Archive for the 'Cakes' Category

on weaknesses: sweet things

April 30, 2008

mrB and I have been watching Lark Rise to Candleford, a period drama set in rural England at the end of the 1800’s. One of the main characters, Miss Lane, the postmistress of Candleford, confesses in almost every episode about her one weakness, which usually involves eating something sweet that her housekeeper has baked especially for the occasion.

She’s not the only one to have developed a weakness for sweet things. I love to eat cake in the afternoons, washed down with a good cup of coffee or tea. Last week, my afternoons were fuelled by a delicious fat-free chocolate cake baked by our lovely neighbours. This week, it’s the turn of my very own white chocolate cake. I was proud to return the clean plate with a few slices hiding under some foil. Only this time, the cake was not quite so healthy on the fat front. But sshhh, don’t tell the neighbours!

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Devon cream tea: clotted cream or jam on top?

April 15, 2008

mrB and I were in Devon last week, land of the cream tea. Except we didn’t lay our sticky fingers on a single scone. We had some fine asparagus tart and rhubarb crumble, all cooked by mrB’s mum, but no scone, strawberry jam or clotted cream. And I’d been hankering after a cream tea for weeks. You see, you just can’t get a quality cream tea over here in East Anglia. Either you end up with a pot of whipped cream, or the scones are way too big.

So this morning, I set about making my own clotted cream and baking some scones. All is well with the world again. 

Now the question is, do you spread the jam or the clotted cream first? mrB insists on spreading the cream like butter and then placing a dollop of jam on the top…

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yoghurt cake with lemon and poppy seeds

April 10, 2008

Now here’s a cake for those of you who don’t have weighing scales or a mixer in your kitchen. All the measuring is done with yoghurt pots and spoons; the mixing is done with a hand whisk.

I’d been thinking about making yoghurt cake for about a week now. Then, earlier this week, Deb of smitten kitchen posted a recipe for lemon yoghurt anything cake, a kind of lemon drizzle cake with blueberries that had my mouth watering. I particularly liked Deb’s suggestion of replacing the blueberries with poppy seeds, and so there you have it: yoghurt cake with lemon and poppy seeds.

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happy easter 2008!

March 20, 2008

hotcrossbuns.jpg

I’ve been good. I haven’t bought or eaten a single hot cross bun, not even last week when I wandered past a bakery in Cambridge and that lovely cinnamon and spice smell followed me down the street.

We had our first attempt at making hot cross buns two years ago and I remember the experience was time consuming but worth the effort. Well, except for the crosses that were made only of flour and water. This time the paste for the crosses has sugar in it so it doesn’t taste so bland and it has melted neatly onto the surface of the buns, giving a more pleasing appearance.

It seemed to take just as long this time to make the buns. Maybe I should have followed Delia’s recipe because in this recipe, the dough is left to rise three times. It’s adapted from the exceptional breads book. This recipe is best tried on a rainy day, just like it was today.

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