Tag Archives: Cakes

Food Monday ~ Two for the price of one


I had a different post in mind for today, but I already wrote it last year.

So since I have not posted any recipes for quite some time, I will do so today in honour of the lady in the link above – Mammy.

I learned at my mother’s side, all those years ago….. that having a recipe sitting in front of you, does not mean the dish or cake will turn out as printed! 😉

His recipe for Cranberry Walnut Apple Cake was shared with us by Cecilia of THEKITCHENSGARDEN back at the end of last year. She described it as being very moist and soft in texture. I liked the sound of it and was anxious to try it. I made it, loved it and will do so again and again.

I was a little worried about the moisture level: sugar, oil, eggs and cranberries, especially if the fruit had been frozen. So using my carrot cake recipe for reference (it is made with oil), I began with one cup of muscavado sugar the only brown in my pantry that day. A whiz round and it still looked oily, so I added another tablespoonful of caster sugar. Happy with that I added the eggs and vanilla.

The dry ingredients were as listed, and added to the food processor. The mixture seemed heavy like soft toffee, but I continued and put the mixture in a large bowl before adding and mixing by hand, the remaining ingredients.

I used:

1. Whole fresh cranberries – well, as fresh as they can be after swimming across the pond, we do not grow them in these parts.
2. A diced Bramley apple – about 350g before the skin and core were removed.
3. Walnut pieces without further chopping.
4. Lemon zest.

I like to see what I am eating in a cake.

My next change was to use my holy tin savarin cake tin for more surface area and to prevent a soggy middle. The extra, I put in a one pound loaf tin. And baked them at 175°C/340°F. The small cake was ready after an hour and I covered the ring tin with greaseproof paper for another 30 minutes.

resting and cooling

resting and cooling

Once cooled, I cut the small cake. It was delicious and not too sweet, nicely moist, but inclined to crumble when sliced. I liked the fact that it was possible to taste each individual fruit and nut piece.

want a slice

want a slice

I did make it again, this time doubling the quantities and filled two 2lb and two 1lb loaf tins. I used a small on in the days leading up to the holidays, gifted the other one to a friend, I wanted a two pounder for my sister and wrapped and froze the last one. When I thawed that last loaf cake, it cut like a dream in perfect slices without crumbling and tasted perfect!

Cranberry Walnut Apple Cake

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar and
1/2 cup vegetable oil
add 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla
In separate bowl.

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tsp salt

stir then add

2 cups grated apple,
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 pound fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries
the zest of a lemon

Toss, coating fruit in flour mixture.

Add to oil mixture, stir – then into baking tin and bake at 350 for 50 -60 minutes. Or until the cake is coming away from the sides of the tin and firm to the touch.


On Saturday last, I was in the mood to bake so I set this recipe on the counter. Since fresh cranberries were not available, I decided to try a little variation of apples apricots, and pecans adding ground almonds and almond extract in place of the vanilla.

Apricot Pecan & Apple Cake
Preheat the oven to 175°C/340°F

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar and
1/2 cup vegetable oil
add 3 eggs and 1 tsp almond extract
In separate bowl.

2 cups flour
⅓ cup of ground almonds
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tsp salt

stir then add

2 cups diced apple,
1/2 cup roughly chopped Pecans
1/2 pound ready to eat apricots, quartered

Toss, coating fruit in flour mixture.

Add to oil mixture, stir – then into baking tin and bake for 50 -60 minutes. Or until the cake is coming away from the sides of the tin and firm to the touch.

This time I used a rectangular spring loaded tin and it worked perfectly and sliced like a dream.

Apricot Pecan & Apple Cake

Apricot Pecan & Apple Cake

Fancy a slice?

Fancy a slice?

Today I will enjoy a slice or two as I sing a quiet Happy 101st Birthday to Mammy!

UPDATE: Viv asked about converting weights and measures.  This graphic below may help her and anyone else who might be confused.

Weights and Measures

Weights and Measures

A page from an old magazine that I found years ago. You can zoom in on any section. I think it covers most of the FAQs to do with baking.


Food Monday ~ Apple Cake

Apple Cake
Preheat the oven to 190°C
75g Margarine
75g Sugar
2 Eggs, beaten
100g Self-Raising Flour
1oz Ground Almonds
Zest of ½ Lemon
Few drops Vanilla essence
2 Dessert Apples, unpeeled, cored, washed and sliced in segments

To Glaze: apricot Jam

Place all the ingredients except the apples in a food processor and blend for 2 minutes. Pour mixture into a prepared 8inch cake tin. Place a layer of apples on top of cake.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Glaze with apricot Jam while the cake is still warm

Food Monday ~ Coconut Cake

Coconut Cake
Preheat the oven to 180°C

8 ozs Self  Raising Flour
4 ozs Butter
4 ozs caster sugar
3 ozs desiccated Coconut
1 Egg, beaten
6 tablespoons Coconut Milk

Sift flour into a bowl & rub in butter to form fine breadcrumbs.  Stir in caster sugar and desiccated coconut.  Add beaten egg and coconut milk.  Spoon into an oiled and lined 1 lb loaf tin.  Smooth surface and bake for an hour, or until a skewer inserted in centre of the cake comes out clean.  Cool in tin.

Food Monday ~ Squidgy Chocolate Roulade

With Easter coming up I thought I would share a little treat to grace the Easter table.

Squidgy  Chocolate Roulade
Preheat the oven to 180°C

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
4 ozs good quality plain chocolate
4 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
4 ozs caster sugar

½ pint of double cream
4 ozs chocolate – I use dark, but you can use milk or white if you wish.
Icing sugar to garnish and fresh fruit to decorate.

Grease and line a 28cm x33cm swiss roll tin with non-stick baking paper.
Mix the coffee granules to a smooth paste with 1 tablespoon of hot water.
Break the chocolate in small pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl over hot water and melt gently.
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until the mixture is thick and pale, then fold in the cooled coffee and melted chocolate.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold 2 tablespoons into the chocolate mixture to loosen the mixture. Then fold in the remaining egg whites, keeping the mixture as light as possible.
Pour into prepared tin and smooth gently.
Bake for 15 minutes, the top will be crusty but the underneath soft.
Put the tin onto a wire rack to cool and cover with a clean damp tea towel and leave overnight. This will soften the crust.

Sprinkle a large sheet of greaseproof paper with icing sugar. Remove the tea towel from the roulade and turn it out on the sugared paper. Peel off the lining paper then trim away all four crusty edges.
Whip the cream until stiff, fold in the grated chocolate and spread over the roulade.
Roll up, using the paper to help lift it.  The roulade may crack, but this is quite usual.
Place on a serving plate and dredge with icing sugar. Decorate with fresh fruit and serve.

Food Monday ~ Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake
Preheat the oven to 175°C

6 fl ozs Sunflower Oil
6 ozs Caster Sugar
3 Eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 ozs Walnuts
10 ozs Carrots
zest and Juice of ½ an Orange
6 ozs Plain Flour
1 teaspoon Bicarbonate Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Salt

Place the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a bowl.  Beat well.  Roughly chop nuts.  Wash, peel and grate the carrots.  Add carrots & nuts to oil mixture with zest and orange juice, flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Mix well and pour into a greased and lined 8 inch tin or 2 lb loaf tin.  Bake for approx 1 hour and 15 minutes.

For icing:
8 ozs icing sugar    2-3 tablespoons lemon or orange juice
Mix the sugar into the juice and spoon over the warm cake.

Food Monday ~ Tea Time Fruit Cake

Tea Time Fruit Cake
Preheat the oven to 175°C

7 ozs Self Raising flour
5 ozs caster sugar
4 ozs butter
2 eggs (large)
grated rind of an orange
2 tablespoons orange juice
4 ozs sultanas
2 ozs mixed peel

Place the flour, sugar and butter into a food processor.  Break in the eggs and process for 5 seconds.  Add the orange rind and juice and process for 3-5 seconds.  Add dried fruit and peel and mix.  Turn into a greased and lined 1 lb loaf tin.  Bake for 45 – 60 minutes.  Test with a metal skewer, if it comes out clean the cake is done. Cool in tin on a wire rack.

Food Monday ~ Christmas Cake

I had a request on Twitter the other day for a Christmas cake recipe.  I have used a wedding cake recipe for this purpose since 1960.  I have also made at least three, 3 tier wedding cakes with it over the years.

3 Tier Wedding Cake

Cake size               12 inch           9 inch         6inch

Mixed Fruit*                50ozs                30ozs            10ozs
Mixed Peel, chopped   10ozs                6ozs              2ozs
Prunes**                      5ozs                  3ozs              1oz
Dates                           5ozs                  3ozs              1oz
Cherries                       5ozs                  3ozs              1oz
Cooking Apple, diced    1                       ½                  ½ (small)
Nuts***                        5ozs                   3ozs             1oz
Ground Almonds         5ozs                   3ozs             1oz
Nutmeg                       ½ tsp                   ¼ tsp             ¼ tsp
Mixed Spice                 ½ tsp                  ¼ tsp             ¼ tsp
Grated Lemon rind       1                        ½                   ¼
Butter                          15ozs                  9ozs             3ozs
Caster Sugar                15ozs                 9ozs             3ozs
Eggs                            10                       6                   2
Plain Flour                   19ozs                  11ozs           4ozs
Whiskey                       9tblsps                6tblsps         3tb tblsps

* I use Sultans & Raisins
** Try glazed pineapple, mango or papaya
*** I use Almonds, walnuts, pecans or a mixture of all three

Preheat oven to 100°C

Grease and double line each baking tin.  Wrap a double layer of brown paper around the outside of the tin, securing it with string.
Clean the fruit; add the nuts, cherries and peel.
Sift flour and add the spices.
Beat the eggs.
Cream the butter and sugar add a little of the egg and a spoonful of the flour and mix well.  Repeat until all the egg and flour have been added.
Add the ground almonds and mix through, then add the chopped cooking apple.
Mix in the fruit a handful at a time.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, making a slight depression in the centre.  Bake for the required time.

Bake 12 inch cake for 6 hours
Bake 9 inch cake for 4-5 hours
Bake 6 inch cake for 1hour 45 minutes

Towards the end of cooking time, test the cake by inserting a skewer into the centre.  When it comes out clean, the cake is ready.  If the top of the cake starts to become too brown, cover it with a double thickness of greaseproof paper.  Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin on a wire rack.
Prick top or cake and pour over the whiskey, wrap in greaseproof paper and then a layer of foil.  Store in a tin with half an apple.  The apple will need replacing after a couple of weeks.

Food Monday ~ Chestnut Meringue Cake

Last week Nancy asked for a sugar rush, so here goes….

Chestnut Meringue Cake
Preheat oven to 180ºC

8 egg whites
1lb caster sugar

For the filling
14oz unsweetened chestnut puree
3ozs dark chocolate, melted in 1 tsp water
3ozs dark brown sugar
½ pint cream whipped
Icing sugar to sprinkle

Cover two baking sheets with parchment and mark into 12in rounds – I often use an oval shape.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff and then add the caster sugar one spoon at a time.  Continue whisking after each addition.  Spoon the mixture onto the prepared trays to fill the circle or oval shapes.
Bake for 20 minutes or until light brown.  Cool.

Beat the chestnut purée, melted chocolate and brown sugar in a bowl and, when smooth, fold in the whipped cream.  Remove the meringue from the paper and place one layer on a serving plate.  Spread with the chestnut filling, then put the other on top.  Sprinkle on icing sugar and serve chilled.
Serves 8-10

Food Monday ~ Chocolate and Hazelnut Layer Cake

Chocolate and Hazelnut Layer Cake
Preheat the oven to 190°C

4 medium Eggs
110g caster sugar
110g all purpose flour
110g dark chocolate, grated.

For the filling:
200g chocolate hazelnut spread
280 mls low-fat yoghurt
Cocoa powder, sifted for dusting.

Chocolate mini eggs for decoration.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until pale and very thick.  Fold in the sieved flour and grated chocolate.  Pour the mixture into a greased & lined, 20.5 cm round loose based cake tin.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until well risen and firm to the touch,  Leave to cool in the tin for 10minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Split the cake into 4 layers.  Cover three layers on one side with chocolate spread and yoghurt, then sandwich layers together.  Place the remaining layer on top and dust with a little sifted cocoa powder.  Decorate with mini chocolate eggs.

Food Monday ~ Sweet Mincemeat Ring

Another quick and easy way to use up left over mincemeat not used for mince pies.

Sweet Mincemeat Ring
Preheat the oven to 175°C

8 ozs Self Raising flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 ozs Butter
4 ozs caster sugar
6 ozs mincemeat
1 large egg beaten
¼ pint milk

Sieve flour and salt, rub in the butter. Add the sugar and mince meat and mix with beaten egg and milk.  Bake for 45 minutes in a greased ring tin.  Turn out onto a wire tray and while still warm cover with the icing.

For the icing:
4 ozs icing sugar
2 dessertspoons of milk
½ teaspoon Vanilla essence
½ oz walnuts chopped
½ oz cherries chopped

Sieve the sugar and add the milk & vanilla essence, then spoon over the warm ring loaf and decorate with cherries and walnuts.