Let’s sit down for a moment with a cuppa and a slice of cake and have a little catch-up.
If you are a regular around these parts you will have noticed that in the last few months post have gone from being very regular to very sporadic. The reason for that is quite mundane on the face of it. I got a new job.
Now, this new job is great and it is miles (miles and miles) better than the one I was doing before. However, said previous job gave me plenty of time to prepare posts and all that bloggy stuff. This one (quite rightly) doesn’t, which means I am still, months later, trying to find my rhythm in relation to balancing blogging and work.
Weekends are the only time, really, that I have to do other things and as much as I know I should prepare blog posts, and the thought is never far from my mind, those other things take over or seem preferable at the time.
I truly don’t want to abandon blogging, it is simply a case of trying to find a routine that works for me. I have tried to do little bits of prep in the evenings, but when I have spent all day staring at a computer screen, the last thing I want to do when I come home is stare at another one. For a while I was getting home a bit later which meant that by the time I had changed and eaten it was only a couple of hours until bed time, and I try to be good and stay away from ‘technology’ (except the TV of course) before bed. It’s all about winding down, isn’t it?
I am wondering if maybe I need to dedicate one weekend a month to a total blog blitz. I prepare all the posts, take all the photos etc. and then it is all done, rather than picking away at it week by week. The only flaw in such a plan is a lack of spontaneity, but then you could say that I am lacking that anyway at the moment.
At the end of day I suspect it comes down to discipline. Not allowing myself to get distracted until I have done the prep work required. Let’s face it, generally it doesn’t take long once I get on with things.
I do struggle sometimes with the distractions of other people. Ever since I started this blog I have been alone when writing posts. Just me and the radio. But that has changed. I have found it difficult to concentrate with the hustle and bustle of others in the background and it also seems to affect my ability to write anything vaguely worthwhile. Most of the time all I seem to come up with is something along the line of “here is some cake, it is yummy, here is how you can make it”. Not very imaginative.
If anyone has any tips on how to balance life, blogging and work then I would be very grateful. I hadn’t anticipated a new job having as much of an impact on this blog as it has. I keep thinking that it will all work itself out eventually, but it has been six months now and I need to make a concerted effort to make it all work. Waiting for it to simply all fall into place isn’t going to happen.
In the meantime though, let’s talk about this cake.
Courgette and lemon cake has featured before, and very successful it was too. This version has a bit of thyme thrown in for a change and it has more of a loaf cake (think banana bread-esque rather than cake cake) texture. It is denser, a little bit like lemon drizzle cake, but then also not.
I feel I am not describing this cake very well.
All you really need to know is that it is yummy and if you are looking for something a little different to adorn the tea table in the warmer months then this would be a good choice.
It is lovely and buttery and the ricotta gives it added richness.
I kept mine in the fridge, which meant that it did firm up a little too much and I had to zap it in the microwave for a few seconds to bring the texture back, but keeping it at room temperature for a few days will avoid that.
Truth be told I have no idea why I decided to keep it in the fridge. I don’t normally keep cake in the fridge.
The glaze on the top brings out the lemon flavour, even though all of mine sank into the cake – another reason not to keep it in the fridge I suspect!
Oh, and I nearly forgot. I used ordinary thyme as that was all the supermarket had but if you can get hold of it then lemon thyme would be preferable, but not essential.
Courgette, Lemon & Thyme Cake
- 250g courgettes, grated
- 175g unsalted butter, softened
- 175g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100g ricotta
- 125g gluten-free plain flour (your choice of brand)
- 85g fine polenta / cornmeal
- 2 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Zest of 2 lemons and the juice of 1
- Handful of thyme sprigs
- 4 tbsp fondant or royal icing sugar
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius / 160 fan / 350 Fahrenheit. Grease and line the base of a 2lb loaf tin
- In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar together. Gradually add in the eggs followed by the ricotta and vanilla
- Fold in the flour, polenta, baking powder, baking soda and salt
- Fold in the lemon zest (reserve a little for decorating the top if desired), grated courgette and the leaves from a few stalks of thyme
- Spoon into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 1 hour until it is risen and golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. If it seems to be colouring too much before it is baked, cover the top with some tin foil
- Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely
- Mix the lemon juice with the icing sugar and spoon over the top of the cooled cake. Scatter over some more thyme leaves and the lemon zest if you reserved it from earlier
- Leave the glaze to set before serving
© The Pink Rose Bakery 2016
Adapted slightly from Waitrose