Saturday, 21 August 2010

Let them eat Cake!

As promised I’ve finally got round to blogging the cakes that I made for the family gathering at the lodge. Everyone had a wonderful time and we all enjoyed the beautiful quiet and peaceful surroundings, although with 12 adults and 5 small kids we made enough noise of our own. Meal times were busy and I have to give all praise to my mother in law for cooking and feeding such a big crowd, the large utility room with its long work surfaces came into its own when plating up for dinner. But with no dishwasher it was a case of drawing straws for who got to do the washing up. One night, with no exaggeration, it took hubby an hour to wash up the dishes. I sat sipping my wine thanking the stars it wasn’t me but I had lined up my excuses in readiness! That probably makes me sound really lazy but we all helped through-out the weekend and of course my small contribution and one I wouldn’t be able to turn up without was my home-made cakes. I’m known through-out the family for my cooking and baking and I’m not joking when I say people get upset if I don’t bring a cake. So below are the cakes, one I’ve baked before and two that are new to my baking repertoire, that were loved, enjoyed and devoured by everyone! Above are some pics of the lodge, isn't it gorgeous? I love it there!

St Clement’s Drizzle Cake

175g caster sugar
175g softened butter
grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
4 tablespoons milk
2 eggs
175g self-raising flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 180oC/fan 160oC/gas 4.

Grease and line the base of 1 large (900g) or 2 small (450g) loaf tins.

Place the caster sugar, butter and zest of the lemon and orange in a bowl and beat together until pale and creamy. Add the milk, and then beat in the eggs, one at a time, with a spoon of flour to prevent the mixture from curdling. Mix in the remaining flour. Spoon into the prepared tin/tins and level the surface flat.

Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes for a large cake or 30 minutes for the smaller cakes until they are golden and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.

While the cake is cooking, place the lemon and orange juice in a saucepan, bring to the boil and allow to reduce in quantity to about 3 tablespoons. Leave to cool, and then stir in the granulated sugar so it just starts to dissolve.

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, prick several times with a skewer, then slowly pour the lemon and orange sugar all over the top, letting it soak into the cake. Leave to cool completely in the tin before turning out and cutting into slices to serve.

Light Fruit Cake with Pecans and Coconut

butter, for greasing
175g/6oz butter, softened
175g/6oz caster sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
250g/9oz self-raising flour
175g/6oz sultanas
175g/6oz currants
50g/2oz chopped pecan nuts
25g/1oz dessicated coconut

Preheat the oven to 160oC/fan oven 140oC/gas mark 3.

Grease and line a round 20cm/8inch cake tin

Place the butter and sugar in an electric mixer and beat together until they are pale and fluffy. Gradually beat the eggs into the mixture. Don’t worry if it looks curdled, it doesn’t matter at all. Now fold in the flour, followed by the rest of the ingredients.

Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and bake for between 1 ¼ - 1 ½ hours. After 30 minutes, cover the cake with a piece of foil to prevent it from browning too much. To check if the cake is cooked, insert a sharp knife or skewer into the centre of the cake – if it comes out clean, it is cooked.

Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Cherry and Almond Loaf

175g/6oz unsalted butter, softened
175g/6oz caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon and juice of ½ lemon
3 free-range eggs, beaten
225g/8oz glaće cherries, rinsed and halved
75g/2¾oz self-raising flour, sifted
75g/2¾oz plain flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
75g/2¾oz ground almonds
Splash of milk (optional)

Preheat the oven to 190oC/170oC fan oven/375oF/gas mark 5. Butter a 900g/2lb loaf tin, then line with greaseproof paper.

Cream together the butter, sugar, lemon zest and juice, using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer or by hand. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating after each addition.

Toss the cherries in a little of the flour to help them cling to the cake mixture instead of dropping to the bottom. Next, mix together the flours, salt, almonds and cherries and add to the batter, stirring well until the cherries are evenly distributed. The cake mixture needs to be fairly stiff, but add a splash of milk if you feel you need to.

Bake for 50-55 minutes, then test for doneness by inserting a skewer into the loaf’s centre; if it comes out clean, it is done. If you find the top is browning too much before the loaf is ready, simply cover with foil and let is carry on baking.

Remove the loaf to a wire rack, leaving it in the greaseproof paper until cold.


Lucie said...

Oh my goodness, it is just adorable! Lovely photos - thanks for sharing them. Your cakes, as always look totally delish! Love Lucie x

Morellocherry said...

cute pics! i really love the look of the cakes :)

Jill said...

Why hasn't my family got a lodge??????

You lucky devil - what a super, gorgeous place to visit/stay. I'm so darn jealous.

Cakes, as always, look amazing.

Jill x

Emmalene said...

Oh my G, Maria that all looks delicious- my type of cakes! And the lodge is beautiful...

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

Your cottage getaway looks and sounds amazing. I am so envious of the green grass and the gorgeous trees, that's what made me like the UK. Plus, your cakes are truly baked to perfection! Each one shines and has a great recipe. I'm sure they were very much appreciated. I'm saving the Lemon one away for a raining day :)

Heather said...

I love them all! My next loaf cake will be the Almond and Cherry Cake - I'm pretty sure it will be a treat at work.

busygran said...

What a great place to get away!
What scrumptious cakes!

The Curious Cat said...

They look delicious - so nice to have a talent and be praised for it and to be in demand! I'd like to think people think that about my cooking too...I hope so! Sounds like a lovely get away - always nice to get a group together and go and enjoy yourselves! Shame about the washing up though! Small price to pay

Chele said...

So what exactly do I need to do to get invited to your next family outting???? ;0)

Brownieville Girl said...

Feeling REALLY hungry now!!!!

Wonderful selection.

crazydaisy said...

Fab photos, definitely something seductive about the word just whispers 'cook me...'!!!

Moogie said...

Hi... I'm the newest follower to your great blog.

Nic's Notebook said...

Mmmm the St Clements drizzle cake looks lovely and moist. May have to try this recipe. I tried one before and the cake was so heavy! PS - Over 200 cookbooks???!!! lol... ;)

Cara said...

gorgeous cakes! you are welcome to join my family reunion next time :)

Kelly-Jane said...

Beautiful place, and gorgeous cakes :)

Margaret said...

The Saint Clements cake is one of my favourite cakes ever!

The Caked Crusader said...

I've tagged the light fruit cake with pecan and coconut recipt - I think it's in Lotte Duncan's book. It looks lovely so you've inspired me to go ahead and make it!

Maria♥ said...

Thanks everyone ;o)

CC, the Light Fruit Cake with Pecans and Coconut is from Lotte's new book. This cake is a definiate must bake!


Tracey said...

I have just made the St. Clement's Drizzle Cake and WOW, it is fantastic. Thank you so much for posting this recipe, it really is so moorish. I think I cooked it a little longer than I should as its not light brown on top but it doesnt taste burnt at all. I hope I get some visitors otherwise I will be eating the lot. Chocolate cake next. Thanks again Maria