Tag Archives: ingredients

Cut and Come Again Cake Recipe

When I need my stress levels reduced…I bake.baking

When I feel stressed, worried, anxious, a bit low, or any combination of these and others I find it helps to bake a cake.

Or in the case of today 3!

Wow!

I have a lot on my mind at the moment!

Anyway – I more than replenished the cake supply, so hopefully there should be no grumblings in this house for a while!

But I digress.

I made a simple fruit cake – called a “Cut and Come Again” cake.

I had had this years ago at a friend’s house and she gave me the recipe which I long since lost, but today I thought I would try something different to cupcakes and managed to find a recipe posted onto Saint Delia Smith’s website by someone – it is not a Delia recipe.

It was seriously easy to make, smells amazing and tastes fab 😉

So, here you go recipe for “Cut and Come Again” cake:

Ingredients

  • 12oz (340g) Self-Raising Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Mixed Spice
  • 6oz (170g) Soft Margarine
  • 6oz (170g) Caster Sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 6oz (170g) Sultanas
  • 4oz (113g) Currants (or chopped nuts if you prefer)
  • 4oz (113g) Raisins
  • 3 tablespoons Milk

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 160°C (Fan) / Gas Mark 4 / 350°F
  • Grease and line a 20cm/8inch round cake tin
  • Measure all the ingredients into a large bowl, or food mixer
  • Beat well until thoroughly mixed
  • Pour mixture into tin and level the top
  • Bake for about 1-1¼ hours (until skewer comes out clean)
  • Leave to cool in tin for 10 minutes then turn out, peel off paper and cool on a wire rack.
  • Make a cup of tea and enjoy!

My Findings on Making the Cake

  1. This was a seriously easy cake to make – anyone can do it – from measuring out the ingredients to pouring into the cake tin literally took less than 10 minutes!
  2. I never use Caster Sugar in baking I always use soft brown sugar – only because I believe it is less refined and therefore slightly healthier – big emphasis on the slightly, after all it is still sugar! (I have tried fruit sugar alternative when I made cupcakes, total disaster, but that might work better with this recipe as well)
  3. I mixed all the ingredients, EXCEPT the fruit, first with my electric whisk for about 3/4 minutes, and then I added the fruit and mixed for a further minute – for me this seemed more logical, as you can see that everything has been mixed easier than if you have small dried fruit bits floating about!
  4. I put the cake in for 1 hour initially, then checked with the skewer, then I cooked for a further 5 minutes and the skewer came out clean. Everyone’s ovens are different and I would advise 1 hour first and then 5 minute intervals. For those that don’t know about the skewer test, it is purely to see if the cake is cooked – put a clean skewer into the middle of the cake, down to the bottom – if the skewer comes out with cake mixture on you can see that the mixture is still not quite cooked, if it comes out clean your cake is ready.
  5. This cake tastes extremely good when you are sat down with your feet up and a large mug of tea 😉
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Cooking

Warning: Allergy to Chocolate

Seriously! I have an allergy to chocolate.Chocolate

Not sure what part of the ingredient list it is, but I have just basically avoided the stuff since I was about 20, and realised it was what was making me more nuts than usual 😉

It’s not life threatening, I don’t come out in huge hives, rashes, or any other ‘normal’ allergic reaction.

Chocolate gives 99% of people a big ‘happy rush’, for me it has the opposite effect.

It literally sinks my mood completely, to the extent I could pretty much be Mr Hyde!!!

Then, it does something to all the muscles in my body, which become so incredibly tense that I cannot relax, or feel comfortable (being hyper-mobile does not help this). What then happens is I end up writhing about on the floor wanting to pretty much rip out all my joints from their sockets and put them back in, because that is the only way I would be able to feel less tense and tetchy.

It is not a pretty sight!

So I’m pretty pernickity when it comes to checking ingredients, etc.

Some seemingly innocent things can contain chocolate!

Mr Wrong No. 2 didn’t care whether he ate chocolate and then came near me (like I’d let him when I knew) and Mr Wrong No. 1 just thought I was nuts anyway!

There is only 1 person who has been sensitive and considerate enough about this matter, when I have told them.

Thankfully, this is the only serious thing that affects me.

Shellfish just makes me throw up!

Leave a comment

Filed under life

I’ve Done It!

I am a recovering ‘biscuit-a-holic’.Biscuits

It’s been a whole year since my last biscuit.

They were my bete noir, my one temptation, my big bulimic tendency – whenever I felt a bit down, I would reach out for the biscuits and would quite happily munch through near-on a whole packet with a cup of tea.

But no more.

I gave them up for Lent in 2011 and found that pretty easy. So last December – after having one too many – I decided to give them up completely.

Again the stopping was very easy, and then from not having eaten them, my sense of smell underwent a drastic detox.

No longer when I opened the biscuit tin (SC is partial to a Malted Milk) did I smell delicious biscuit smells.

Oh no!

All I could smell when I opened the biscuit tin was the processed fats and sugars.

It took 10 days for the nice smell to go, and gradually over the course of a month the sense of the vile processed smell increased.

And now, a year on, the vile processed smell is still there. It is quite repulsive, and makes me glad I don’t indulge any more.

I can honestly say, that I do not feel the need to have a biscuit and even when I have made them at home with SC I do not feel the urge to eat one.

Biscuit addiction – cured 😉

Leave a comment

Filed under General

Cupcake Disaster!!

The weekend saw my first major-league cupcake DISASTER!!

I had used a new recipe 2 weeks ago – the Primrose Bakery vanilla cupcake recipe.

It was a good recipe and resulted in a good textured cupcake. More akin to the shop-bought cupcakes than I have managed to get in my attempts so far.

I’m not sure if it was because the recipe used a larger quantity of all-purpose flour in relation to self-raising flour, or because when it came to adding the flour and milk the recipe said “beat”, so I dispensed with the folding technique and just carried on using my electric beater.

Anyway, I used the same recipe again at the weekend.

I thought when I was spooning the mixture into the cake cases that it didn’t look, or feel right. Then the cakes didn’t rise as much as normal.

I had no inkling anything could be wrong.

But the cakes were so YUCK, even SC couldn’t eat them. He took one mouthful, look puzzled, then took a smaller mouthful, before spitting it out and saying “YUCK! These are disgusting!”

I was at a loss. I had used the same recipe, what could possibly have gone wrong?

I narrowed it down to 2 possibilities:

1.  I had used different sugar. I replaced my light brown sugar with fruit sugar – natural sugar where you need to use one-third less.

or

2. I had done something wrong in the mixing process.

I had also made a batch of rock cakes that morning using the fruit sugar – yes, Saturday is a good morning. The kitchen always smells scrummy!

The rock cakes had turned out fine, and tasted good.

So, I don’t think it could have been the use of a different sugar.

Where had I, then, gone wrong in the mixing process?

The only thing I could think of that I had done differently was to keep the beater on whilst adding the flour and milk. I must have over-beaten it. I had no idea this was even possible to over-beat a cake!

When I was adding the last remnants of milk into the mixture it did keep clinging to the beater. I guess that should have given me a clue that something was wrong.

Still, we live and learn. One batch of bad cupcakes is not a total disaster, just a learning curve.

Note to self, don’t over-mix next time.

I did make another batch on Sunday morning, still using the beater but making sure I turned it off between flour and milk additions, and the cakes turned out perfectly 😉

1 Comment

Filed under Cooking

Cupcake Trials #4

Well, I made another batch.

Now, when I was young a supermarket used to sell cupcakes, nothing as fancy as todays standards, but just sponge with an icing top. The cakes were very dense in texture, but light at the same time. How?

I had a teeny, tiny, blip when adding the flour and milk. My mind had wandered off and I just weighed out the self-raising flour straight into the mixture, and was about to do the same with the plain flour, when I realised, what I had done.

So the mixture had self-raising flour added and folded in, then some milk, then half the amount of plain flour, some more milk, the remaining flour and then the remaining milk.

This oversight on my part has not, thankfully caused any difference to the cakes. They are still edible 😉

I just can’t get the texture of ones you get at the bakery (and I’m not talking cupcake specialists here). They still just have the consistency of a  slightly denser Victoria sponge.

Could it be that I should only use plain (all-purpose) flour and dispense with the self-raising aspect and add a small amount of baking powder, to assist with the rising?

Also I use pure vanilla extract, and I still can’t taste it. Is vanilla essence stronger, even though it’s not as ‘pure’?

Leave a comment

Filed under Cooking

Cupcake Attempt #3 – The Verdict

Great texture, cooked to perfection.

My mother’s reaction to a blind test with Batch 2 and Batch 3, was she preferred the taste of Batch 2, but the texture of Batch 3.

The rest of the family loved them.

To date I have been trying to perfect the method of making a perfect set of cupcakes. I have yet to try anything more difficult than a simple vanilla cupcake and don’t even ask about frosting and decorations.

I think that I shall keep to using my soya margarine and brown sugar instead of real butter and white sugar, as the former are slightly more delicate on the old cholesterol levels. Cupcakes made from real butter, etc shall be kept for very special occasions.

The next task on the quest will be to try to get a more vanillary flavour to the cakes. I have used the correct amount and more than stated, but to no avail. The vanilla flavour is not there at all.

I am using vanilla extract and not vanilla flavour, but would the answer be to use vanilla sugar as well as vanilla extract?

Batch 4 this week!

Leave a comment

Filed under Cooking

Cupcake Trials – Attempt #3

A bad workman always blames his tools. So in the spirit of this old saying I will say that the first 2 cupcake batches have not turned out perfectly due to lack of the right equipment.

Actually, it is more correct to say that it was just a bad workman!

The first attempt I used a recipe that I found online. It was a ‘Magnolia Bakery’ recipe. Yes! That famous New York City cupcakery made famous by Sex & the City

Not that the cakes turned out inedible, far from it. Let’s just say that when one copies a recipe off the internet it is wise to copy all of it and not just the ingredients list! I made-up the recipe Using the same method I do for fairy cakes, popped the oven on the same temperature and guessed the length of cooking time.

Looking back, the lessons learned were to read the whole recipe and put the oven at the correct temperature!

For the second batch I found a vanilla cupcake recipe in a party cake book that had been languishing at the back of my wardrobe for ages. Pretty much the same recipe as the ‘Magnolia’ one, but this time I had a method as well. Foolproof? You would think, wouldn’t you?

I followed the recipe to the letter, remembering to alternate between flour and milk at the folding stage. I had the oven at the correct temperature, at least I think I did, and put them in to cook for the correct amount of time. Checking with a skewer before removing them from the oven.

The result?

A much better cupcake consistency, but they were slightly undercooked and still the tops cracked. They did not have that perfect dome top!

Thinking about the first 2 batches, they are a bit like my 2 major relationships. The first a complete disaster and the second seemingly the right mix, but on further inspection another unmitigated disaster!

Third attempt this afternoon, after purchase of a proper tin to cook cupcakes in. I dispensed with using proper butter and White caster sugar and reverted to my normal soya margarine and light brown sugar.

The result?

Well they smell OK, seem to be better cooked. Haven’t tasted them yet, but it looks promising.

Will let you know how they taste!

2 Comments

Filed under Cooking