Tag Archives: baking

A Cupboard Full of Cake

image

Greetings one and all, it’s been very quiet round here lately. First I was ill then we enjoyed a marvellous weekend with family in Edinburgh so life has been busy as ever. Even though I miss it when I cannot blog I am enjoying the ease of sharing snippets of my days on Instagram. It is a great way of trying to order my ideas and stop the obsessive mental stockpiling of things that I want to share on here!

image

As I mentioned, I was knocked sideways by a bout of sickness the other week. I am rarely ill and do not make a good patient. Having caught the bug from the Little Man I was once again overcome with respect for the stoicism that my children show when they are poorly.

image

For me, there are two things I need when I am under the weather – cake and chocolate. For inspiration I turned to the wonderful Lillian’s Cupboard. So let me take you on a tour of the treats that helped restore me to strength!

image

I first made this Swedish Dream Bar for my colleagues a while ago and it proved to be such a hit that it is still commented on now. Therefore I do not understand why it has taken me so long to give it another go. Moist and chewy on top with a crunchy, biscuit base this makes the perfect sweet snack with a cuppa and is easily transportable for picnics.

image

It was unfortunate timing that I caught a bug on the weekend that both my hubby and parents were away. When the craving for cake hit and I realised that the fridge was egg free I nearly cried. There was much internal cheering when I looked up one of my favourite of Lillian’s recipes, the Boiled Raisin Cake, and discovered it to be egg free. Oh happy days! (Incidentally the Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake is also egg free and definitely on my to-bake list!). This is a 1940s tea bread and I adore the simple, sweet cinnamon hit it delivers. It is also very popular with the Little Man as he is not a fan of sponge but loves fruit cakes.

image

The final treat in this weekend bakeathon was another WWII era Cake, the Orange One Egg Cake. I blogged about this cake a couple years ago here but it was even better this time. I used half juice, half milk and whisked the frosting until it was extra light and fluffy. Delicious!

image

And finally, for balance, there has been plenty of non-cake related feasting around here as barbecue season has hit. You know how much I love a picnic so you can imagine how excited I get about this sort of al-fresco dining and the Little Man thinks that they are the best thing ever! Ironically my favourite aspect of barbecues is not the meat but the salads (my husband says that this is sacrilege but hey ho).

image

Here we have Mary Berry’s Coleslaw, made with half vinaigrette, half mayonnaise, roasted vegetables with balsalmic vinegar and, my latest obsession, Delia Smith’s Very Red Rice. Made with Carmague red rice, this salad has a lovely nutty texture. I saw it originally on Instagram and the secret I find is to leave it to cool slightly then stir through chunks of good feta cheese and a load of coriander. So good!

I shall leave you with a final, gratuitous snap of my darling Little Lady who joins in with all of this feasting with an (almost) permanent smile on her face!

image

4 Comments

Filed under Cakes, Crochet, Food

Viennese Creams

imageMmmm…don’t they look delicious?! Melt in your mouth drops of heaven. Every so often the Little Man will request a baking session and it is a plea that I am always happy to answer. The joy and concentration that he shows during the process is a delight to behold, not to mention the rewards at the end!

image

The recipe for these shortbread biscuits has been lovingly preserved in my mom’s school cookery book. Essentially fat and sugar creamed together before folding in the flour. My mother was therefore quite horrified when the electric whisk appeared.

image

She forgets that baking has to be adapted for a 2 year old and no cooking experience is complete for the Little Man unless it includes an electric whisk or blender. They are just endlessly appealing and I cannot resist the dazzling smile that they elicit.

image

The other thing that I usually do is convert the measurements to cups and spoons so that he is in charge of the process. The quantities may not be exact but everything’s turned out well so far!

image

Shortbread
115g (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
55g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
115g (1 cup) plain flour
Few drops of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Cream the margarine and sugar together.
Stir in the vanilla extract then fold in the flour and salt.
Roll into walnut size pieces and place on a greased baking tray then flatten with a fork.
Bake at 180°C/GM4  for 10 – 15 minutes then cool on a rack.

image

Giving the Little Man free reign with one tray, he chose sultanas, mini smarties and chocolate sprinkles to decorate his biscuits with before baking. I love how careful he is, thinking before placing every sweet individually talking me through his thought process as he goes.

The other tray was mine to make the ‘grown-up biscuits’. When cool, simply sandwich two pieces of shortbread together using butter cream and, hey presto, you have Viennese creams – one of my all time favourite treats.

image

2 Comments

Filed under Biscuits, Recipes