I made my first HRT cake yesterday.
I have heard about it many times and always with positive connotations, but I've not had the need to make it myself until now. My menopausal hot flushes have been building up for a few years, but I don't mind being hot, in fact I quite like it, and they were so short and fleeting and spaced weeks, sometimes months apart, so they never really gave me any trouble.
But in the last few weeks the frequency increased so that I'm flushing about every 20-30 minutes, unable to leave the house without carrying a fan in my bag. As the internal heat overwhelms me my mind turns to cotton wool. It's very boring in the daytime and it affects my sleep enormously, being constantly woken up by the heat, going back to sleep only to be woken again the next time, never sleeping through.
The medical option is HRT which I really don't want to take. I have tried herbal supplements in the past for the horrendous menopausal tiredness I endured for about 10 months. I tried black cohosh which wasn't great for me, and I tried red clover which was. For the flushing I must have drunk gallons of sage tea recently. A lovely lady I met at Chelsea Flower Show suggested HRT cake, as I leaned against one of the retail stands madly fanning myself trying to recover. She swore by it, and told me works quickly and effectively. Yesterday I put all my other tasks aside and headed out, in some small despair, to the health food store to buy the vital cake ingredients. Would it work? I use a lot of nuts and seeds in my diet anyway, as well as a good amount of soya products, all of which are this cake’s essentials, but I've still been suffering. The only way to find out was to make it and eat it.
I looked online and found several recipes, all much the same. In the end I followed this one:
100g soya flour
50g wholemeal flour
150g rolled oats (porridge oats)
50g sunflower seeds
50g pumpkin seeds
50g sesame seeds
50g flaked almonds
100g dried cranberries
200g dried fruit. I used golden and black raisins and figs because that's what was in my cupboard.
About 2 inches fresh ginger, finely chopped
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1½ tablespoons malt extract
400-500ml soya milk
It's easy! I mixed all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Then I added the wet ingredients and stirred the whole lot together, mixing it up very well. It needs to soak for a least half an hour so that the dry ingredients take up the liquid. In the meantime I lined a loaf tin with baking parchment and preheated the oven to Gas 5, about 180 I believe. When I returned the mixture was rather stiff and dry so I added a little more soya milk. It needs to have a soft dropping consistency before being spooned into the loaf tin and popped into the hot oven for about 1¼ to 1½ hours. You can test the cake with a skewer to check that it is cooked through.
Leave it to cool and slice it thickly. I am told (by lovely lady) that it will keep in the fridge for up to a week if wrapped and stored airtight. It also freezes well, apparently.
All websites advise eating one thick slice of this cake per day. It is yummy and I could easily eat more, but I'm following instructions strictly. Whether it is the combination of the ingredients together or whether it is all in my head, my flushing frequency has already lessened...... and I'm only on Day 2 of cake-eating! Only time will tell. I will report back.
Love HRT Cake