Sunday, 22 April 2018

Everyday Coffee Loaf Cake

I had a strong craving for a coffee and walnut cake for the last few days and I finally resisted by making this loaf cake recently. I have a thing for coffee and walnut cake, alongside coconut cake, in that I can easily eat the whole cake by myself. To stop myself eating a whole cake, I simply don't make these cakes on a regular basis and try to treat myself to a slice when I'm at a coffee shop.  I wanted the full hit of a coffee and walnut cake but didn't want to make a traditional sandwich cake held together by copious amount of buttercream. So,  I decided to make a loaf cake instead, which requires minimal effort and has maximum flavour.
The recipe is adapted from my baking book: National Trust Cakes, Bakes and Biscuits. I simply reduced the amount given for a sponge cake, however, I should of let the icing set before I poured it on the cake - my impatience to taste the case was the reason for this. Nevertheless, the coffee and walnut loaf cake was moist, soft and moreish.



You will need a 2lbs/900g loaf tin.
Ingredients
100g self-raising flour
100g caster sugar
100g soft margarine
2 large free eggs
4 heaped teaspoons instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons boiling water

For the topping
75g butter
125g icing sugar
8 - 10 walnut halves

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C, 325F, gas mark 3. Beat together the flour, caster, sugar, margarine and eggs until they are very light and fluffy, preferably in an electric mixer. Put the coffee granules in a cup or  small bowl and add about 3 teaspoons boiling water. The coffee should be very, very dark and just runny - if it's a bit stiff, add a few drops more water, but it certainly shouldn't look like ordinary coffee. You want a liquor that will give a huge hit of coffee without adding too much volume of liquid.
Add 1 teaspoon coffee mixture to the cake mix and beat in. Taste, and add more coffee if needed. Don't throw away any remaining mixture.
Pout the batter in the loaf tin and smooth the tops. Bake for 45 minutes until the cake is firm and springy to the touch.
Remove from the oven and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
To make the topping beat together the butter and  icing sugar until pale and soft. Add 1 teaspoon coffee mixture and taste. Add more, to taste.
When the cake is cooled frost the top of the cake with the coffee icing. Place the walnuts around the edge of the loaf cake and leave the icing to set, which should only take about an hour.

xxx
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Friday, 13 January 2017

Sally Lunn French Toast

I visited Bath last year as I was on a mission to visit new cities in the UK. I discovered the infamous Sally Lunn, the infamous original Bath Bun located in one of the oldest houses in Bath, was a joy. I brought a few Sally Lunn buns to take home with me and to store in my freezer for when the occasion arose. I discovered a lovely recipe for French toast using the enriched brioche bun which was perfect for a luxurious breakfast. If you are unable to make the Sally Lunn loaf from scratch, you can use brioche bread. You can eat the French Toast on its own or do like me and top with warmed fruits, the choice of mine being sharron fruit and pomegranate seeds. 



Sally Lunn Loaf
Makes one 25cm (10inch) ring cake, to slice as desired.
235ml lukewarm milk
1tsp caster sugar
1 tbsp dried active yeast
540g plain flour
95g caster sugar
1tsp sat
3 large eggs, light beaten
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
120ml warm water
110g unsalted butter.

Method
Grease the tube pan or ring mould liberally with butter
Stir the milk, sugar and yeast together in a large jug an leave to stand for 5 minutes.
Whisk the flour, caster sugar and salt together in a large bowl and stir in the eggs, bicarbonate of soda and warm water until well blended. Add the yeast mixture and the melted butter and stir until well incoportated.
Scrape the batter into the prepared tube pan or ring mould and cover with cling film. Let the doughy batter rise in a warm place, such as an airing cupboard or near a radiator, for 45 minutes - 1 hour until it has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200C (400F), gas mark 6.
Carefully put the pan into the oven, making sure not to move the dough about too much or knock the air bubbles out of it. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before serving.

For the Sally Lunn French Toast
Serves 4
8 sliced of Sally Lunn Loaf or brioche or thickly sliced white bread
2 large eggs
115ml whole milk
115ml single cream
pinch of salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
30g unsalted butter

Method
Place four slices of Sally Lunn or other bread in a baking dish.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, sat, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.
Pour half the liquid mixture over the four Sally Lunn slices in the baking dish. Allow to soak in.
Melt half the butter in a frying pan on a medium heat.
Put the soggy Sally Lunn slices in the hot frying pan and cook until golden brown on each side. Repeat the steps above with the remaining four slices of Sally Lunn and rest of the egg and cream mixture.

xxx
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Monday, 21 November 2016

Cakes, Bakes & Biscuits - review

When I think of the National Trust, I think of imposing stately homes, rich English culture and stunning countryside views. Until last year, I didn't realise that The National Trust released cookery or baking books until I reviewed the fabulous The Picnic Cookbook. Well there's another book from The National Trust specialising on baking. There's a strong emphasis on English baking as per expected as there is an historic love affair in Britain and cakes. The majority of the recipes are beautifully illustrated and all the recipes have clear instructions. 
My favourite chapter in this baking book is Regional Cakes, not only are the cakes look delicious, many of the recipes are historical and unique to that particular region.With so many baking books on the market, I like the feel of this book: accessible, compact and informative. The rrp is £9.99, but it's currently on Amazon for £7.99. I also think this baking book would make a great Christmas present for all your baking friends. 



This baking book is split into the following chapters:
  • The Basics: Classic recipes include Maderia cake, Lemon Drizzle Cake and All-in-one chocolate cake. 
  • Traditional Favourites: Recipes to try include Victoria Cake, Everyday Coffee Cake and Carrot Cake with Lime Topping. 
  • Regional Cakes: Stand out recipes to try include: Suffolk Fourses, Bath Buns, 18th Century Pepper Cake, Kedleston Marmalade and Norfolk Tart. 
  • Scones and Slices: Delicious recipes include: Florentine Slice, Ginger and Treacle Scones and Cherry Almond Scones. 
  • Teabreads and Loaves: luscious recipes to try include: Date & Wanut Loaf, Barm Brack and Marmalade & Apricot Teabread. 
  • Bite-sized treats: recipes to try include: English Madeleines, Espresso Express and Battenburn Cupcakes. 
  • Fun for Little Ones: Stand out recipes to try with your little ones: Jam donuts, Cheery Buns and Rocky Roadsters. 
  • Savoury Treats & Breads: Recipes to try include: Courgette, Feta & Spring Onion Cupcake and Beautiful Bread. 
  • A Lighter Bite: Luscious recipes to try include: Upside-down Polenta Plum Cake, Cranberry, Pecan & Maple Syrup Flapjacks, 
  • Sweet Something: A lovely selection of jams & preserves including: Apricot Jam and High Dumpsie Dearie. 
I baked the Date & Walnut Loaf, which I adapted to Date & Cashew Loaf as I didn't have any walnuts at hand. I think you could use whatever nuts you have at hand. I found this cake incredibly moreish, I didn't think the combination of dates with nuts would work, but it did superbly. 






Ingredients
225g self-raising flour 
50g walnut loaves (I used cashew nuts)
1 tsp mixed spice
75g butter
100g light or dark soft brown sugar
225g whole dates
150ml water
2 large free range eggs, beaten
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Method
1) Preheat the oven to 180C, 350 F , gas mark 4. Grease and line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin.
2) Mix together the flour, walnuts and mixed spice.
3) Place the butter, sugar, dates and water in a pan and bring gently to the boil. Remove from the heat and cool for a few minutes. Add to the flour, spice and nuts with the beaten eggs and beat well.
4) Turn into the prepared tin, hollow the centre a little and sprinkle the top with the sesame seeds. Bake for 1-1 1/4 hours until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
5) Remove from the oven and turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Serve sliced with butter.

Many thanks to Pavillion books for the review copy. 

xxx
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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Cooking with Flowers, review and giveaway


The lovely people at Quirk books sent me a selection of cook/baking books early on in 2014 which for a cook book addict like me I was more than delighted. Cooking with Flowers: Sweet and Savoury Recipes with Rose Petals, Lilacs, Lavender, and Other Edible Flowers by Miche Bacher was one of the books that were sent to me and this book not only intrigued me due to the concept but also inspired me to step outside my baking box. What intrigued me is the thought of flowers, for example a dozen red roses, being in-cooperated in a cake, a pancake or bread dish for example and also how would flowers taste in a dish? I’ve never eaten flowers before and unfortunately still have not done this, as I have yet to make a selection of recipes that I usually do when I receive a book but I could not resist sharing the wonders of this book as I have pencilled in so many recipes to try. 
There are 100 recipes that will bring beautiful flower-filled dishes to your kitchen table. There is a selection of delightful recipes including pansy petal pancakes,  daylily cheesecakes, savoury sunflower chickpea salad, chive blossom vinaigrette, herb flower pesto and mango orchid sticky rice. Yum! Each recipe  contains helpful tips and tricks for finding, cleaning and preparing edible flowers. The pages are beautifully illustrated and I think this book will certainly appeal to the more creative and adventurous baker. 
Cooking with Flowers

Cooking with Flowers

The chapters in this book are in accordance to the flower type and there is a real sense that the author is highly knowledgeable not only about each flower type but the complimentary parings in dishes. 
  • Three introductory chapters - Introduction, Why Eat Flowers? and From Garden to Table
  • Calendulas
  • Dandelions
  • Daylilies
  • Dianthus
  • Elderflowers
  • Geraniums
  • Herb flowers
  • Hibiscus and Hollyhocks
  • Lilacs
  • Nasturtiums
  • Orchids
  • Pansies and Violas 
  • Roses
  • Squash Blossoms
  • Sunflowers
  • Tulips
  • Violets
  • The Basics: Simple recipes for Stocking Up
Cooking with Flowers

Cooking with Flowers


The lovely people at Quirk books are offering one lucky reader a copy of the beautifully illustrated book. Just 

  •  Follow the instructions on the rafflecopter widget.
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  • All entries will be checked and verified. 
  • Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random.
  • The competition will run from 22.05.14 - 22.06.14
  • Winners will need to respond within 7 days of being contacted.
  • Quirk books will dispatch the book to the lucky winner.
  • The competition is open to UK residences only.

Please feel free to share the giveaway and good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of Cooking with Flowers to review, I was not required to write a positive review. Images were taken from Quirk books website. All opinions are my own.

xxx
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