While I take no more pleasure than the next person in being pressed up against strangers before caffeinating, commuting has given me the perfect opportunity to rekindle my bumpy relationship with reading.
Reading was something I really cherished as a child. Begging for one more chapter at bedtime, long car-journeys narrated by audio-books, regular warnings that i'd damage my eyesight by reading with a torch under my duvet. I could not get enough of the worlds, characters and stories that my books admitted me to. An English degree later however, and I was ready to go on a break.
My new commute has given me the time to reconnect with a love that got a little lost in the throws of London life. I've grown to feel pretty protective of my little timelapse each morning.
A love of reading has characterised some of the literary greats of our world. Elizabeth Bennet, Jo March, Lisa Simpson - I could easily go on. But the little girl whos' story I never tired of as a child was that of Matilda Wormwood.
Reading offered Matilda a salvation from her mindless and loveless family, and reminded her that she was not alone. She also took herself off to the library while her mother played bingo, an initiative which I rather admired even in my early years.
Roald Dahl's remarkable creation may be pushing thirty these days, but the little girl continues to entertain audiences night after night at the Cambridge Theatre in London's Covent Garden. In a celebration of Mathilda's love of cookies and chocolates, Matilda the Musical have launched the Matilda Bake Off, and are inviting you to create a truly extraordinary Matilda-inspired cake to mark the occasion. The winner will be treated to tickets to the show and afternoon tea for two - take a peek at the full details here. You can also enter your bakes via Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #MatildaBakeOff.
As a child, I always had a bit of a soft spot for Miss Honey. She was kind, clever, and totally pulled off the tortoiseshell specs. My honeycomb cake is a little bit of Miss Honey's sweetness and light, but stodgy and syruppy with ginger too.
100g self raising flour
50g golden syrup
2 tsp ground ginger
100g light brown sugar
250g icing sugar
50g caster sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Begin by lining x3 4 inch cake tins with baking parchment. Preheat your oven to 180C.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter, brown sugar, treacle, golden syrup and milk. Once melted and glossy, remove from the heat. Crack in the egg and beat to combine.
Seperately, whisk together the flour and ginger. Add to the butter mix, and whisk. Pour into your prepared tins, and bake for 20-25 minutes until the cakes are golden and pass the knife test. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. The cake is quite sticky, so you may wish to cover your wire rack with baking parchment before turning your cakes out.
To make the honeycomb, grease a piece of baking parchment and set this over a wooden board. Mix the sugar and syrup on a pan. Once mixed, place over a medium heat and cook for 5-7 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the caramel is a deep golden. Carefully and quickly, tip in the baking powder, whisk, then transfer the foaming mixture to the prepared paper. Leave to cool and harden, then crack into pieces.
For the buttercream icing, slowly whisk the icing sugar, orange zest and butter until the mixture is sandy. Add a tablespoon of juice at a time until the mixture comes together, then beat at high speed for ten minutes. Chill for 15 minutes before using.
Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag, then use to sandwich the cakes and ice. Top with homemade honeycomb.