Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘easy baking’

The Vicar and I were married at St Andrew the Great in Cambridge. I’d been a member of the church for about eight years when we wed. The year before that the congregation had moved from the Round Church, a beautiful Norman building which had become far too small for the church to meet in. The move cost the church (as I recall) £1.8 million, as the new (to us) building needed extensive refurbishment, having been redundant for 25 years. The congregation gave generously, but there were a few more traditional fundraising efforts. One of these was a Round Church cookbook.

A recipe from the cookbook that I still use regularly is Rosemary Sennit’s malt loaf. It’s great for batch baking – I normally make three loaves at once and quick to put together. It’s egg free and therefore suitable for Asian Vegetarians & Vegans.  It’s low fat aswell and I now prefer it to the Soreen option – it’s less strong and squidgy, but still delicious with butter. All brilliant reasons to use this simple and tasty recipe.

Ingredients

  • 12oz self raising flour (1lb 8oz for double batch – you can double all the other ingredients easily yourself!)
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • 2oz sugar
  • 4oz raisins/sultanas or mix of them
  • 2 tbspn malt extract (buy it in a health food shop eg Holland and Barrett)
  • 1 tbspn black treacle
  • 1/2 pt milk

Put the flour and salt in a bowl, adding the sugar and dried fruit and mixing together. Put the malt, treacle and milk into microwave jug. I heat it for 1-2 minutes on maximum heat and then mix it together. You can also do this in a pan over a low heat on the stove. Then pour the liquid into the dry ingredients & mix thoroughly. Pour everything into a well buttered 3lb loaf tin, or one lined with a reusable liner. Or if you double the batch you can make three smaller loaves in 2lb tins – this is what I normally do. Don’t use a paper liner as these will stick (I speak from traumatic experience).

Bake at 180ºC (Gas 4, Fan 170ºC) for 40-45mins or so until firm to touch, and a skewer comes out clean. I’ve found that the cooking time is about the same for both sizes of loaf. The original recipe said to cook a single quantity in a 2lb loaf tin in 75mins, so if you only have that tin size your deeper loaf will take longer – you might want to cover up towards the end of cooking to prevent the dried fruit from burning, though. Turn out and cool on a rack, or you can leave to cool in the tin. Slice and eat with butter (or low fat marg for the health conscious).

Read Full Post »

This is a brilliantly quick and easy cookie recipe given to me by Mrs Rev Ted, whose husband was the Vicar’s boss when he did his curacy. So she was my training incumbent, and this recipe was an essential part of my vicar’s wife training. It’s speedy, just like Failsafe Flapjack and is also flexible so you can fill them with whatever you have to hand – chocolate chips, raisins, cranberries etc.

Ingredients

  • 3oz butter or margarine (soft is fine)
  • 3oz soft brown sugar (or caster sugar if you don’t have brown)
  • 3oz demerera sugar (or granulated)
  • 1/2 tspn vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 6oz self raising flour (or 5oz self raising flour, 1oz cocoa, 1/4 tspn baking powder)
  • 4oz chocolate chips, raisins, cranberries, or whatever you fancy

Cream the butter and sugars, then beat in the vanilla extract and egg. Finally add the flour (or flour, cocoa powder and baking powder for chocolate cookies) and your chocolate chips or raisins.

To bake them I line 3 baking trays with reusable silicone liners (you can use baking paper or grease your trays well) and use two teaspoons to make walnut-sized blobs of mixture. I can make about 40 standard biscuit-sized cookies from a single batch of this mixture. Bake them for 12-15 minutes at 180ºC (Gas 4, Fan 170ºC), until they have turned golden (you can only see this when they don’t have cocoa in them!) and have risen. They will flatten out again and harden a little whilst cooling – wait a few moments before transferring to cooling racks with a palette knife. If you slightly undercook them you can get a chewy cookie texture, or leave a little longer for a crunchier bite.

Options I have tried successfully for these cookies include double choc chip (cocoa in the mix with white choc chips) and cranberry and choc chip with a plain mix.

Double Choc Chip Can Do Cookies

Read Full Post »

Someone asked me recently for a low-fat traybake. Most of my cooking isn’t terribly healthy – I prefer to have a small slice of something delicious rather than a large wedge of something worthy. However, sometimes deliciousness and worthiness can combine, as is the case with these fantastic Date and Coconut Chews.

I was given this recipe by my friend Summer after we spent a very happy day off on a walk with her and her Vicar husband. We took a picnic lunch with us. I brought soup and Summer brought various treats including these. I’m not normally a fan of dates, but these slices are wonderful – chewy and sweet but full of fruit and coconut, which I think cancels out the butter and golden syrup.

Ingredients

  • 6oz/170g plain flour
  • 3 oz/85g dessicated coconut
  • 6oz/170g stoned dates, chopped
  • 6oz/170g caster sugar
  • 3oz/85g butter (you could use hard marg, but butter is tastier, isn’t it?)
  • 2 teaspoonfuls (1 dessertspoonful) golden syrup
  • 1 egg, beaten

Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup (I always do this in the microwave, but you can do it on the stove aswell). Stir the dry ingredients together then add the hot butter mixture and the egg. Mix everything well and then spread out in a lined 9″x11″ (23cmx28cm) tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180ºC (Gas 4, Fan 170ºC).

When cooled a little, cut into 24 slices. I did a little maths and reckon that each slice has about 3.5g of fat. This isn’t quite low enough to classify as ‘Low Fat’ in the US , but I think it’ll do.

[Late Edit: A Twitter pal tells me he's tried this recipe using prunes instead of dates and rice flour in the place of plain and that it worked really well. Good for those on a gluten-free diet then.]

Read Full Post »

Another week, another baking session. This cake is very moist and zingy with orange as you make it using the whole fruit, skin and everything. It’s also very simple as there’s no strenuous mixing involved.

The original recipe was in cups, but being a British baker, the inaccuracy of filling measuring vessels makes me nervous, so I have given a weight translation based on my cup measuring last night.

Today I topped this with a couple of candles for little Lollipop who was two, and we sang her Happy Birthday at Cake and Chat (the school mums coffee morning that I hold). I don’t think she actually ate any of the cake (more for us mums…), as it doesn’t really have enough butter icing for smaller people, but she seemed to enjoy blowing the candles out. This cake would also be good served warm with cream as a dessert.

Not exactly the WHOLE orange cake...

Ingredients

1 orange, including the skin
180g melted butter or soft marg
3 eggs
1 cup/220g caster sugar
1½ cups/210g self-raising flour

Put the marg in a microwave or on the stove to gently melt. Whilst that’s on, blitz the orange in a blender, having chopped it first so you can remove the pips and that white pith in the middle. I use the mini chopper that came with my stick blender.

Put the melted marg and the pureed orange in a mixing bowl and stir in all the other ingredients to make quite a sloppy batter. Pop in a greased and/or lined 8″ cake tin and bake for 40-45 minutes at 180°C (Gas 4).

My original recipe came with an icing made with icing sugar, orange juice and zest and melted butter. If you like your cake very sweet feel free…

Read Full Post »

Wednesdays is my baking day and since the recipe for lemonies seemed to go down pretty well the other week, today I’m going to share another Vicarage favourite bake. I’ve adapted the recipe from one in an Aussie cookbook sent to me by my oldest friend, who now lives in Sydney.

Wildwoman is a big foodie and thought I should would enjoy Bill’s food, which I did, very much. This cake has become a staple in our house, where we always seem to have some overripe bananas attracting fruit flies in the corner of the kitchen.

If you have a kitchen mixer, like a Kenwood chef, this is extra easy, but it should be just as simple with an electric mixer, or even to do by hand. Both versions are great. The pecans seem to almost caramelise as they bake, so I think it’s my favourite. But there’s also something about chocolate and bananas…

Choc Chip or Pecan Banana Loaf

Ingredients

250g/8oz self raising flour
250g/8oz caster sugar
125g/4oz soft margarine
4 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
150-200g/4-6oz chocolate chips or 100-150g/3-5oz chopped pecans

Plop everything in your mixer, or a bowl, and mix together. The batter doesn’t need to look too smooth – mine always look pretty lumpy. If your bananas are not very ripe at all, you should probably mush them up separately with a fork first. Then pop the mix into a lined (I use a nifty pre-cut reusable silicone liner) 2lb loaf tin.

Bake for 1hr-1hr15mins in your oven at 180ºC (Gas 4, Fan 170ºC). When it’s done, it will be firm to the touch and a skewer should come out pretty clean. Leave it to cool in the tin. This cake keeps really well, if you can manage not to eat it.

Here’s last week’s Pecan Banana loaf, which was popular with both the family and the gang at Cake and Chat.

I really hope you're not here for the quality of the photography

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,298 other followers

%d bloggers like this: