Guardian Girl

Hot date cake

Posted in Brain & heart, Fashion, Recipes by guardiangirl on April 30, 2010

My goodness me, Mr Lepard was underestimating this cake when he said it was in the running as one of the best date cakes around. I’d nominate it as one of the best cakes full stop.

My enchantingly intuitive and crurally balletic friend Emily came over to share it with me and, although she described it as “very nice, comforting, warm and old-fashioned tasting”, she did leave the crust on the plate. The fact that there was a crust to leave may, I concede, be part of the reason it was discarded. I didn’t particularly go out of my way to weigh any of the ingredients at all, but I did use my lovely measuring jug and my keen eye for a teaspoon to make the mixture. I used the right sized tin for once but the cake only took 30 mins to bake, not an hour. Maybe I put in too much sugary stuff and not enough flour.

To ring the changes and wrestle a bit of profit from the conglomerates I had done my shopping at Mother Earth this time, and I couldn’t find any tamarind paste in the shop. But no matter – I had foreseen this eventuality and thought of the sort of substances I might use to replace it. I don’t know if you’ve tried it but there’s this delicious pure fruit spread stuff called Sunwheel that’s a bit like molasses, but made of just apples and pears. In my experience of tamarind paste, this Sunwheel thing isn’t completely different, and it did add to a nice, moist cake. The walnuts didn’t even sink! The icing was a disaster, of course, but I don’t mind that much. To me it seems entirely natural that I would be able to bake a tasty cake but get the icing wrong, in much the same way that I can choose myself a lovely frock but my accessories will always let the whole thing down. Details or something. But who wants to be good at icing, anyway? That’s just a rubbish skill. Be good at cakes.

Here it is:

Tamarind date cake

Other kind of date cake

Other kind of date cake

I was intending to do a home styling shoot last night but, what with running, bathing, entertaining and putting the recycling out – which somehow seems to take me hours – I never got round to it. The dahlias also remained in their packet due to the heavy rains my neighbourhood was experiencing at the appointed planting time.

Other updates: the final outfit of the week has me replicating this young lad’s vibe. I’m sure you’ll agree my success is uncanny.




I think that pretty much rounds off the week, other than to say that I have carried in my heart and mind Oliver Burkeman’s words, as always, to test out their life-changing abilities. This week’s column had quite a positive impact on my daily life, as it happens. This Column WIll Change Your Life is often among the pages to capture my imagination the most when I open the magazine on a Saturday, but it barely gets mentioned in my blog. I think that’s because I’m so utterly rubbish at writing about it. I just had to delete a whole paragraph I’d written about this week’s because it made me feel nauseous. I seem to go extra pompous sounding as soon as feelings are involved. I think I’ll try to work on this. In the meantime, I trust you’ll find my writing lovably imperfect.

More kids’ fashion

Posted in Fashion, Uncategorized by guardiangirl on April 29, 2010

Today I am not only dressed as a 10-year-old girl, I’m dressed as a 10-year-old girl whom Photographer Flavie actually shares a building with. I feel this adds even more weirdness to the whole occasion, but let’s laugh it off. After dark I cry the tears of a clown.

I’m wearing leggings under the dress for the office because I’m not mentally prepared for bare-leg season and, even when I am, knees will not be involved.

Did I ever mention the time I went for a walk around the Geffrye Museum grounds wearing a just-above-the-knee sundress? (Oh, do please tell us, this story sounds absolutely riveting.)

As I entered the walled herb garden, an old lady in a wheelchair turned to look at me, pointed and screeched very loudly to the group of about six pensioners she was with, “Look at ‘er, just wandering in ‘ere with ‘er knees out! It’s absolutely disgraceful!”

Various picnickers and young families turned to see what all the fuss was about and I vowed on the spot never to show my knees in public again.

But this doesn’t count as ‘in public’, which is worrying in itself but that’s a separate subject, so here’s the snap in all its accumulated wrongness.

"Not just for adults"

Not suggested for adults


  • I have the hairband on and everything, but physics decrees that head and feet don’t fit in the frame
  • I really do need new Converse: my socks actually touch the floor
  • The caption was a problem today so if you wouldn’t mind just moving on now, that would be great

Tonight my dear friend is coming over for Lepard date cake, I’m going to attempt some home styling and dahlia planting, and I’ll be preparing my outfit tomorrow so I can look as much as possible like an 8-year-old schoolboy. Watch out Little Jimmie Krankie. Oh Christ, I just Googled that to check my spelling and my eye was caught by the sentence “If I am aroused by Little Jimmie Krankie does that mean I’m gay or straight?”