As the leaves start to pile up along tree-lined streets, just asking to be crunched underfoot, the stodgy, starchy vegetables I’ve neglected over the summer for crisp, green salads are suddenly au fait in my little kitchen.
I’m writing this to the soul-destroying background of Emmerdale, which will be followed by a torturous visit to Coronation Street.
This can mean only one thing; my darling motherbear is visiting. She’s also a recently-diagnosed diabetic, which posed an interesting challenge to a bake-aholic who likes nothing more than to welcome guests with a (large) slab of sugar-laden cake.
Any number of things can inspire me to get my baking hat on. A special occasion, a special friend, a risky peruse of my many cookbooks, or just a dreary Sunday.
This time it was the sight of three very ripe bananas.
As wibbly and wonderful as they are, I don’t often make cheesecake. Why, you might ask? I’ll tell you why.
Because the cheesecakes I make for two people usually serve around 18 very hungry people and contain the same amount of calories as a whole hog roast. An hour down the line I can invariably be found guiltily checking my post-cheesecake-stuffed face in the back of a spoon to see if I’ve instantly ballooned.
I love cake. I love baking it, eating it, sharing it with friends and loved-ones, trying to be better at making it, and trying to making people smile with it.
But, like a tumultuous literary love story, my affair with cake is dangerous. I pore, obsessively, over cookbooks, agonising at what to bake – which springy sponge will bring me closer to baking perfection. Essentially, I try to find the Platonic form of the cupcake. I bake. And then – inevitably – I eat.