I have a bit of a backlog. I seem to open half my posts with that. I need to get my act together. I’ve been so busy (again, and I was expecting such a quiet July…) and a lot of that is blog related. I took advantage of working from home during the tube strike last week though to do some baking (gaining a couple of hours back in a day is pretty hand when you don’t have to travel). Having said that, it did take me 2.5 hours to get home from a Selfridges event I attended on the Wednesday night (more on that to come soon). The great thing about a Chocolate Tart is that while it needs plenty of chill time, the actual hands on time is fairly minimal. Read more
It was my Gran’s 90th Birthday last weekend and I was asked to make a selection of cakes/brownies for a crowd of 60. I also knew that a few other people were baking things so I just went for a couple of things instead of the 3 or 4 my mum asked me for (surprise, surprise there was way too much). I decided to make my usual batch of triple chocolate brownies and a couple of sticky ginger loaves.
I’ve been looking for a really good ginger cake recipe for ages. I’ve tried a few over the last 6 or so months to no avail. They’ve either been too dry or not sticky enough. I think I’ve finally nailed it. This recipe is beautifully moist and sticky. With heaps of ginger and really dark colour. I added some crystallised ginger to give it an extra hit. Both this
Both the loaves and the brownies went down really well, as did the other bakes. My cousin, who runs a cake decorating company in her spare time, made a very impressive 4 tiered cake as the centre piece.
I’m also trying out some new photo editing software, let me know what you think.
115g butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
115g dark muscovado sugar
115g black treacle
115g golden syrup
250ml whole milk
85g crystallised ginger
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan assisted). Grease/line the greaseproof paper.
Mix the flour with the bicarb and the spices. Rub the butter into the flour with your hands until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Mix the sugar, milk, treacle and syrup in a saucepan over a low to medium heat. Stir gently until the sugar is completely dissolved then turn up the heat and bring it to just below boiling point.
Add the ginger to the flour mix, pouring in the treacle mixture stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Once this is combined, beat in the egg and mix until it’s combined. Resembling a thick pancake batter.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes to an hour. Until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin on a rack until it’s completely cool.
I then added a lime drizzle, but you could add a lemon one if you wished.
SUMMER. STRAWBERRIES. FOOD. BAKING. EXCITED NOISES. Yeah, I wanted to do something a little different to last summer’s Strawberry and Cream cupcakes but still strawberry based. So I spent some time looking around this here internet thing (i.e. I did a few googles) and all I was coming across was “such and such topped with strawberries and cream” or “tort with strawberries” and the like. It wasn’t really what I wanted. Until I came across a recipe on the waitrose website, that’s right, waitrose. It of course is “use all of our own brand things to make this cake”, so I went to Tesco, or Asda, or whichever supermarket it was and got all the ingredients cheaper. I’m poor, sorry. Anyway, the recipe is for a Strawberry Drizzle cake. Something, which even when I had decided to make it I was still unsure would work. Strawberry drizzle to me, sounded like it would either be glorious or a bit mushy and odd.
Fortunately it was glorious.
The cake is wonderfully light, so perfect for the summer, doesn’t use too much sugar and is loaded with strawberries. So it’s healthy, right? (I say this as I am half way through eating the second one in two weeks). Pressing the juice out of the strawberries may make the cake look like it’s soggy at first impression but it’s far from it. Staying moist for a couple of days (it does need to be fridged though, and yeah I know you shouldn’t fridge cake).
Also, I booked my flights to Chicago today to go to RiotFest in Chicago in September. Can’t wait. Can anyone recommend some stuff to do while I’m there? My current plans involve getting fat(ter), drinking a lot and maybe a tattoo.
200g Golden Granulated Sugar, plus 2 tbsp for sprinkling
1 large Egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g Self-raising Flour
400g Strawberries, halved
50g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180ºC(160ºC fan oven) and grease and line a 23cm cake tin.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, cream together the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy.
Beat in the egg and the milk. Beating until well combined. Add the vanilla then the flour, beating until well combined and there are no lumps.
Spoon into the prepared tin, shaking slightly to make sure it’s even.
Set 6 of the strawberries aside (these will be used for their juices later) and position the remaining halves, cut side down, on top of the cake. Sprinkle some golden granulated sugar on top of the strawberries afterwards.
Place in the middle of the preheated oven and bake for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean.
Meanwhile, cover the strawberries you set aside with 1tbps of the icing sugar, and leave for around 15 minutes.
Press this through a fine sieve into a bowl to get the juices out. Combine 1tbps of the juices with the remaining icing sugar, whisking until they are combined and leave to thicken.
Once the cake has been removed, allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack.
First of all, apologies for the lack of updates the past couple of weeks. I’ve spent a lot of time away the last month or so and had barely any free time. Then the sun came out, and suddenly I found my evenings filled with sitting in the sun with friends and the odd beer. But in amongst this I’ve been doing the odd bit of baking. From cheese (scotch infused mull cheddar) and onion bread through to more summery pieces. Today’s recipe is one of the latter. I absolutely love lemon drizzle cake, it’s sharp, moist, full of flavour and refreshing. It’s perfect for a summer’s day. I also got my hands on some miniature loaf tins a few months ago and have been itching to put them to use. A drizzle loaf is the perfect thing to just make miniature.
Unfortunately when I popped into the shop they were 100% out of lemons. It’s pretty lucky that limes work just as well for this isn’t it then? This recipe only makes a few, small loaves, which makes it great for a set of light summer snacks.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan) and grease the loaf tins.
Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in the first egg, beating until well combined. Add half the flour, beat again. Repeat, with the second egg and then the last of the flour.
Grate both limes into a bowl (do this before you juice them, or it’ll get a bit tricky). I used some of the rind in the cake mix, but it’s up to you.
Mix in the sour cream, two tablespoons of lime juice and (if using) some of the lime rind.
Divide up evenly between the mini loaf tins. These rise pretty well so make them about ⅔s full.
Bake in the oven for between 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and ease out onto a rack.
While they are cooling, prep the drizzle. Take the rest of the juice from the limes and the rind. Reduce over a low heat then stir in the syrup. This will turn runny fairly quickly. Take it off the heat to avoid it catching.
Prick holes into the loaves with a fork (I push the fork about ⅔s of the way into the cakes) and drizzle the syrup over the top.