Menopause Cake

Back when we first started asking people to submit to Menopause: The Anthology, we said

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?

Let me know what you think!



Solstice 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!



Ghillian Potts cutting launch cake


The Old Woman From Friuli‘s house, in gingerbread form. Author Ghillian Potts cuts the launch cake.

copyright Russell Potts

It’s Publication Day!

Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed, is now available from bookshops. Go and get a copy!

To celebrate there has been cake making. Apple, obviously.

Pictured, as getting it to the venue in one piece NOT Guaranteed – the chocolate writing won’t STAY on the rice paper – Why NOT!?

Hopefully tastes alright. Despite testing the recipe it came out different, owing to forgetting the baking powder in the test version. I think it worked better without!


Launch Cake for Liberty Tales

2016-11-17-12-20-58Carefully 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 launch after all.

See you at 7.30 sharp, folks. West Greenwich Library, Greenwich High Road, SE10 8NN.


On the Write Track – Ilkley Fringe

on the write track flierIn the run up to Peter Cooper and Louise Swingler‘s all singing all dancing event at Ilkley Fringe Festival, On the Write Track, a little taster …

You are Invited to Arachnefest: Arachne Press’ First Birthday Party

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.

London Lies: Martin Pengelly‘s Incurable Romantic Seeks Dirty Filthy Whore, read by Phil Mulryne.
Stations: Rosalind StoppsHow to Grow Old In Brockley read by Carrie Cohen.
Lovers’ Lies: Bobbie Darbyshire Something Missing
Mosaic of Air: Cherry Potts, Penelope Is No Longer Waiting
Weird Lies: Nichol Wilmor, An Account of Six Poisonings

Lopsided cake – how can you resist?

Lop-sided Liars' Cake

Lop-sided Liars’ Cake

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…

lovers lies fishI 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?