In all my years as a Pud-Hog, I never once thought of Coffee and Walnut Cake as a luxury item.
Essential tea-time staple, perhaps, but not generally the main event.
After a trip to Herne Hill Market, however, I’m starting to think that I just hadn’t tried the right one…
There, you see, at a stall run by Cakehole, I picked up a rather appealing slice in an exciting end-of-day mark-down (being a bargainous £1.50 – or £1 less than the norm).
It was the last slice left – pleasingly large and fat with filling – and, having walked for some miles before finding it, I’d certainly built up the hunger to knock it back.
Or so I thought.
Those first few mouthfuls were totally dreamy, with an obscenely generous quotient of milky Coffee icing and a scattering of finely-chopped Walnuts, which gave the top level a lovely crunch.
All too soon, however, after just under half had been eaten, I suddenly felt unable to finish the rest.
It was all those thick layers of filling: super-sweet slabs which seemed to exceed the subtler sum of the Sponge.
While they started out as a blessing, providing three decadent pockets of moisture, eventually they verged towards being sickly.
At that point, I did something quite out of character: I decided to stop eating.
Not since Honey & Co’s Chocolate Sandwich had I felt such a need to share – but the Man didn’t want to partake (being no fan of either Coffee or Nuts).
Instead I was forced to wrap the Cake up and pop it back into my bag.
For a moment I felt like I’d failed. The Sponge had overpowered me.
But then I realised: two sittings of Cake are better than one.
The next day, prepared for its sugary hit, I brought out the half-eaten chunk after lunch.
This time, it was the perfect size.
And thankfully, once again, it was delicious.