Friday, 20 January 2012

Lemon, Poppyseed and Cardamom Drizzle Cake

Lemmony, crunchy and drizzley!
This is very easy and very tasty! It's based on a Mary Berry one, but I added cardamom, poppy seeds and lots more lemon, and altered the method.

225g softened butter
225g caster sugar
275g self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 large eggs
4 tbsp milk
zest of 4 lemons
1 tbsp poppy seeds
5 cardamom pods, seeds removed and bashed

175 granulated sugar
juice of 3 lemons
2 cardamom pods, bashed but seeds in

-Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/ 160C. Grease a square cake tin/brownie tin and line with a square of baking paper cut to fit snugly in the bottom.
-beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add in the eggs, beating as you go. if it looks like its going to curdle a bit, add a little flour in between the eggs.
-add the flour and the baking powder and beat until mixed, it may be quite thick. Add the lemon zest, the poppy seeds, the milk and the cardamom seeds and mix well.
- pour in to the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes, checking after 35. If it needs more time, give it another few mins and check again. The sides should look like they are shrinking away from the tin a bit. Whilst it's baking, mix the granulated sugar with the lemon juice and pods and allow to steep.
- cool in the tin for 5 minutes or so, then remove to a wire rack set over a plate/tray.
- jab a cocktail stick or fork in to the tops of the cake a few times then spoon the sugary juice over the top of the cake (whilst it's still warm), removing the pods as you go.
-put the kettle on whilst you leave it to cool, and enjoy a slab with your brew

Monday, 9 January 2012

Honey Madeleines

I got a madeleines tin for Christmas and thought a tasty honey recipe was in order. I made them and took them round to a friend's house as she was cooking dinner. She had made some tasty tiny lemon pots and they went together like peas in a pod!  This is from the New Mrs Beeton 'How to Cook Book'. I think that my tin isn't quite crinkly enough, or I may have just over buttered the holes, hence the near lack of ridges! Still tasty though.

120g butter
50g set honey
3 medium eggs at room temp
100g caster sugar
100g self raising flour
25g ground almonds

-using a small pan, melt the butter and cook until it starts to brown and smell a bit nutty. Remove from the heat once it's a caramel colour. Stir the honey in straight away to halt the cooking process. Set aside to cool slightly
-beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer for around 10-15 mins until light and fluffy. Sift the flour and almonds over the top of the egg mix and fold in gently with a large metal spoon, then add the butter and fold in until incorporated. Cover and place in the fridge for 30 mins.
-grease the tin with butter and dust with flour, tipping away any excess. Turn the oven to gas mark 3/ 160C.
- divide the batter between the holes of the tin (I did two batches). You don't want to fill them too high. Bake for 10-12 mins until golden and springy. Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turnout on to a wire rack.
They keep for 4 or 5 days on a decent tin, so you can have tasty afternoon tea every day!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Red Velvet Cake

Unfortunately we ate a good chunk before I got the camera out,
and it was gone before I could get another snap!
Loaded with the knowledge that my friend will eat anything with cream cheese icing, I baked her this red velvet cake for her birthday. I went down a treat! The recipe is from the ' Good Housekeeping Easy bakes, cakes and puds' magazine and has the best cream cheese icing recipe I've found. FACT! You can make a blue velvet one by omitting the cocoa and! but a blue one would remind me too much of the blue velvet song/toilet roll advert.

Ingredients :
200g softened butter
250g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
1.5 tsp baking powder
225g caster sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
250ml sour cream
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp bicarbinate of soda
a few tsps of red food colouring

400g full fat cream cheese at room temp
125g softened butter
125g icing sugar

-Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180C. Grease and line a 8"/20.5cm loose bottomed cake tin with baking paper. Sift the flour and baking powder and cocoa in to a bowl. In another, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs.
- Alternately beat the flour mix and the sour cream in to the butter mix. Once all this is nicely mixed, add the vinegar, bicarb and colouring.  Spoon in to the prepared tin and bake for 1-1hr 10 mins. Check with a knife/skewer to see if it's done. Leave to cool in the tin fr 10 mins, then remove to a wire rack.
- For the icing, beat the butter and cheese together until smooth (it's best if they are the same temperature to avoid little lumps of butter), then mix in the icing sugar. Split the cake in two, spread half the icing on one half, add the other to the top, then load on the rest of the icing!
Ta da!