I baked it yesterday afternoon, in between a conversation. It took all of ten minutes to put together and about thirty more to bake. This is one of my favourite recipes and I've baked this cake, oh, at least a dozen times this year. It is from Amanda Hesser's "The Essential New York Times Cook Book", and of course with a pedigree like that it's guaranteed to turn out splendid. Sometimes, I bake it into cupcakes slathered with this ethereally light frosting and once, I covered it in a brown butter and chocolate glaze. This is the cake I'd fantasised about drowning in caramel, but when it came out of the oven all cracked and crumbly, I decided to save the caramel for another day. All things said and done, this cake really needs no ornamentation beyond a dusting of powdered sugar. Even that disappears by the next morning, melting into the surface like it was never there. I like eating it with my fingers, sitting by the window, looking out at the rain.