Monday, 26 July 2010

Time for cake

It occurred to me that I've been a bit slack in posting recipes. I realised this today, staying at Mum and Dad's house. I wanted to bake soda bread and make butter with B and her cousins while Z was mountaineering with his dad. I couldn't remember the quantities so I googled my own blog on Mum and Dad's laptop to look it up (Baking For Beginners Part 2). Googling one's own blog might be the height of onanism, but I honestly was just after the recipe.

Anyway, I had a look at what else I'd posted so I could make some other bits and pieces and it struck me I ought to have some more things up here. So, here are the bookends of my baking career -

The First Cake I Baked
(insert fanfare)
When people ask me about how I got into baking as a career they ask if I'm professionally trained or if I've just always baked. I usually answer, "I didn't bake before I had kids." This is not strictly true. I baked every Sunday morning for about 3 years, and I always baked the same thing - a loaf of banana bread. I'd take slices of it into work with me when I was working in the Call Centre - godawful job and no place for a grown up - and on Wednesday, the last day it would be still nice to eat, I'd bring the rest of it in to share with the people I worked with. It's easy and it's fast to mix up. It is also the only recipe I know in ounces because that gives it a 2, 2, 4, 6, 8 rhythm that is easy to remember.

2 (eggs) 2 (bananas) 4 (ounces butter) 6 (ounces brown sugar) 8 (ounces self raising flour)

See? Easy peasy.

Beat the butter and sugar until light. Mash overripe bananas and tip them in, along with the eggs. Mix well. Sift in the flour and combine well. Pop it into a lined loaf tin and bake at 180 for about an hour (or until a skewer comes out clean). You may need to cover it loosely with foil for the last 15 minutes to stop it browning too much.

You can add nuts, chocolate chops, sultanas, anything you like. It's best left to cool totally before slicing; otherwise you risk breaking it. Lovely spread thinly with butter. Oh, and ace for picnics because it's fairly robust, a compact shape that won't get too bashed and it's easy to have whopping thick slices or thin delicate slices depending on how many picnickers you are trying to eek it out for.

My Most Recent Cake
(insert double fanfare)
Raspberry and Lemon Cake

Sift together
225g self raising flour
175g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
Stir in
75g ground almonds
zest of a lemon
In a large jug, mix together
250g plain yoghurt
3 eggs
150ml vegetable or sunflower oil
and pour it into the dry mix. Stir until combined, then carefully fold in
150g frozen raspberries

Bake at 170 degrees for about 70 minutes - keep checking after 50 mins and cover as necessary. I like it in a 23 cm round springform tin but a 20cm square tin would also do.

When cooked, leave the cake to cool a moment while you make the glaze.
100g sugar
30-50ml water
juice of that lemon
Simmer in a saucepan until its volume has reduced by at least half. Poke holes in the cake and pour the glaze over it. Leave it to absorb before you remove it from the tin.

So there you go - where I started and where I'm at now. I hope you find something you like.

I'm off to bake with giggly small people. Wish me luck!


  1. Chocolate chops. Like pork chops, but choccier?

  2. Smart arse. And posted on our anniversary, too, when you could have been better employed buying me flowers.
    Good job I'm in your thrall, isn't it.