Tag Archives: cake

A Cupboard Full of Cake

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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).

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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!

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Filed under Cakes, Crochet, Food

Easy Peasy Apple Cake

Red at night, Shepherds’ Delight.

The old adage proved correct and Saturday night’s wonderful sunset was followed by a marvellous day on Sunday. The sky was blue, the sun was shining and the air was warm – more like September than mid-November.

The Little Man and I trotted over the road to revel in the sunshine, all too unusual around here at the moment.

It was early afternoon but there was hardly anybody out except a few fishermen and a little girl learning to ride her bike. Where was everybody?! Was the blue sky not beckoning, the sunlight shining through the windows not calling them out from their homes?

Having been inspired by the lovely breads that Lillian stores in her cupboard I have dusted off the bread machine recently. It has been wonderful having fresh, homemade bread around the place. I love making bread – kneading, shaping, eating – but that is just not going to happen at the moment. The machine is therefore a practical and convenient way to enjoy my own loaves until a window opens for me to indulge in some more hands-on yeasty baking.

As I make small loaves (so that the bread is always fresh and they can fit in hubby’s lunchbox!) we end up having a lot more ends left over. All the more to feed to the ducks then!

The Little Man was fascinated by the geese honking around by his feet and the gulls flying above his head. However it was the blue sky that was capturing my attention.

Just look at that colour.

I could not stop gazing at it.

We walked round to the second lake to find a few more hungry beaks.

There were plenty to be found! The beige cygnets from earlier in the Summer (see here) are now completing the final stages in their transformation from ugly duckling to beautiful swan.

When we returned hubby took on the responsibility of childcare whilst I set about preparing Sunday dinner for my family. The dessert I chose has become a firm favourite since I discovered it in The National Trust’s Complete Traditional Recipe Book. It can be served warm as a pudding or left to cool and eaten as a cake.

Apple Cake

Place 175 g self-raising flour, 1 tsp mixed spice and 225 g sugar in a bowl (I use half caster, half demerara for taste and texture).

Add 225 g chopped butter but do not rub it in.

Peel and slice in 700 g cooking apples and stir in 2 beaten eggs and enough milk to make a stiff batter.

Place in a 23 x 23 cm tin and bake for 1 1/2 hours in a moderate oven (190°C). (The butter melts and caramelises the top so it is important not to take it out too early).

Easy peasy!

What’s your favourite comfort pudding? xxx

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Filed under Cakes, Desserts, Food, Snapshot, Trips and outings