Friday, 22 July 2011

Double topped chocolate fridge cake with apricots

Fact of life: when you love to cook/bake and your mobility is quite restricted (I'm getting there dear readers, don't worry but its slow, very slow...) you will accept help in the kitchen from anyone, and I mean anyone...including chief taster (of 'cooking is too stressful for me' fame)...passing through guests and visitors; and even if the kitchen help is only 2 (well nearly 3)...years old.

Here's the proof...see what follows a picture strip of how to make fridge cake...OR Tiffin...or more recently Prince Williams Groom cake (courtesy of McVities on that occasion)...when you are only 2 (well nearly 3).

The easiest cake to make ever, it requires no skill (other than bowl licking) or special equipment, and its been around for an awful lot of years. And its a good one to make with kids, start them off with crispie cakes then move on to this.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

'Cox cookies and cake' by Eric Lanlard and Patrick Cox

This is the long awaited and much anticipated cake/cookie/bar recipe book from the partnership that is Eric Lanlard (French award winning patissier and of TV baking fame) and Patrick Cox (Canadian shoe/fashion designer).

From the tactile soft cover, bright pink bordered pages and dramatic photography you know this book is something different from a recipe book about cupcakes. Its bold, its dramatic, its interesting and pouring over this book really is like being a spectator on a fashion runway for all things sweet and cake orientated.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

'I love to bake' by Tana Ramsey- book review

This is the fourth or fifth cookery (or recipe) book from Tana Ramsey, its called 'I love to bake', and the picture above is one of the recipes we made from the book this week.
The title is a bit deceptive, as from first look you might think this is a book about baking cakes and the like but its not. 'I love to bake', covers a range and number of different savoury and sweet dishes and things to bake that essentially need oven cooking, hence the title. So here you might have savoury dishes and stews like 'baked tomatoes' and 'lamb shanks and white beans', alongside tarts and flans, of both the savoury and sweet kind. In fact some of the savoury dishes, like the meat, fish and vegetable based recipes (such as the 'lamb and lentil casserole', 'fish lasagne', 'stuffed aubergines' and 'mushroom and taleggio tart') seem the most tempting and appealing to make.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Clandestine Cake Club South Lancashire

NEW! Clandestine Cake Club

South Lancashire


Wednesday 10th August 2011 from 6pm to 8pm

Cake Theme

'When fantasy meets reality'

This could be the cake you go to bed dreaming about, the recipe you've lusted after or drooled over for months; OR the reality of the one you wake up to!
Let your imagination run wild and bake your ultimate fantasy cake OR bake your easiest, tried and trusted cake recipe that never ever fails you.


A community based location in South Lancashire, think Chorley/Leyland and you're not far away.
Tea/coffee/squash will be provided by the hosts Susan and Jane, however a nominal charge of £3 per person on the day towards the hire of the venue will be required.

Book a place

If you/and a non-baking guest -only one guest per baker, want to attend this event, please send an email with a description of the cake you will make, so we can avoid everyone bringing the same cake. Please send your email to: southlancscakeclub(at)gmail(dot)com
Please allow 24 hrs for email confirmation of your booking. Your place/places are not guaranteed until you receive this email.


Each cake must be large enough to slice into around 8 – 12 good slices.
Sorry, but NO Cupcakes, Muffins, Brownies, Pies or Tarts. This is all about Cake
Home-bakers and professional bakers can join in. It’s not a competition, just a lot of fun.

Attendees so far
Sue (host) and guest – Victoria Sponge cake with Cardamom, Rose cream and Rhubarb
Jane (host) and guest – Ginger Cake
Linzi and guest – Beetroot and Chocolate cake
Claire and guest – Lemon drizzle Meringue cake
Jenn and guest -Fantasy meets Reality cake
Clare and guest - Irish Chocolate cake

With our thanks to:
Tea Pigs who are providing us with wonderful 'real' tea from their range to try at our first event.
Claire of Simply Vintage who is providing lovely vintage crockery (and bringing a cake too!).
Bottle Green who are providing some of their delicious cold drinks to try alongside the cakes.

Take a look at the Clandestine Cake Club home page to see what fun has been had around the rest of the UK with other Clandestine Cake Club.

Don’t forget to have a mosey on over at the CCC disclaimer page before you book

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Sticky (icky wicky) lemon cake - recipe

Some people will be surprised to know, that although I do make quite a few of them (for others usually) I don't like very sweet cakes or over the top (lashings of butter cream type)cakes, I like my cakes to be more zingy and zesty and fresh, more natural tasting rather than chocolate or frosting or icing. But I don't like oranges...lemons and limes and grapefruits I love with a vengeance, and all manner of soft fruits too in cupcakes and bigger (proper!) cakes, but there's something about oranges...we don't get on well together...unless its freshly squeezed juice in Florida, then we likey. 

Anyway enough of my food fads and on with the cake!

I have made this sticky lemon cake cake a few times now over the years and have tested it out on a few people, they have all loved it and I have baked it again and again...its lovely so please try it. The original recipe is from Woman and Home magazine, yes (like a lot of us) I cut and keep magazine recipes that grab my attention (as long as there's no oranges in the recipe).

you will need:
1 x 20cm (8in) square cake tin, greased and bottom-lined
for the cake batter:
150g (5oz) butter, softened
200g (7oz) caster sugar
zest and juice 1 lemon
4 large free-range eggs, beaten
150g (5oz) self-raising flour
125g (4½oz) ground almonds
1tsp baking powder
4tbsp lemon curd (mine was homemade but any will do)
for the syrup:
juice 3 lemons
100g (4oz) caster sugar
1 Heat the oven to 170 C, 150 C fan, 325 F, gas 3. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the lemon zest and juice to the eggs, then beat into the butter mixture. If it curdles, add a little flour and it will come back together. Fold in the flour, almonds and baking powder until you have a smooth mixture.
2 Transfer half the mixture to the cake tin, drizzle the lemon curd over and drag it into the mixture using a knife. Then put the rest of the mixture on top. Make sure the lemon curd is covered by cake mix, or it will burn easily. Bake on the middle shelf for about 50 minutes, covering with foil after the first 20 to 30 minutes or when the cake is golden.

3 To make the syrup, heat the sugar and lemon juice until the sugar has dissolved.

When the cake comes out of the oven, spear it all over with a cocktail stick or skewer and pour the syrup over while it’s still in the tin. Allow each drizzle to sink in before you add more.

Here's the drizzle sinking in...
Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then tip out on to a wire rack. Cut into 9 squares and dust with icing sugar.

The cake will keep in an airtight container for 2 days or for up to a month in the freezer.

By the way...the leftover lemon carcasses (or shells or husks or whatever you call a used lemon?) can go in the top rack of the dishwasher and keep it clean, fresh and give your dishes a sparkle too for a couple of cycles.