Natalie Clein’s Lazy Cake
Updated: May 16
This is a lazy recipe , much more about feeling than technique with lots of room for creativity (and room for improvement ) !
I like to follow the basic idea that a couple of eggs mixed with something sweet, followed by some kind of a bit of fat /oil, followed by a bit of bulk and a raising agent, will turn out more-or-less ok. This really has been the case except for the time I used coconut flour! So here is the ‘recipe’ :
Heat the oven to 170degreesC
Line a cake tin with baking parchment and stick it down with olive oil. This should take no more than 3 mins and should feel like a messy kindergarten kids project.
In a large bowl, crack two large or 3 small eggs and mix fast with an electric mixer for 30 seconds, then add some sugar or honey or maple syrup or anything sweet. Think about sweetening 4 mugs of sweet-toothed builders’ teas. ( If the mixture doesn’t taste sweet enough at the end , then add more as a last gesture of hope before putting in the oven).
Then add the fat. I usually use olive oil - about 1cm in a normal olive transparent bottle , I think about 4 tbspoons or 120ml. Add it as a trickle to the moving mixer blades. If it’s a chunk of butter (about 1/4 of a packet), the softer the better.
Add the bulk + the raising agent. I’ve experimented with flour (wholemeal as a healthy favourite , plus polenta , oats , chia seeds - whatever you can find in the cupboard) The total bulk should equal about 4 heaped tablespoons of stuff or a bit more. Plus cocoa if you like. Add half a teaspoon of baking power and half a teaspoon of baking soda. Taste the mixture. I have found that 1. If it tastes nice now it will also be a nice cake - and the opposite - and 2. Too runny is better than too dry. It should pour into the cake tin like a thick smoothie you could just about drink with a straw. If it’s too dry, add another small egg and/or a bit of liquid ( water, milk , anything you think would blend well), if it’s too wet , add more bulk.
Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for around 20mins. Start looking and seeing if it looks delicious and then stick a skewer or knife in the cake. It won’t collapse! If it comes out clean , it’s done. If there’s sticky liquid on , give it another 5mins and check again. Take it out and it’s almost ready to eat!
If you want to make a filling: whip some cream up , add some cacao powder and a squeeze of something sweet(agave works well) but only once the cream is already quite stiff . When the cake has cooled , cut it through the middle and add the filling.
I know this is all very vague , but for me it was about daring not to have the measuring scales but just learning through trial and error . I’m not sure practice makes perfect , but it definitely brings confidence 🙂