Cake, anyone?

I like to have a cup of tea in the afternoons, but I don’t always have cake with it. Yesterday, however, I fancied a little treat, so I had a slice of lemon cake to go along with my drink. As I had my first sip of tea, I observed my sweet temptation and wondered: if the heroines of my books were to face this lemon cake now, what would they think?

Clara, from A Deal with a Stranger, has an obsession with food, in particular desserts. She would be right in her element. She would probably pick up the small plate and bring it closer to her face, in order to smell the cake first. Because it’s lemon cake, she would expect to detect the hint of the fruit, and possibly spot some lemon zest in the sponge. Then she would dive into it. Her thoughts would be something like: “Not bad. The sugar on top is lemony too. I would probably have put a layer of lemony cream or crème patissière in the middle, to make it even more palatable, but that’s fine too. I now need a second slice to get a better idea of what it really tasted like.”

Lucy, the more traditional one of my Incompatible Twins, likes to eat good food and is keen on puddings; she wouldn’t say no to a slice of lemon cake. Her thoughts would be along the lines of: “Tea and cake during working hours? Why not? It’s nice to have a treat every now and then, especially after working on the computer all day. Just make sure you don’t make a habit of it. Otherwise, who’s going to fit into that Kenneth Cole dress again?”

Poppy, the more unconventional one of my Incompatible Twins, likes good food too, but is a vegetarian and always very careful about how food is made and what it contains. She would be quizzing the person who brings her the cake, her line of questioning would be something like this: “Thank you for this, but I need to know a little more. Is it made with free range eggs? Is that sugar on top, instead of honey? Were the lemons organic?” Before you’ve even had the chance to reply, she’s already decided that not only she’s not going to eat your cake, but she’s not even going to touch it.

Nonna Pina, who runs the Broken Heart Refuge, will be looking at this slice of cake with a smile. She knows that if you’re feeling a little sad, but you’re in the company of friends, and you’re having a cup of tea all together and are sharing a cake, you are bound to feel a little bit better. It may not be the cake in itself, but the combination of the three things above. What is better than a cup of tea? A cup of tea with cake.

And now, I am curious: what do you think when you look at my slice of cake?

6 thoughts on “Cake, anyone?”

  1. Ha-ha! I don’t like cakes, however if the cake comes from Nonna Pina probably I can’t refuse it. The lemon flavour should not be too sweet, so it’s fine for my tastes 🙂

    Your post made me wonder about how my main characters of the Chase Williams crime series would react when looking at a slice of cake.

    Chase is British, so tea time is part of his background. Of course times are changed and tea always came on the road when he was a detective in London – no porcelain or fancy serviettes, just a thermo-paper cuppa and a napkin for a doughnut!
    In front of a cake, especially if homemade like yours, Chase can’t say no. However, he’s a sportsman and knows that too many sweets are not good for his running routines. He would never asked for another slice.

    On the other hand, his mate Inspector Angelo Alunni would never been good with just one slice of cake!
    He’s a big boy, always hungry and food lover. He’s Italian, therefore food is not “properly” served if it’s not in huge amounts. While looking at a slice of cake, he would said:” Where’s the rest of the cake? I want more!”

    Something similar happened to him (and Chase) in my last published mystery novella “Into the Killer Sphere”: I don’t want to spoiler, but Angelo has to deal with food and murders at the same time… it will be hard for him to choose!

    Thank you Martina for the very inspiring post.
    Usually your blogs are brilliant, but I think this is one of the most brilliant one you’ve ever written on your blog.

    • Thank you for your kind words.

      I think that Chase could manage a slice of lemon cake and a cuppa, while standing on the pavement, looking at a crime scene (if it’s on the road). He’s fit and he’d have no problem burning those extra calories later. But Angelo? I’d worry about offering him any of my cake. It may be safer for me to have my slice first and then offer him some later…

  2. My thoughts, being a type 1 diabetic, straight away were “Is that my favourite type of cake?”. Unfortunately lemon cake isn’t, so I didn’t have to ask myself the next one which would be “Hmmmm, how much insulin do I need to inject?”.
    Hihihi 😉

    Love your blogs Martina 🙂

    • That’s actually a very interesting comment, Viv, and I fully sympathize with you. If you have to do something ‘naughty’, it’s got to be for a worthy cause.
      But now you have to tell us: which is your favourite cake? The one that deserves a big insuline injection?

      Big hugs!

  3. Very interesting looking at the characters attitudes to cake! Can’t really do that with mine (although if I did three of them would probably run off with it and the fourth would arrive after it had disappeared!). As for myself – the only thing that would put me off cake is if it had coconut in. And I agree, cake and a cuppa is better than cuppa alone (unless there are contra-indications……….!)

  4. I think Nonna Pina is spot on; the food itself is important, of course, but so is the comfort it represents.
    Personally, I’m a huge fan of lemon cake – I love the sharpness of the lemon to take the edge off the sugar.
    What a fun post!


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