Wednesday, 29 May 2013

⌔ rainy May

on a rainy May day I really fancied some fruit cake
looking through my recipe books
most of them were quite Wintery
with cinnamon or cloves and way too many eggs!

so I stumbled across a recipe from an old neighbour
that I could change to satisfy my craving

it's rather cool as it doesn't use any butter or oil
just good old fashioned tea!

Maytime Fruit Teabread

you will need ....

250g plain flour
125g muscovado sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 egg
the grated zest of an orange
375g dried fruit {any you like}
and a 250ml cup of tea {I used lady grey}

first thing to do is make the tea!
pour it over the dried fruits and leave for a few hours
or preferably overnight to plump them up

preheat the oven to 170c/ gas 3
line a loaf tin with baking paper

in a large bowl, put in all the dry ingredients
and mix with a whisk
{this gets rid of any lumps and adds air}
pour in the soaked fruit (& any remaining tea)
add the grated zest and egg
mix well and dollop into the prepared tin
bake for an hour until cooked
then leave to cool in the tin
tasty on it's own or slathered with jam!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

♺ recycle

each weekend I save my Sunday newspaper for
my friend Cheryll 
her children have guinea pigs and the
broader sheet papers are great for the hutch
I'm told!
in return she gives me her food magazines

we love looking at the recipes 
and tear out any that catch our eye
before passing on the magazines again!
how's that for moneys worth?

this cake looks and IS delicious
an unusual method, one we've not tried before
and we only had half the amount of blueberries
but it was still good
{the original recipe was in bbc good food mag}
orange & blueberry polenta loaf

you will need ....
100g polenta
140g unsalted butter, softened
140g caster sugar
200g self raising flour
half a teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
200g blueberries
the zest and 2 tbsps of the juice from an orange
preheat the oven to 160c/gas 3
line a 2lb loaf tin with baking paper
put the polenta, sugar, butter, flour, baking powder
and orange zest into a food processor
and pulse until it looks like breadcrumbs
mix the egg and orange juice together
then add to the food processor
pulse until the dough comes together into a ball
place half the mixture in the loaf tin 
and cover with half the blueberries
cover the berries with the remaining dough
and scatter on the rest of the blueberries
bake for 1 hour to 1hour 10 minutes
until golden 
leave to cool in the tin for a while
before transferring onto a cooling rack
delicious for any time of day!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

༄ zest for life

we love the taste of fresh coconut
getting the white stuff from the shell 
 really is worth the effort!
the water is refreshing and so so
good for you too

coconut sponge cake and macaroons
are standard bakes for tropical loveliness
but we fancied something different
so I added and tweaked an old recipe!
lemon & coconut polenta cake
you will need ....

50g shredded coconut
50g polenta {finemeal quick cook}
50g ground almonds
125g softened butter
125g caster sugar
half a teaspoon baking powder
*or gluten free alternative
2 eggs {lightly beaten}
grated zest of a lemon

for the syrup ....
2 tablespoons caster sugar
juice of a lemon

heat the oven to 170c/ gas 4
line a 20cm cake tin with greaseproof paper
in a large bowl 
cream together the butter and sugar until
light and fluffy
add the beaten eggs a little at a time
now add the coconut, polenta, baking powder,
lemon zest and almonds
fold through and dollop into the prepared tin
smooth the top, put in the oven and
bake for 40-50minutes or until golden
and firm to touch

while the cake is cooking
mix together the lemon juice and sugar

when the cake is cooked
 put the tin onto a cooling rack
prick all over with a skewer
and drizzle on the syrup
sprinkle with fresh coconut 
and leave to cool completely in the tin
cut into slices and enjoy!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

ᄈ herbed

it seems this Winter has lasted forever
so to inject a bit of Spring 
here's a new take on an old favourite
lemon & rosemary loaf cake

you will need ....
125g butter {room temperature}
175g self raising flour
125g sugar
2 eggs
zest of  lemon
two sprigs of fresh *rosemary
*strip the leaves, crush a little and chop finely
4 tablespoons of milk
a pinch of salt

and for the syrup ....
100g sugar
about 4 tablespoons lemon juice

preheat the oven to 180c/ gas 4
line and grease a loaf tin
cream together the butter and sugar until light
add the eggs a little at a time
then the zest and rosemary
now fold in the flour & salt
adding the milk to loosen
pile into the loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes
until golden, testing for doneness with a skewer
while the cake is in the oven mix the sugar and
lemon juice for the syrup
as soon as the cake comes out of the oven
prick it all over with the skewer 
drizzle on the syrup and leave to cool completely
in the tin on a cooling rack
so delicious that it didn't last long enough for
me to photograph it!
 Spring can't come soon enough for us

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

✚ keeps the doctor away

there's something about cold crisp wintery
days that makes me want to make fruit cake!
after noodling on the web for inspiration
I stumbled across this tasty cake
originally by Yotam Ottolenghi {swoon}

so get your mixing bowls ready 
{you'll need a few!}

apple and olive oil cake with maple icing

you will need ....

for the cake
80g sultanas or any dried fruit
4 tablespoons water
280g plain flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
1¼ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
160g sugar
120ml olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or seeds from a fresh pod
2 eggs beaten
3 apples, cored and cut into 1cm dice
grated zest of a lemon
2 egg whites

for the icing
100g sugar
100g butter
85ml maple syrup
220g cream cheese

preheat the oven to 170c/ gas 4
grease and line a 20cm round springform cake tin
put the dried fruits and 4 tablespoons of
water into a small saucepan and heat 
gently until the liquid has been absorbed
leave to cool
in a large bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, salt, 
baking powder and bicarb and set aside
in another bowl
blend the sugar and olive oil together until smooth
add the vanilla and gradually beat in the eggs
until you have a smooth, thick mixture
fold in the apples, lemon zest and cooled fruits
gently fold in the dry ingredients using a spatula
in a clean and dry bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks
add them to the batter in two goes
folding gently and keeping as much air as possible!
pour into the prepared tin and bake for 1 - 1½ hours
testing for doneness with a skewer
leave to cool completely
when the cake is cool, make the icing
by mixing the butter and sugar until fluffy
add the maple syrup and stir in the cream cheese
if you use a whisk it will be lighter
cut the cake in half horizontally
and spread one half with some of the
icing mixture
replace the top and spread with more of
that delicious icing
put the iced cake in the fridge to set
but let it come back to room temperature to
cut and eat and enjoy!