Tag Archives: cakes

Cake Wrecks

I saw this set of photos in UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph, compiled from award winning blog Cake Wrecks (when professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong). 

My favourite, I think, is the one below…what on earth were they thinking?!!

Baby cake

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Lemon Drizzle Cake

This is a lovely cake for those of us who like quite plain cakes, in other words no cream and other frou frous.  Perfect for afternoon tea…although you may want more than one slice, and that just might spoil your dinner!

I make this using a food processor, and this is how it goes …

LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE

Lemon Drizzle CakeMakes a cake for 8-10 servings and is best eaten freshly baked, although it will keep for 1 week under refrigeration in an airtight container.  Freezes up to 3 months.

Ingredients

2 large eggs

175g (6oz) sugar

150g (5oz) soft butter

Grated zest of 1 lemon

175g (6 oz) self-raising flour, sifted***

125ml (4fl oz) milk

A pinch of sea salt

For the lemon syrup

150g (5oz) icing sugar

50ml (2 fl oz) fresh lemon juice (about 1-1/2 lemons)

*** Re Self-raising flour (For American readers) – self-raising flour is simply flour to which raising agent has already been added.  There are several ‘recipes’  for making your own self-raising flour.  Here is one: For every 225g (8 oz) of plain /all purpose flour add 2 level teaspoons of baking powder.  Sift together 3-4 times to thoroughly mix.  Can be stored in an airtight container.

You will also need a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf tin for this recipe, together with a small amount of baking parchment or greaseproof paper

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Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180C / 350F / gas mark 4.

Line the bottom of a well greased loaf tin with baking parchment.

Put the eggs and sugar in the bowl of the food processor and process for 2 minutes, scraping the sides down once with a rubber spatula.  Take off the lid and drop spoonfuls of the soft butter on top of this mixture, together with the lemon zest, then pulse until it disappears.  The mixture should now resemble mayonnaise.

Add the flour, milk and salt, cover and pulse just until the mixture is smooth in texture and even in colour, scraping the sides down with a rubber spatula if necessary.  Don’t over-beat or the cake will be tough.

Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown on top and firm to the touch.

Remove from the oven and stand the tin on a cooling rack.

To make the syrup: Gently heat the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan, stirring until a clear syrup is formed – about 3 minutes.  Do not boil.

Prick the warm cake all over with a fork, then gently pour the syrup over it, until it has been completely absorbed.

Leave until cool, then carefully ease the cake from the baking tin and remove the baking parchment.

Just before serving, sift a little more icing sugar on the top.

Serve in generous slices!

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Molten Chocolate Babycakes

This is just a heavenly dessert.  The recipe makes 6 individual little chocolate ‘puddings’ – sink your spoon into the fluffy sponge to reveal a melted chocolate centre.  Mmmm…  

Ingredients

50g soft, unsalted butter, plus more for greasing

350g best dark chocolate (the better the choc, the better the pud)

150g caster sugar

4 large eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

50g plain or Italian 00 flour

You will also need

6 individual pudding moulds, buttered

Baking parchment

A baking sheet

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These can be made in advance, up to the baking stage if more convenient.  Do the batter, divide between the pudding moulds then store in the fridge until you’re ready.

Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F / gas mark 6, putting a baking sheet in at the same time to warm through.

Lay 3 of the moulds on a sheet of doubled up baking parchment.  Draw round them, remove and then cut out your marked discs.  Press the discs of baking parchment into your buttered moulds.

Melt the chocolate and set it aside to cool slightly.  Meanwhile, cream together the butter and sugar and gradually beat in the eggs, salt and finally the vanilla.

Add the flour and when all is smoothly combined, scrape in the cooled chocolate, blending it to a smooth batter.

Divide the batter between the six moulds and arrange them on the hot baking sheet.  Cook for 10-12 minutes (the extra 2 minutes will be needed if you made the puds in advance and stored them in the fridge).  As soon as they are ready, tip onto small plates or shallow bowls and serve with cream, creme fraiche, creme anglaise (custard) or, my personal preference, a scoop of Jersey vanilla ice cream.

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This recipe is from Nigella Lawson’s book ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’  (Random House Publishing, ISBN 0 7011 6888 9) and I believe she, in turn got it from American food writer James McNair.

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