick the beaters when you’ve finished, or give them to children if you are a kind, generous person. Once the cake’s cool, take it out of the tin and spread the icing over the top. Reheat the remaining syrup (because it will probably have gone a bit gloopy) then drizzle it over the icing.

This cake is really good with sliced mango and a pot of strong tea. It’s also very good the next day with coffee, even after a three-hour journey in the car. I’m no food photographer, so the photos don’t do it justice. Take my word for it: it’s a very good cake.

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