Wednesday, 29 May 2013

What do you do when someone gifts you a bag of make a cake!!  Last night I made a Rhubarb and orange crumble cake which had a hint of Ginger Curd.  I found the Ginger Curd in Hereford yesterday in TKMaxx and thought that a couple of tablespoons would go nicely with the cake.

I love the orange flavoured cake and it goes really well with the tangy-ness of the rhubarb.


4 large Stalks of Rhubarb. (Washed and dried)
200g butter
400g caster sugar
4 eggs
400g self raising flour
1 orange (zest and juice)

Ginger curd


100g butter
200g plain flour
50g caster sugar.

Grease an baseline a 9inch round spring release cake tin, preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Beat the eggs and sugar together until light and creamy.  Mix in 2 eggs and then 100g of the flour.  Mix in the remaining two eggs and the rest of the flour.  Grate the zest of the orange and mix into the cake mixture.  Stir in the orange juice.

Spoon the cake mix into the prepared tin and level. Dollop over up to two tablespoons of the ginger curd over the cake mix.   Chop the rhubarb and spread over the cake mix (no need to stir in).

Make the crumble by rubbing the butter into the flour and then stirring in the sugar.  Sprinkle over the rhubarb and bake for about and hour until a cake tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Bananas that go in lunch boxes and come back looking like they have been in a massive street brawl have only one use a cake!  I baked this banana loaf which not only has bananas, but coconut and orange zest and juice added to it too.  Its a really blinged up banana loaf and really tasty.  

The recipe for this banana loaf was given to me by my best friend in 1998 when we lived on Ascension Island.  I was showing my children on the weekend that it was on the same piece of paper that she faxed as it was dated 1998....and we only lived next door to each must have been a wet day!!  My youngest son was completely baffled and asked what a fax was!!! At eight years old, he only knows email and text message etc.


Oven temperature 175 degrees Celsius.  Grease and base lined large loaf tin, or used a grease proof loaf tin liner.

2 cups plain flour (sifted)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter softened
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
grated zest of one orange
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup orange juice
4 medium bananas mashed (really ripe bananas work best)
1 cup dessicated coconut
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, baking soda, orange juice, and orange zest until well combined (2 to 3 minutes).  Mix in the bananas.  Stir in the coconut and nuts if using.  This will make a thick batter.  Spread the batter into the prepared tin and bake for approximately 50 to 60 minutes or until a cake tester, inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing from the tin to cool completely. 

It has really been all about bread this week!  My friend celebrated her birthday and her hubby wanted to give her a cake shaped liked loaf of bread as when they were in his words "poor students," the only thing he managed to get her on her birthday was a fresh loaf of bread with some butter.  The cake wasn't meant to go on a bread board, but when I was doing it I had this idea that as a loaf of bread it shouldn't be on anything else but a bread board.  A new bread board in a small town can set you back at least twelve quid so a visit to the charity shop and 50p later, I had a bread board.  After soaking it in boiling  water and then scrubbing every inch of it, it made the perfect board for the cake.  The butter, loaf and slice is all cake, so little waste in that loaf!!!!  

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Last week I have been mostly baking.....with the awful weather, it's back to hibernation, so we have had all-sorts of treats.  The Barn Farm Shop in the town has had lots of citrus fruits in over the past month, so we have had lemon meringues, lime meringues and this week the oranges were 8 for a quid which is so cheap and  so Orange Meringue Pies, were baked on Sunday.  

Some of the meringue was a little darker than I wanted.....admittedly I got carried away watching the FA Cup final, so the time in the oven went to about five and half mins, (I forgot to set my timer oops) but they still tasted good and disappeared rather quickly.  I based the  recipe on the lemon meringue ones which I posted a little while ago, but I made a sweet shortcrust pastry for the cases instead of shortbread bases.

Sweet Shortcrust

8 oz plain flour, 4 oz butter, 2 tablespoons icing sugar, 1 beaten egg.  

To get deep cases to fit the muffin tin, I opened out a muffin paper case, and cut around it.....pastry cases as deep as the tin....with a little fitting and trimming!

Barn Farm Shop

Monday, 6 May 2013

April is over and we are rushing through May!.  April has been a month of birthdays, and our middle son was 18 last weekend.  I decided to bake him a huge chocolate cake and what could be more fitting than doing a music themed cake as he is a brilliant musician who plays trumpet and piano.  He was really impressed by the music score which turned out well, considering I was piping it on at two in the morning!  We didn't get to cut the cake though...he took it to college and shared it with his fellow students in the music department.

We went of to a friends wedding on Saturday.  We met up with so many people who we haven't seen in ten years or more, due to us moving and travelling.  It was so good to catch up, and share stories and of course to toast the beautiful bride and groom....the bride was working in the hospital on Ascension Island when our middle son was born (18 years ago) so it was yet another occasion worth toasting.