photo stolen from Miranda, who put on this beautiful spread – nothing to do with me!!

I love a bit of cake. Unlike my fellow Old Fashioned Girl Miranda, however, I don’t love the faff involved in making them! All of the baking shows of late that have saturated our TV screens, spawning many delightful looking cook books filled with stunning sweet creations offer plenty of inspiration, but they certainly don’t offer to do the washing up! My favourite cake recipe is this. It works as a base for all loaf-tin type cakes and is wonderfully light thanks to the ground almonds. It’s very easy to make; I ignore the instructions and just chuck the ingredients all into one bowl, mix, pop into a teflon loaf tin, and I’m all done, with just a bowl, spoon, zester and scales to clean. No mess, no hassle, and a delicious cake that never fails to turn out perfectly. I like to add orange zest to the caraway seeds for a bit of zing when I want to make seed cake (which always makes me think of the lovely scene in kind Miss Temple’s study in Jane Eyre), and when I don’t want to make seed cake, I still add orange zest and then make a ‘drizzle’ topping of orange juice and crunchy demerara sugar to pour over the cake when it’s cooked. My orange drizzle is legendary in the staff room at work; when we’re all starving after a morning of teaching teenagers, it’s a lovely treat that helps to get us through until lunchtime! – Rachel