So I was going to do another favourite female artists Friday post but that hasn’t happened. Maybe next week. Instead, please accept pictures of cake. I’m still feeling miserable, and have been all week even though I’ve been hanging out with friends, talking to close family on the phone and attempting to keep busy. It’s only when I stop that I realise the feeling’s still there. It’s kind of like I want to cry, except I can’t, so keeping busy and watching Grey’s Anatomy will have to do. Today’s displacement activity was baking!
I love baking, it’s like science except when you follow the recipe it actually works and you get tasty things to eat at the end of it. So, it’s much better than science. Yes. Especially if you also play Iron Maiden and Guns n’ Roses at top volume.
Feast your eyes upon this delicious fruit cake.
I realise it’s not that pretty to look at but I’m sure it will taste divine, and my lab mates will appreciate it.
The recipe was from a twenty-year old cookbook called the Best of Sainsbury’s Vegetarian Cooking, and is as follows:
6 oz each of raisins, currants, and sultanas
8oz soft brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 ground ginger
6 oz butter, cut into pieces
8 fl oz water
3 large eggs, beaten
5oz self-raising flour
1/2 tsp sodium bicarbonate
2 oz glacé cherries, chopped in half
2 oz mixed peel
Chuck the dried fruit in a large saucepan with the water, sugar, butter and spices. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3 min, then leave to cool. (If you’re in a rush, once it’s no longer steaming, put the pan in the freezer for 10-15min). Then stir in the beaten eggs.
Meanwhile, weigh out the flour, bicarb and salt and sift into a large bowl. Throw in the cherries and peel. Add the fruit mixture and stir til you can’t see any flour. Grease and line a 9 inch tin (if you’ve got one with an expandable side and separate bottom, so much the better), then pour in the cake mix. Bake in the oven. The recipe said 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 hours at 160 degrees C/Gas mark 3, but if you’ve got a fan oven drop the temperature to 140-ish. Mine runs hot so even at 150 it only took 1 and 1/4 hours. It’s done when an inserted knife comes out clean. Leave to cool slightly in the tin, then transfer carefully onto a wire cooling rack. Eat!
I also made blueberry muffins using this recipe by Felicity Cloake and I must say they are amazing. I followed the recipe precisely, and my main comment is that she doesn’t make it clear these are meant to be giant muffins. If you’ve got some of those silicone muffin cases I’m sure they’d work great. As it is, I made mine in ordinary muffin paper cases in a muffin tin. I filled the cases to the brim and they rose very well in deed. I had enough mix for 14 muffins, rather than nine, which is even better as far as I’m concerned. My second quibble is that I’m not sure rolling the frozen berries in flour stopped them sinking. In the couple I ate, the blueberries had mostly sunk to the bottom. If I were to change it, it’s probably mash 3/4 of the berries rather than half, then dot the final quarter on top just before putting them in the oven. Also, if you’ve done what I did, which was buy a packet of blueberries and chuck it in the freezer for some distant future date, you can thaw them quickly in a bowl of cold/tepid water. It helps if you change the water a couple of times. Hurrah for short cuts!
What’s your favourite sort of cake?