Tag Archives: cake

More Jam?

5 Mar

Apricot Almond Jam Cake

What to do with that apricot jam sitting in the cupboard, forgotten and overlooked since Christmas? Purchased to help stick the marzipan to your Christmas cake, and neglected while the sexier raspberry and tangy-er marmalade make their way to the breakfast table instead. Well, how about a jam cake? I can think of no finer a destiny for such a helpful jam.

Apricot Jam Cake

175g butter
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs
125g apricot jam
175g wholemeal self-raising flour
25g almond flakes

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°fan/gas mark 4. Line a 2lb loaf tin with butter and greaseproof paper, or a handy liner if you have one.

Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fully mixed. Then beat in the eggs, followed by the jam. Fold in the flour gently, and when completely combined spoon into the lined cake tin and level the top. Sprinkle the almond flakes over the cake.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, to check the cake is done insert a skewer into the cake. It will come out clean when the cake is done. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


11 Jan

Ottolenghi Clementine Cake

A whole year has gone by, and I still haven’t told you how much I love Ottolenghi, or his recipes I should say. Of course, I love his restaurant in Islington too. Toasters on every table for breakfast, hot! (so, how about a Shoreditch branch…?)

Slice of Ottolenghi Clementine Cake

It’s rare for a week to go by in the Cakes household without an Ottolenghi dinner to feature. How about a Tomato and almond tart? Puff pastry smothered with a savory take on frangipane and ripe tomatoes. It’s like a pizza that has eaten in a few Michelin starred restaurants and has decided to smarten up. Or how about Seafood with fennel and lime? Lime tangy and bursting with herby goodness.

Ottolenghi Tamimi Jerusalem Book

But for the recipe for this moist, syrup soaked, Clementine & Almond syrup cake you’ll have to get yourself a copy Jerusalem, the new book by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. Get it, it’s amazing. You won’t regret it, and while you’re in the bookshop get the Ottolenghi back catalogue. You won’t want to eat anything else ever again.

Seasonal greetings

26 Nov

Pumpkin & Ginger Cake, Lime Drizzle

Tis the season to, well, eat lots of lovely seasonal fruit and vegetables. It’s beginning to feel a lot like winter. I’m talking brussels sprouts, pumpkin, apples, clementines, cranberries, pears, quince, and don’t forget the parsnips – just the ticket for a wholesome wintry warmer of a cake.

You’ve heard of carrot cake, right? So, why not try parsnip cake? Hell yeah! Combined with tangy lime, fiery ginger and sweet & nutty spelt flour, parsnip makes a pretty blazing cake. Go on, try it!

Parsnip, Lime & Ginger Cake

2 eggs
100g caster sugar
150ml groundnut oil
2 medium parsnips, grated
1 tsp ground ginger
15g grated ginger
180g spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 limes, zested & juiced
50g icing sugar

Butter an 8 inch round cake tin and line the bottom with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 180C, 160C fan, 350F, gas 4.

Whisk together the eggs and sugar, and when combined whisk in the oil. Follow this with the ground ginger, and a quick whisk. Then mix in the grated ginger & parsnips, all the lime zest and half the lime juice.

Next fold in the flour, baking powder and bicarb of soda. Put the cake mix in your prepared cake tin and bake for 35 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, mix the icing sugar and the rest of the lime juice in a saucepan. Gently heat until the sugar has dissolved and you have a syrup. When the cake comes out the oven prick all over with a toothpick and pour the syrup over. Leave the cake to totally cool before removing from the tin.

Time to eat & enjoy!

Bone Voyage

3 Sep

Salty Devil's Food Cake

To my dear friends Mr & Mrs Bone, who leave east London this week for the motherland. Me & Mr Cakes will miss them lots. They’re off to Scotland with its lochs, mountains, whiskey & irn-bru and so we say “Bone Voyage”

making mini bunting

salted caramel icing

chocolate devil's food cake

chocolate cake with salted caramel icing

The best leaving gift? A chocolate devils food cake with salted caramel icing. First make yourself just the cake part of Nigella’s Devils Food Cake recipe. Then you ice with the Salted Caramel icing from this recipe. (Mr Cakes did the artex style icing application)

Then, to make it super pretty make some mini bunting to string across the top. I found the template at b.loved weddings. Good luck chums, can’t wait to come & visit.

Green and Hairy cupcakes

14 Aug

Gooseberry Elderflower Cupcake

The wonderful thing about preserves is, well, that you can preserve your garden goodies for a later date. Gooseberry season is almost over, so get them now while you can – do you really want to wait until next summer before you can eat them again? Once you’ve made a perfect batch of gooseberry jam, you’re one step closer to these beauties – Gooseberry and Elderflower cupcakes. The delicate flavour of elderflower and the tangy sharpness of gooseberries is a match made in heaven. They happen to be in season at the same time, it’s almost like there was a plan…

gooseberry cupcake batter

gooseberry cupcake batter in tin

baked gooseberry cupcakes

iced gooseberry cupcakes

Gooseberry Elderflower Cupcakes
makes 12

For the cupcakes –
125g butter
180g caster sugar
2 large eggs
250g self-raising flour
125ml milk
3 tbsp gooseberry jam
2 tsp elderflower cordial

For the buttercream –
100g butter, softened
200g icing sugar
2 tsp elderflower cordial

1. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan and line a muffin pan with muffin cases (this is infinitely better than a bun tray, cupcakes should be BIG)

2. Cream the very soft butter and sugar until smooth, and then beat in the eggs. I did all this by hand, but feel free to use an electric whisk or food processor.

3. Mix in half the flour until fully combined, then half the milk. Repeat.

4. Mix the gooseberry jam and the elderflower cordial together and then fold through the sponge mixture. Don’t mix in completely – you want to be able to see the jam streaking through the sponge.

5. Divide between the cake cases and bake for 25 mins

6. To make the buttercream, beat the butter and icing sugar together. Once combined mix in the cordial. When the cupcakes have completely cooled ice with the buttercream and add decoration of your choice.

Gooseberry Elderflower Cupcakes

Wedding Bake Off, Part 2

21 Jun

IMG_2433 - Version 2 (42 of 55)

Oh good, you’re back to see who came second in the bake-off? Well, you see that rather tasty looking offering 2nd from the back? The muddy, chocolatey, gooey cake with that “eat-me” creamy frosting on top? Can you tell what it is…? It’s a Chocolate Guinness mud cake. Bit of a gamble, I’m not usually one for chocolate cakes! But, put a bit of booze in there and add a creamy, cream cheese topping (it reminds me of carrot cake) and jobs a good ‘un.

Bake Off Wedding Cakes

Before we get to the details of the Guinness cake, how about some of the other entries? We did pretty well – look at this table full of treats, from the imaginatively titled ABCD cake (containing apricots, bananas and it’s seedy) to the opportunistically named Sicilian lemon drop cake (the middle of the cake sank when it came out the oven…)

IMG_2431 - Version 2 (40 of 55)

Wouldn’t you like a slice of one of these? A fruity citrus-y cake (so ZINGY) decorated with cake pops!!! Or this beautiful chocolate cake, decorated with smarties and Cadbury’s fingers – like something straight out off Christmas c.1986


OMG! Look at this little lady – Barbie Wedding Cake, absolute genius!


Mmmmm, and these fluffy clouds of coconutty, creamy delight.

the day after cakes

We had so much cake, we had to invite everyone back again the next day to help us polish it off. What great hosts are we?

Back to the Chocolate Guinness mud-cake. My goodness, it was divine – so moist and dense at the same time, like the best brownie you’ve ever tasted but better and almost sandy, no muddy in texture. The icing on top was, well, just the icing on the cake. Cool, smooth, creamy and tangy. Try this recipe – Nigella’s Chocolate Guinness Cake and wish that it comes out half as well as the bake-offering. What we didn’t realise when judging that there was a picture of us both underneath.

Finch & Ford

I think had we seen it, the cake would have won….no?

Thanks again to Dave Johnson for the faberooney snaps!

Velodrome Cake

9 May
Velodrome Cake

From the BBC Food website

It’s not to late bake-offers. Look at this! How perfect is it? The recipe is here on the BBC Food website. Although I’m not sure about the pit of doom the riders will descend into once they finish….

So, I baked a cake this week. But I didn’t post about it. Things have been a bit busy at the Cakes household, because we’re getting married in 3 DAYS TIME! Yikes.

But if you’re interested, the cake was Dan Lepard’s Dark Banana Ginger Cake. It’s pretty tasty, but the ginger all sank to the bottom.

Dan Lepard Banana Cake

From the Guardian Website

This is the last post pre-wedding. See you on the other side with tales of the bake-off, and the recipe for Grandma Nicholson’s wedding cake!!!

Bake Off

20 Apr

Momofuku cake

Mr Cakes and I will officially become Mr & Mrs Cakes very soon. As in, we’re getting hitched, tying the knot, getting married, you know!

Now, I won’t might not be baking anything for the big day, but our chums will be. We’re having a good old fashioned Bake Off, and I can’t help finding inspiration everywhere.

If I was baking, I might have to try the above Momofuku milk bar cake. How cool does he look? He comes from the Kitchen Heal Soul blog.

I also really really really want to try a proper rainbow cake. Like this fella…

Rainbow cake

Thanks Martha!

But how could I resist trying to impress the judges with a batch of smoochy lip covered cake pops? These come from the always wonderful Rhubarb & Rose

Lipstick pops

Maybe someone will invite me to take part in a bake off soon. Until then I’ll have to content myself with scoffing our guests offerings on the big day. It’s a hard life…

Mother’s Bake

18 Mar

slice of boozy fruit cake
Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mothers. I hope your sons and daughters have spent all day being nice to you, or hopefully remembered to give you a card, or at least text to say hi.

I don’t normally see my Mum on Mothering Sunday. Usually I’ll send a card, and sometimes tuck in a packet of seeds as a gift (not sesame seeds, or some other healthy snack you understand – but some seeds to plant in the garden, like some pretty freesias or something…) and it’ll probably turn up a few days late. Hey, is it my fault there is no post on Sunday?
simmer boozy cakesift boozy fruit cakeraw boozy fruit cakeBoozy fruit cake
This year Ma and Pa are in Shoreditch, and it just so happens to be Mother’s Day. I’d better get baking, methought. So I did – this rather lovely boozy fruit cake offering from the hallowed baking bible of Mary Berry (again). It’s really quite quick to make – simmer dried fruit, butter, golden syrup, walnuts and milk for five minutes. Mix with flour, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and eggs, tip into your 20cm round tin and bake. Splash with booze (brandy for me) when the cake comes out the oven. It Would make a perfect last minute Christmas cake, as you can eat it right away, no maturing required.

Happy Mum’s Day!

What happened to Herman?

2 Feb


Last week I promised to keep you up to date with Herman the Friendship cake. Well, our chum Herman lived with us for ten days. Spluttering and growing and demanding to be fed every now and then. After he’d been playing all day he looked a bit like this


At which point he demanded some attention, and a quick stir later he looked more like this


After ten days it was time to share Herman with the chosen few, and bake the rest into a rather tasty, yeasty, fruity cake. And yes, Mr Cakes and I did eat him with some custard for pudding. We like doing that, see. It helps us swim faster the next morning!

Here is the recipe for the Herman cake, if he should ever come knocking on your door.

Add the following to your Herman mix…
1 cup sugar
half tsp salt
2 cups plain flour
2/3 cup of cooking oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 cooking apples cut into chunks
1 cup raisins
2 heaped tsp cinnamon
2 heaped tsp baking powder.

Mix everything together and put into a large greased cake tin.

Sprinkle with a quarter of a cup of brown sugar and a quarter of a cup of melted butter. Bake for 45 minutes at 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Eat with custard, ice cream, cream, with a cup of tea etc etc. Thanks Herman, nice to see you. Come back soon!