Octobaby and the Courgette and Camomile Cupcakes of DOOM

Actually, there’s nothing particularly doom-ridden about them at all. They were a fraction dry, because I had to make a last minute substitution of brown rice flour for white (storecupboard fail) and didn’t trust my instincts to add some milk, but there you go.

It was the first time I’ve made anything using the powder from the insides of teabags before. The recipe, which I made in order to have some readily available homemade cake in the freezer once Octobaby is here, came from a late birthday present, Harry Eastwood’s Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache. All the cakes in this book are made without butter / oil / margarine, and using a base of a finely grated vegetable, such as carrot, courgette, potato, sweet potato, swede or even beetroot.

This unnerves some people; even those who have happily snaffled down carrot cake without a thought. But vegetables are a great source of moisture and natural sugars. So not only are the cakes (added) fat-free, they’re generally lower in sugar as well. And though you can use plain flour in the same amounts, Eastwood prefers white rice flour as you might as well make the cake gluten-free as well while you’re at it.

Anyway, I forgot to take photos and they’re packaged up and frozen now, but dry edge notwithstanding, they’re very tasty, and will undoubtedly be better once iced. The camomile tea ingredient makes them taste strongly of cinnamon and nutmeg, neither of which are actually in the recipe; the courgette base makes for quite a plain and (if made correctly) moist sponge, so all in all it’s a simple, spice-edged, satisfying cake.

As for Octobaby (so-called since I’m convinced she has several tentacles given all the directions she can squirm at once), she is growing well and her heart is thrumming away like a baby bird’s. The only slight fly in the ointment is that even the midwife can’t work out which way up she is at the moment. She has two weeks to turn decidedly head down before the worry starts. I might email the hypnobirthing practitioner for a good visualisation to help encourage her. I certainly need to do more exercise, too – walk, trying not to waddle, more, sit on on the birthing ball at home, etc (she says from the sofa).

So, yes. I live. I bake. I get impatient to meet my daughter. How have you been?

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