I’m moving next week and the thought of it is scaring me more than a little bit. Of course, I’m looking forward to it; I love the idea of living in London and I’m finally getting the chance to do it. What scares me is that I don’t really know anyone yet, nor do I know the area that I’ll be living in.
I know that these are obstacles that will be overcome in time, as I settle down and get used to my new life, but there’s no denying that the first few weeks are going to be a challenge. It’s been a long time since I moved away from home to somewhere that was wholly unfamiliar to me and lived among strangers. The last time I did that, I was just beginning university and moving into my student accomodation. It’s true that this is a similar sort of situation; in January, I’ll be starting my Patisserie Diploma at the Cordon Bleu and most of my time will be taken up with classes, practicals, lectures. The difference is that this course will hopefully be a stepping-stone towards a career in baking/patisserie; I’m looking beyond my course and towards the future, towards my life after education.
This is where it all begins and suddenly, I don’t feel ready. I’ve spent the last few months wishing for something to do, longing to get out of the house and out into the world. Now my chance has arrived, I’m hesitant and nervous. Maybe it’s just normal apprehension at the idea of moving away from everything that is familiar and comforting into a place that is, as yet, unknown. Maybe it’s that my sense of independence, after a summer spent at home, is a little rusty. Either way, what I do know is that I have to make the most of this opportunity, fear or no fear.
And now, cake.
I like the idea of streusel cake. The crunchy crumble-like topping adds another textural dimension to the soft cake and that can only be good. Plus, I love a cake that can double as dessert. (Served warm with a little custard, I’m sure it would be heavenly.)
This was an apple and cinnamon streusel cake, made with wholewheat flour for a little extra bite. Wholewheat flour is my current obsession. I love using it in cake as it has more texture than conventional white self-raising flour and also gives a slightly different flavour which I find interesting. Here, brown sugar and warm cinnamon spicing contrast with sharp, tangy apples to create a balanced flavour combination that is perfect for this autumnal cake.
Half afternoon tea, half dessert, this cake is everything that I want and one that I will no doubt be making again and again.
(Cake recipe is adapted from a standard basic sponge cake recipe, taken from the book Best-Ever Cake Decorating by Angela Nilsen & Sarah Maxwell. I used light brown sugar instead of white caster and added cinnamon and apples, plus a basic crumble topping for the streusel.)