This weekend was a lovely, busy, extended family time. With lost of of visitors, sightseeing trips and shopping expeditions. I didn't want to loose any time having fun and so prepared as much as I could in advance. I was so organized that I managed to get three batches of cake/s baked on Friday morning.
Using never fail recipes, perfect for times like this. Firstly, Nigella Lawson's cup-cake recipe, which is a very simple all-in-one method. For twelve cupcakes you will need, 125g each of Self-raising flour, caster sugar and softened butter/alternative, two large eggs, half a tsp of vanilla extract and 2 - 3 tbs milk.
Just mix everything except the milk together until smooth. Then gradually add in the milk. Drop spoonfuls into paper cake cases, to fill twelve and then bake at 200c/gas mark 6 for 15 to 20 minutes till pale golden brown.
My other most used recipe is Mary Berry's lemon drizzle cake, which I adapt in lots of different ways. It's another all-in-one cake for when you require something a bit more substantial. This time with a little more flour, 275 gms and 225 gms of butter and sugar, two teaspoons of baking powder, four eggs and four tablespoons of milk. If you want to make a lemon drizzle cake add the zest of two lemons to this and combine everything together as with the cupcakes. Line a 30x23cm baking tray with parchment and bake for 35 - 40 minutes at 160c/gas mark 3. 225gms If you're making the drizzle combine the juice of the two zested lemons to 175 gms of sugar to make a glaze and whilst cooling pour over the cake whilst it's cooling on a rack. You'll need to put it on a tray to catch all the sticky drips!
I didn't want to make lemon drizzle cake but love the ease and texture of the basic recipe. Also it works really well with Dove Farm Gluten Free Flour, a combination of soya and rice flour, which I use all the time for cake baking, except for fruit cakes because for some reason it just doesn't work. I omitted the lemon zest but added a little rose water and vanilla extract. I often use this flour for marble or chocolate cake too, and you get a kind of fudgy taste/texture which I love.Recently I've been baking cakes in some lovely red earthenware dishes that we bought on a market in Brittany for hardly anything. I line them with baking parchment that I don't even need to oil. I love the rustic shape of the cake when I peel off the paper. The only downside is that they do take longer to cook in these.I had a couple of retro requests this weekend. One was for mum's retro trifle and the other this cherry cake that she used to make. So I used the larger one of the Mary Berry cakes for this. To satisfy the requests it had to have canned cherry pie filling poured over the top and then egg custard and be served at room temperature. The last time I made this I tried to update it. I bought bottled cherries from a deli, and made a sauce with arrowroot. I thought it tasted delicious and it satisfied my not too sweet, sweet-tooth....but there was an uproar something was missing, it didn't taste quite right......This one was wolfed down, as was the trifle, and the cupcakes, once decorated. The smaller Mary Berry cake was secreted away until Sunday and then filled with whipped cream, sweetened with a little icing sugar and flavoured with vanilla extract and chopped strawberries.... well it was a holiday.........and I only had a tiny smidgen.....honestly....