Posts Tagged 'fruit'

Birthday Surprises

My second term of university flew by even more quickly than the first. So quickly that I never found the time to write a post as I had planned. It was a busy term, filled with formals and birthdays and shows. I spent a weekend in London at an archaeology conference, dressed up as a teletubby for the Spring Ball and watched my friend perform in a musical.

The highlight, however, was my birthday. At school my birthday had always passed without anyone seeming to notice and celebrations as home tend to be low key if anything. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I didn’t expect to be woken before my alarm by what sounded like tape in the corridor. I thought nothing of it, got dressed for breakfast and opened the door. I was met by the faces of three of my friends, grinning from behind the wall of happy birthday wrapping paper they had taped across my doorway.

After years of only a couple of people noticing my birthday I was repeatedly surprised by the number of people who wished me a happy birthday. Up to that point I hadn’t noticed how many people I talked to and considered friends. I felt suddenly overwhelmed by how different life is not to how it was at school. That feeling only increased that evening when I went up to my friend’s room ready to go out, expecting her to still be getting ready. Instead I found the room filled with most of my closest friends. There were presents on the bed, bowls filled with indigo themed sweets and a cake covered in candles. While the plethora of smoke alarms in our halls meant we couldn’t light any of the candles I did pretend to blow them out for the camera.

Later in the term a friend told me I had no belief in myself and she was right. Walking into that room I felt incredibly loved but also utterly stunned. I could not believe that anyone would have gone to that effort for me or that they would even want to. And yet, as I opened presents that were perfect and looked up at my friends, all dressed in various shades of blue, it began to sink in that they had wanted to. I had arrived at university hoping to make a few decent friends and expecting to feel on the edge of any group. I never imagined that I might end up part of an amazing group of friends or that I would never feel uncomfortable with them and never on the edge. I have a tendency to over think and doubt things that makes me wonder why they care for me but all I know is that, somehow, they do, and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

Apple Cake

I adapted this recipe from the River Cottage Handbook: Cakes by Pam Corbin

125g self-raising gluten free flour
125g gluten free brown bread flour (i.e Dove’s Farm)
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
2tsp ground nutmeg
1/2tsp ground cloves
Pinch sea salt
125g unsalted butter/dairy free substitute, cut into small cubes
125g soft brown sugar
350g apples cut to 1cm cubes (plus 1 small apple to use on top)
1 egg, beaten
50ml milk

Preheat the oven to 180˚C and grease an 8” spring form pan.

Sift the first seven ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.

Rub in butter, stir in sugar and lightly toss cubed apples in the mix until mixed well.

Add egg and milk and mix into a sticky dough then transfer to the pan and level.

For the topping cut the small apple into several thin slices and arrange on the top of the mixture.

Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden brown, firm and crisp.

Cool in the pan for 20-30 minutes then remove.

We really enjoyed this cake, this is how it looked 20 minutes after we cut the first slice.


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