This anthology will be published on Menopause Day, 18th October 2023. When, we have decided, all (post)menopausal women should celebrate their last period, since we never actually know when it happened. Memorial or celebration, you choose, but we will be having cake.
And now with the launches approaching, I’m starting to think about what kind of cake Menopause cake would be.
My go-to-cake for launches (partly because it travels, and cuts thin slices that hold together, well) is a chocolate/almond/brandy affair which comes with serious health warnings. Everything a person might be alllergic to is in it. It is also glorious.
This seems like a good starting point for a menopause cake to me. I’m thinking it should also have coffee in it, to up the ante. (Something I can’t cope with – I can’t drink it, but I can, sometimes, eat things flavoured with it.) But also something cooling – but what? Yoghurt?
I’ve made variations before – the one above is Solstice Cake, where one half is the main recipe and the other half is ginger/orange/almond, which through complex cutting and splicing creates the four seasons, or day/night/dusk/dawn depending on how you want to think about it.
What variations should be included in Menopause Cake?
SO I just invented the Solstice cake. it’s haf Orange & Ginger, and half Chocolate.
make a single layer of chocolate cake (mine has almonds and brandy in it)
make a single layer of orange and ginger cake (I added almonds so that the cakes would be roughly the same consistency)
cut each layer in half crossways and stick back together with the ganachy stuff the chocolate cake recipe demands.
Put the second layer on at 90 degrees to the bottom, using the ganache stuff again, so that you have 1 corner all chocolate, 1 corner all orange & ginger (apart from the ganache) and 2 corners with both, so you have a winter (or night), spring (dawn) summer(noon) and autumn (dusk) segment making up the cake. Never let a cake come between you and a meaningful time symbol!
Smother with more ganache and hope it sets enough to take decoration, despite having forgotten to add brandy to it.This cake has everything in it. butter, gluten, nuts, alcohol… there is a gluten-free chestnut chocolate yule log as well, bu that has eggs and cream in, I’ve yet to make a vegan cake I was happy with.
It’s not finished yet, still at ‘waiting to see if it sets’. Extra chocolate may be required.
There MAY be a sun of some kind on that by tomorrow morning, there may not. Find out at Bakehouse Theatre Blackheath at Noon tomorrow!
Carefully hiding the scale of the decidedly modest Coffee & Pecan Liberty Cake: ‘one slice and all your rights are enshrined in law…’ shame it takes a bit more than that. Might work on the decorating a bit if there is time. Wine and beer cooling in fridge. Glasses packed. What else – ah yes, the BOOKS. It is a launchafter all.
See you at 7.30 sharp, folks. West Greenwich Library, Greenwich High Road, SE10 8NN.
We’ve been a bit arbitrary deciding on a date for the anniversary (it took a good six months of planning to get to the point of registering the company, but it was registered at the end of July 2012, and we do have an event planned, so let’s make it a party.
Join us at Clapham Books, 120 Clapham High Street, London SW4 7UH on THURSDAY 18th JULY 7pm, for cake and readings from all our books including the two due out in September.
It may not be the prettiest cake, and it certainly the least symmetrical that I’ve made, but its got chocolate and brandy and almonds in it, and its celebrating Lovers’ Lies. You may be able to recognise the passing resemblance to Annie Rickard Straus’ fish from the cover…
I was going to ice on Lovers’ Lies but decided that freehand icing writing was beyond me and might do serious damage to my already bumpy icing.
So long as you aren’t allergic to any of the ingredients, you might like to try a slice, it is an epic among cakes.
Cake available for one night only, at Daunt Books 51 South End Road, London NW3 2QB. Almost opposite Hampstead Heath Station. Oh – and some wine and nibbles – and good company from some of the many authors whose stories are featured in the book – I did mention the book, did I?