I’m a child of the eighties and as such I will always have a soft spot for Angel Delight, specifically butterscotch Angel Delight. I know it’s horribly artificial but it’s also delicious and sweet and fluffy (and easy to make). I’ve made it a little […]
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 don’t like icing. If I could stomach icing then I could have just added a heap of icing sugar to the syrup to thicken it and used it to decorate the cake, which you can of course do if you’re on board with the idea.
I love this cake as it is though. It’s so soft, tender and moist (obviously) and the flavour of the bergamot is just amazing (I do love Earl Grey though!). I know that it’s not an easy fruit to get hold of though, my mum gave me this one, so feel free to swap it to a different fragrant, sour citrus fruit if you want. Lemon and lime would make a nice combination.
makes 1 medium bundt or loaf cake
zest of one bergamot
100g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
50g ground almonds
pinch of salt
3 tbsp milk
juice of one bergamot
50g icing sugar (plus extra 50g more to finish)
Pre-heat your oven 180°c and prepare your tin. Grease and line it if you’re using a loaf tin or grease it and dust it with flour if you’re using a bundt tin.
For extra flavour you can blitz together the sugar and zest in a food processor if you like but don’t worry if you’re short on time. Cream together the butter, zest, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, before sifting in the flour and baking powder. Stir in the ground almonds and then mix through the milk to give the batter a nice dropping consistency. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake the cake for around 45 minutes. It should be well risen and golden on top and feel springy to the touch when it’s done.
While the cake bakes you can make the soaking syrup. Combine 50g of icing sugar with the gin and fruit juice in a small pan and heat gently. Let the syrup bubble until it thickens and reduces a little. Set it aside to cool a bit.
Take the cake out of the oven and pop it on a wire rack to cool but leave it in the tin. Use a cake tester or a cocktail stick to poke the cake all over. Use a spoon to drizzle about half of the syrup over the warm cake before leaving it to cool completely. Add the remaining icing sugar to the leftover syrup to thicken it, use as much as you need to get your desired consistency. Turn out the cake onto a serving plate and pour over as much or as little of the thickened syrup as you like to glaze the cake.
I love the fact that citrus fruit are at their peak during the most miserable part of the year. It’s so wonderful to be able to enjoy something so bright and zingy and fresh amidst all the heavy winter food. Citrus fruit are like a little edible promise that one day there’ll be sunshine again.
Blood oranges, despite their slightly gruesome name, are surely the most beautiful of all of the citrus fruits and their fragrant sweetness lends itself wonderfully to this light, yet warming pudding. These really are ‘magic’ too, good enough to grace the tables of the Great Hall at the end of term feast! The wet, lumpy batter separates in the oven to form a light, almost souffle-like sponge and a delicate orange custard, like a creme anglaise.
If the tops get too brown during cooking then carefully open the oven door (you don’t want them to deflate) and cover them with some foil.
makes 8 individual or 1 larger pudding
50g softened butter
zest and juice of two blood oranges (about 80ml)
3 eggs, separated
50g plain flour
Pre-heat the oven to 180°c and butter 6-8 ramekins or a larger baking dish.
Beat together the butter, sugar and finely grated zest from the oranges. Separate the eggs, setting the whites aside in a clean bowl and adding the yolks to the sugar and butter. Beat them in and then follow them with the milk and the juice from the oranges. Sift in the flour and stir it into the batter.
Whisk the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Take a large spoonful of the egg white and whisk it into the batter. Fold in the remaining egg white, a few spoonfuls at a time until you have a wet, fairly lumpy mixture. It’ll look terrible and you’ll probably be cursing me but don’t panic. Pour the batter into the prepared dishes filling them to about 1cm below the rim. Place them in a water bath and bake them for 35 minutes for individual puddings or 50 minutes for a larger one. The top should be quite golden and the puddings should have separated into two layers, one light and fluffy, almost souffle-like and a sweet orange custard layer below.
This is such a classic Christmas combination. Tart cranberries and sweet fragrant orange combined with all the luxury and indulgence we deserve at this time of year. Panna cotta is also a fantastic dessert for the festive season, when we’re all so busy and could […]
If anyone can think of a catchier name for this then I would love to hear it. It is a bit of a mouthful, no pun intended.
I’ve met quite a few Americans who find the fact that we Brits often refer to dessert as pudding a little odd. We also refer to things that quite clearly are not pudding as pudding (e.g. Yorkshire pudding, steak & kidney pudding, black pudding) but that’s a whole other post! In America ‘pudding’ is pretty much only used to refer to a thick custardy dessert with the exception of bread and butter pudding, although over there it’s just called bread pudding. They seem to love it though, maybe it works so well because their bread is so sweet.
Anyway, I was thinking of how to make bread and butter pudding into something really special. The answer is obviously to add chocolate and use the richest, fattiest ‘bread’ you can find – cue the croissants!
butter for greasing
6 croissants (ideally a little stale)
125g cherry jam
75g dark chocolate (roughly chopped)
3 tsp brandy (optional but really good!)
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
Grease a baking dish with butter.
Slice the croissants in half horizontally and spread the cut sides with the jam. Arrange them in the baking dish, scattering the chopped chocolate amongst them.
Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a jug, ensuring that they are really well blended. Pour this custard mixture over the croissants and then set the whole lot to one side for 15 minutes so that the croissants can soak up the custard. Pre-heat your oven to 190°c.
Bake for 35 minutes, until the custard is softly set. Cover the top with some foil if it starts to get too brown. Leave to stand for five minutes before serving.