Feeding your inner maverick

By Sophia Young – Kitchen Manager at Embercombe

Within all movement there is a secret ingredient. In the busy-ness of life and the active active-ness, it’s one that is easily overlooked.

Stability is a fundamental dynamic to everything that moves. One foot can’t step forward, without the other balanced on the ground. A child can’t discover its wings, if it’s doesn’t know the security of its kin. I have long-dreamed of being a maverick baker. Recipes don’t serve my brain well. They turn it to mush. I am officially allergic to them and yet quite wildly, these days I find myself writing them.
And too I know many beautiful cooks and chefs and home-makers, that thrive on a good recipe.

I love watching them enliven the marriage of science and art to create freaking awesomely delicious creations. This summer, Embercombe has been blessed to have one such soul, Alex Marton, as one of our kitchen assistants. He is a phenomenal baker and, for a moment recently when I thought I may possibly be finally donning a maverick baker’s chef hat, I realised, without his steadiness and love of craft, I wouldn’t be able to offer this very giddy cake recipe. It’s one that comprises of stability as well much freedom and delight in movement.

Part One, courtesy of science:

  • 200gm of gluten-free flour
  • 200 gm of granulate sugar
  • 75 gm of cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 450 ml of soya milk
  • 2 1⁄2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Combine all of the above into cake batter.

Part Two, courtesy of adventures within the realms of the not-yet-known:

The constant ingredient within Part Two is the batter. All else is simply inspiration with that which might be at hand on your kitchen shelves, cupboards, garden, fruit bowl…

The origins of this particular cake started with leftover pear and cardamom crumble, the origins of which started with The Twin Trail of Flapjack. So, if you have half a crumble that’s looking for a destination, crumble it further and add the batter. If not, add crumbled flapjack. Or slices of banana. Or dates. Orange zest. Chilli flakes, turmeric, black pepper. Yes. Add foraged Seabuckthorn or black berries. Cacao nibs. Walnuts, muesli… Add decadence, playfulness, joy and combine it with as much or a wee bit less if caution and hesitancy calls, into the batter.

Line a large baking tray, pour in the mixture, cover with greaseproof paper and bake for approx. 45-60 mins on 200 degrees or until your fork removes cleanly.