‘The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.’ I’m sure we all relate on a weekly, if not daily, basis to this translation of a line from Robert Burns’ immortal work. And so it was here, when the day’s to do list was shredded – not by the gnawing of rodent teeth, but rather a domestic chain of events leaving little time for the planned bake. In a circumstance such as this, with afternoon tea far closer than the horizon, a shortcut is the only option. Today’s shortcut presented as an ‘all-in-and-process’ orange cake.
For some inexplicable reason, if we opt for a shortcut our perception of the outcome is often one of below par. When we follow a quicker alternate route rather than the long and (regularly convoluted) well-trod path through a task, some deeply imbedded inner wiring seems to illuminate the mental ‘inferior’ warning symbol. Put simply, a shortcut often triggers self-reproach.
Whether it be a quick wipe across the bathroom rather than the usual deep clean, vegemite rather than multi-ingredient salad in the school lunch sandwich or a pony-tail rather than the full blow-dry, shortcuts are essential to daily living. While it is very rewarding to see a task through its entirety with the theme song ‘A job worth doing is worth doing well’, playing in the background, it is equally satisfying to address priorities. And sometimes there are more important events in life than clean bathrooms, nutritional sandwiches, hairstyles and labour-intensive cakes.
1 orange (any size)
180g melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups SR Flour
juice from a second orange and icing sugar
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease a loaf tin.
Place roughly chopped orange in food processor and blend until finely processed.
Add the remaining ingredients and process briefly (approx. 30 seconds until mixture is smooth).
Spoon batter into tin and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Make up a generous portion of icing (icing sugar and orange juice) and pour over the cooled cake.
Postscript: and incredibly, this shortcut cake is well above par.