Last Friday (May 24th) I was ready to throw in the towel. It was wintry, cold and miserable and, like a lot of other people, we resorted to turning the heating back on! That night, cocooned and snuggled under ‘the thicker duvet’, I longed for the cold to be gone and the promise of warm early summer days to return. Wouldn’t it be just glorious to open all the windows in the house, allowing it to breathe!? Wouldn’t it be just wonderful to see the return of favourite plants in the garden after their winter sleep? Wouldn’t it just be too much to hope for that we could enjoy an al-fresco meal over the Bank Holiday weekend? Well, I must have been a good girl that day because most of my wishes came true! On Saturday morning, blue skies returned and we had the promise of early summer.
Years ago, my Gran, on warm sunny days would produce - from the tiny ice-box section at the top of her gas fridge - a block of Walls ‘Neapolitan’ striped (chocolate, vanilla and strawberry) ice cream. It was wrapped in a cardboard jacket, which she opened, before slicing the brick-like confection and placing it between two rather nasty wafers that tended to stick to ones lips! Like me, I wonder if other ice cream lovers made a conscious decision as to which order to eat this triple taste delight? In my case, the chocolate was always left to last!
So, back to present day and my own kitchen – what to bake for the weekend? It seemed appropriate to attempt a recipe that I had seen in the Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook, aptly entitled ‘Neapolitan Cake’. I had most of the ingredients but had run out of pink colouring, and so decided upon flavouring one third of the mixture with orange extract instead.
As you can see, once cooled and slathered in chocolate, it was a bit disappointing when sliced that it more resembled a marble cake rather than a reminder of Napoli – my own fault as I think my loaf tin is rather narrow - but it was fun to prepare. Now then, do I nibble around the edges of my piece and leave the chocolate section until last – well, why not?!