Wednesday, 12 February 2020
If you're a baker, words that will strike fear into your heart are "I'm a vegan". A cake without eggs or butter, or any sort of dairy at all seems somehow lacking in essential joy, not to mention texture or taste. At least that's what I would have said last week.
A good friend of mine recently had a birthday. She had also recently become vegan. As luck would have it, I'd just seen an episode of one of Nigella Lawson's cooking shows in which she'd made something she called a lemon tendercake. It looked absolutely delicious and amazingly, happened to contain no animal products whatsoever. Better still, it called for no strange substitutes, featured flavours I loved and honestly couldn't have been easier to make. The miracle ingredient here is coconut. The creamy milk binds the batter and a yoghurt made from it (you don't have to make it yourself - it's readily available in supermarkets) serves as a sort of icing, adding an thick tang to the lighter than air lemony cake below and the sharp sweetness of the blueberries above. All together, it really does look quite spectacular and it made my friend very happy. This is a great cake not just for vegans but for all of us trying to reduce our dependence on animal products in the midst of this climate crisis. And an extraordinary cake in its own right.