Days seem to zoom past, weekends too. It rained and the flood defence went up at the end of the village. The main street into town flooded. The post wasn't collected or delivered and people canoed down the high street into town. It took poor H, two and a half hours to get home from work each day...(wading not canoeing.) But the water subsided, and out of the blue it snowed...just one lovely powdery dusting, and the postman returned with a surprise parcel from one of my sisters, lovely old vintage bag and book for cosy Christmas reading, nice long letter too.
In-between we squeezed one Friday night trip to town for Light Night, and a Saturday afternoon shopping in Abingdon with reindeers, Morris Men, Punch and Judy, Carol singing, what looked like a a Hog roast and all the fun of the fair. Unusual mixture of traditional things. Oh and watched this again with H who hasn't seen it before, I'd forgotton how lovely and quirky it is...and now want to decorate an undersea room.
Busy days like these, I am thankful for easy recipes like fish cakes made with Japanese Panko crumb, and whatever the fridge or store cupboard provided. But am especially grateful for Mary Berry's all-in-one cake recipes. You genuinely just put everything in one big bowl, mix it up, put it in a baking pan and then bake it. I think I've tried all of her all-in-one recipes over the last couple of weeks. The last two being Carrot Cake and Hokey Pokey Coffee Cake. Not the best photos, slightly over cooked pak choi and sunken carrot cake...I opened the oven door too soon, but the Hokey Pokey was fine and they were all scrumptious and soon there'll be time to bake leisurely, and slowly cook sumptuous meals.
To make Mary Berry's Hokey Pokey Coffee Cake you will need:
- 225g/8oz butter or alternative
- 225g/8oz caster sugar. (I used a cup of Maple syrup instead)
- 225g/8oz Self Raising flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp of Baking Powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee mixed with 1 tablespoon hot water
- 75g/3oz chopped walnuts
- 2 tbsp water
- 50g/2 oz caster sugar
- 50g/2 oz walnut pieces
For the Butter Icing
- 75g/3oz softened butter
- 250g/9oz sifted icing sugar
- 1 1/2tsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1 1/2 tbspn hot water
- Lightly grease a couple of 8in/20cm baking pans and pre-heat the oven to 160c/325f/gas mark 3.
- Place all the above ingredients in a large bowl and beat together until combined. Divide the mixture into the two pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown, well risen and beginning to shrink away from the side of the baking tins.
- Allow to cool in the tins for a few minutes and then remove and turn onto a wire cake rack to cool.
To make the praline:
- Put the water and sugar in a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar turns nut brown.
- Turn off the heat straight away. Stir in the nuts and pour the mixture onto an oiled baking tray.
- Leave to cool.
- When cooled break up into rough pieces. Keeping the best pieces to decorate the top, chop up the remainder to add to the icing in the middle of the cake.
To make the butter icing:
- Put all the ingredients for the butter icing into a bowl and mix until blended.
To put the cake together, choose the one with the best top and keep to one side. Turn the other one up-side-down and spread with half the butter icing and the chopped praline. Place the second cake on top and ice with the remaining icing, then decorate with the praline pieces.
I didn't make the butter icing as I have an aversion to it since making a chocolate log at school that was smothered with chocolate butter icing and eating more than my fair share of it. But we love the Mary Berry recipe for chocolate icing on her Chocolate and Vanilla marble loaf so I adapted that using an ounce of melted butter, instant coffee dissolved in hot water a little milk and icing sugar. It makes a lovely shiny icing that's not too rich.
I think it might be the maple syrup cake next...
How was your weekend?
joining amanda for hers