How am I here again? I thought to myself. And why the hell am I crying? It was only a foot injury, and probably a minor one, but in the moment it was turning my whole world upside down. I tried to put things into perspective: my best friend nearly died and was rushed to hospital just a couple of weeks previously – that was something to cry about. I’d only tripped and twisted my ankle, possibly fractured my metatarsals.
The worst thing was, this is the second time I’ve tripped over the step outside the front door of my building, and injured the same foot in the same spot. Both times, the injury could have been prevented had I not rushed out the door at the last minute, or been fumbling in my pocket for my phone, or something equally stupid. If I just stopped trying to do 1,349,284 things in a day, maybe I wouldn’t have missed the step and tripped in front of those construction guys on the street. (Hey, at least they didn’t laugh.)
Remember how I wrote about being too busy and life passing me by? I managed to slow down for about 48 hours and then hopped back onto the crazy train. I know it’s no good for me – I get palpitations when I check my monthly to-do list, which I end up checking about 20 times in a day sometimes – and yet I can’t stop. Well I can, but I haven’t yet reached the life-threatening epiphany that will mend my ways. Can a to-do list tendency really kill me? Maybe. Probably.
I have this deep, dark fear that if I don’t do 10 times more than is required of a normal, healthy human being, I will fail somehow. Fail whom? No idea. No one’s actually requiring me to go above and beyond in every little mundane detail. I know this blog is no therapy session or AA meeting (Hi, my name is Clem and I’m a compulsive over-achiever… Hiiii, Cleeeem) but if any of you lovely readers have tips to overcome the demons that tell me I’m never trying hard enough, my sanity will appreciate you all the more for sharing them.
In the meantime, here’s an overachiever cake for you. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many compliments about any baked goods so far from my office colleagues, and I kind of wish I hadn’t brought the cake to work because I would have liked to eat more than one slice of it. It is phenomenal. It looks pretty impressive, if I do say so myself, and it tastes even better. If you ever feel like your life’s a mess, make this cake, see how people marvel over it like it’s an original Picasso, and tell me if you still feel bad.
Oh and… I deleted my weekly to-do list. Almost deleted the monthly one but then I panicked because I don’t think I’ll survive Christmas without it. Baby steps!
GF Walnut Coffee Cake
For the cake
400g (2 cups packed) Dove’s Mill self-raising, gluten-free flour
100g (1 cup) Suma walnut halves, ground to flour
180g (2 cup) Suma demerara sugar
1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water
180ml (3/4 cup) Suma coconut oil, melted
350ml (1 cup + scant 1/2 cup) soya milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tsp coffee extract
For the ccoffee cream frosting
For the caramelised walnuts
For the cake
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF/gas mark 4). Line and grease a round, springform tin measuring 20cm diameter (8 inches).
- Add the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, lightly combining with a fork.
- In a big cup, combine the soya milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside to curdle.
- If you haven’t already, melt the coconut oil. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Add this, the vanilla and coffee extract and curdled soya milk to the bowl of dry ingredients, and fold them in.
- Pour the cake batter into the cake tin, smoothing out the top with a spatula.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.
- Now prepare the coffee cream frosting: in a large mixing bowl, whip all the ingredients together, either with a hand-held whisk or an electric one. When the cream is smooth and glossy, place in the fridge.
- For the caramelised walnuts: line a tray with baking paper. Add the sugar to a small saucepan on medium to high heat and leave to melt. After about 10 minutes, the sugar will have bubbled and turned to caramel – DON’T stir it, as that will disturb the process. Drop each walnut half in, one at a time, stir it around in the caramel and then lift it out with a teaspoon. Place onto the baking paper to cool.
- When the cake is baked and cooled, slice in half through the middle. Spread a third of the frosting over the bottom tier of the cake, then sandwich the other tier on top. Frost the cake with the remainder of the frosting.
- Decorate with the caramelised walnuts when they are cool.
Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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Love and cookies,