After producing a grand total of three apples last year the tree in my garden is positively groaning with fruit this year. I’m going to be making a lot of pies and crumbles! To start with though I thought that I would take advantage of […]
Happy summer solstice everyone! It’s the longest day of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, which means more hours of daylight (and hopefully sunshine) and as far as I’m concerned that’s cause for celebration. One year (a really, really long time […]
The upside of baking your own birthday cake is that you get to have exactly the cake you want. The downside of baking your own birthday cake is baking your own birthday cake!
I don’t actually mind to be honest, the kitchen is my happy place, so it’s no real chore to spend an hour or so in there creating a delicious treat to share with my friends.
I’ve adapted my recipe for fresh peach buttermilk cake for this. It makes such a lovely bouncy sponge and adding some tart (homegrown) rhubarb makes me love it even more than the original. The rich, creamy custard buttercream is quite literally the icing on the cake. So good!
50ml of vegetable/sunflower oil
300g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp plain flour
70g custard powder
200g room temperature butter, cubed
Grease and line a 9″ square cake tin and pre-heat your oven to 190°c.
Dice the rhubarb and toss it in 25g of the sugar. Roast the rhubarb in the oven as it pre-heats, until it is just tender.
Beat together the oil, sugar and salt until they are thick and pale. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift together the flour and raising agents. Add one third of this to the batter and briefly beat it in. Follow this with one third of the buttermilk and beat again. Repeat this until all of the flour and buttermilk have been incorporated and you have a thick, smooth batter. Drain off the juice and fold the rhubarb through the batter. (Don’t throw the juice away – it’s delicious added to a gin and tonic) Pour the batter into the prepared tin and use a spoon to spread it out and smooth off the top.
Bake the cake for around 30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean and then leave it to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
You can start to make the frosting whilst the cake bakes. Combine everything but the butter in a pan, making sure that there are no lumps. Gently heat the mixture until it turns into a very thick paste. Leave to cool.
Once the custard mixture has cooled transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat it until it starts to become a little fluffy. Add the butter, a few pieces at a time, with the mixer running, until you have a rich thick, creamy buttercream. Either spread or pipe this onto the cooled cake, depending on how fancy you’re feeling!
So you’ve heard of lemon drizzle cake right? Well soak cake is what happens when you make a little too much delicious drizzling syrup and don’t want to waste any of it! Seriously, this cake is literally drenched in deliciously fragrant, sweet, sticky syrup. Because […]
I’m a bit funny about frosting, I find it can be a bit hit or miss. All too often it’s too sweet and sugary or it can be grainy rather than silky smooth, or worst of all it can become crusty with a hard sugar shell forming around a squishy middle.
Swiss meringue buttercream is wonderful and avoids all of these pitfalls but it does take rather a lot of time and effort, not to mention egg whites!
This recipe is my new favourite. It solves all of my frosting issues in one. It’s rich and silky, without even a hint of graininess and it isn’t overly sweet. It also feels seriously luxurious in spite of the fact that it requires less butter than some other frosting recipes. It really is an all round winner!
I baked up half the quantity of the sponge from my chocolate caramel fudge cake to pipe this on, let’s face it if you’re making the best chocolate frosting ever then you want to serve it with equally amazing cake!
makes enough to frost 6-8 cupcakes but multiplies easily
15g plain flour
1 tbsp cornflour
1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
50g dark chocolate
100g butter, room temperature
Place the sugar, flour, cornflour and cocoa powder in a small saucepan and whisk together to combine. Stir in the milk and then set the pan over a low heat. Gently heat the mixture, stirring continuously, until it starts to bubble and forms a very thick custard. Set aside to cool completely.
Melt the chocolate and let this cool too.
Put the custard mixture in a bowl and beat it with an electric mixer until it become a little more pale in colour. Beat in the melted chocolate and then follow this with the butter, adding a little at a time until it is all incorporated and you have a light, thick, fluffy frosting which is perfect for piping.
I’m totally converted to vegan banana bread, I always get better results from it than from my more traditional recipe and I’m really not sure that I can tell the difference as far as the flavour is concerned. That’s especially true of this recipe, which […]
Oops! Somehow another madeleine recipe has made it onto this blog… These are like my perfect Anglo-French treat. The floral earl grey tea goes really well with the sharp sweet raspberries and the little sponges have a wonderful melt-in-the-mouth texture. There may have been an incident where I ate one of these with a little clotted cream, you know, just for research purposes, and it was pretty darned delicious.
85g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp earl grey tea
punnet of fresh raspberries
Melt the butter and use a little of it to brush your madeleine tin. Dust the tin with a little flour too and shake out any excess. Put the tin in the fridge to chill. Set the remaining butter aside to cool.
Grind the tea a little in a pestle and mortar. Heat one tablespoon of the milk and steep the tea in this.
Beat the egg with the sugar until it is nicely thick, fluffy and pale in colour. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and then fold this into the egg mixture.
Mix the tea and the remaining milk into the butter and then stir this into the batter and let it stand in the fridge for at least 1 hour but longer if you want to.
Towards the end of the resting time pre-heat the oven to 220°c.
Spoon the batter into each of the little shell shaped cavities of the chilled madeleine tin. You don’t need to worry too much about spreading it out to fill them, the batter will do this of its own accord once it hits the heat of the oven. Gently press one or two raspberries into the top of each madeleine. Bake them for three minutes and then turn the oven down to 180°c and leave them for a further five minutes.
Once the little cakes have risen and become golden brown take them out of the oven and place the tray on a cooling rack for a few minutes. When they’ve cooled a bit you can carefully lift them out of the tin and allow to cool completely on the rack before sprinkling them with a little icing sugar. These are best eaten on the same day, whilst the outsides are still crisp.
You know you’ve come up with a winning recipe when your brother sends you this message and tells you that he’s just polished off his third slice! But really I can’t blame him for having thirds of this rich, delicious, sticky, gooey cake. The sponge […]