Yesterday, having fallen under the spell of rain and dullness, it became clear to me that I needed to exorcise the grey that had surreptitiously laid cataracts over the sun’s eyes and so, lacking bell, book and candle, I heeded my voices and opted for sugar, eggs and flour. Cake would be the day’s salvation, yet this annunciation was not accompanied by a clear idea of the cake that would best serve to banish gloom. Dull cake would not do.
At this time of year our fruit bowl undergoes a seasonal change. The small tangerines of winter, so perfectly designed as an easily unpacked snack, disappear from the shops to be replaced by the weightier roundness of oranges, of which access to the fruit within is a more demanding operation. However, should the effort be made, the pleasures of the bitter sweet zest, dribbling juice and thick, brightly coloured roundels of sweet flesh are full of delicious possibilities. Add sugar, eggs and flour and the good magic of cake brings out the sun.