Things are dodgy here in the canine mental health department — Hugo’s OCD is back with a vengeance. He has decided that the three hens should be together AT ALL TIMES. Apparently stray hens are just too untidy to contemplate. Luckily, the white hen and older red one do seem to stick together (whether through choice or fear of Hugo is unclear). The younger red hen though is a bit of a rebel and seems to enjoy teasing neat-freak dogs. I’ve given up yelling at him for grabbing her by the wings and depositing her in her rightful place next to the others as he doesn’t seem to harm her (beyond making her soggy) and she’s obviously anything but traumatised. He makes the most of having her in his mouth to lick her clean; In Hugo’s world, cleanliness is next to godliness.
Although pound cake (quatre-quarts as it’s called in France) really contains too much sugar to be considered healthy, I’ve tried to make it as unhealthy as possible by using ‘whole’ ingredients. The result is rich, delicious and versatile: a great vehicle for all sorts of toppings or accompaniments.
250g spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
125g extra virgin organic coconut oil
200g cane sugar
4 large organic eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 tablespoon rum
Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together and set aside. Cut the butter and coconut oil into cubes and leave to soften at room temperature for a few minutes. Beat with an electric mixer for about ten minutes until fluffy and then gradually add the sugar, continuing to beat. Add the eggs one at a time and whisk for another few minutes. Lastly, add the rum and vanilla essence and gently fold in the flour. Transfer the mixture to a buttered loaf tin and cook in a non-preheated oven at 160°C for an hour, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.