Monday, 28 September 2009

Courgette Cake

This has been adapted from an old Nigel Slater recipe. It sounds odd, but believe me, vegetables in cakes work! I have tweaked quantities here, and also vary ingredients such as the type of nuts and dried fruit used. I also use extra cinnamon, and always use golden caster sugar (although any light brown sugar works well). It's also worth trying with wholemeal flour. I use the round yellow type of courgette because it's what I have to hand, but any will do.

200g butter
200g caster sugar
200g plain flour
2 eggs
1 apple
Roughly 150 - 200g courgettes
80g nuts (walnuts or pecans work well)
80g dried fruit
Generous pinch of salt
Half a teaspoon of baking powder
Cinammon to taste (I use half to one teaspoon)

Butter and base line a large loaf tin, and preheat your oven to 180 C. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat the eggs and add them one at a time making sure you mix each one in thoroughly. Coarsely grate the apple and courgette, squeeze out all the excess moisture and add them to the mixture. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon and gently fold into the mixture, then stir in the nuts and dried fruit. Transfer to the loaf tin, and then bake for roughly an hour (until golden and firm). Cool in the tin before turning out.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Shropshire Honey Cake from Hopton House B&B

This is probably one of the simplest cakes in the world and one of the most delicious. I make mine with Shropshire honey & eggs from my own hens. Their yolks are such a vibrant yellow that the cake is beautiful and golden.
I would strongly recommend you make your cake with your own local honey & local free range eggs, you may then rename it to your local area - so far, since I first posted the recipe on Twitter, it has transmuted successfully into both Perthshire Honey Cake & Somerset Honey Cake and Texas Honey Cake is imminent!
It really does need to be eaten on the day it is made, preferably still warm from the oven.

Cake Ingredients
180g Shropshire Honey
140g butter
80g soft brown sugar
2 beaten eggs
200g self raising flour
1tsp cinnamon

Icing Ingredients
60g icing sugar
1 tbsp honey

1. Preheat oven to 180C and butter and line the bottom of a 18cm cake tin with bake-o-glide
2.Heat the honey, butter and sugar with a tablespoon of water in a large pan until melted.
3. Remove from the heat and mix in the eggs, flour & cinnamon, then put into the cake tin
4. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the cake is springy to the touch and shrinking slightly from the sides of the tin.
5. Cool in the tin for 20 minutes before turning onto a wire rack.
6. While the cake is still warm, make the icing. Mix icing sugar & honey with 2-3 teaspoons of hot water and then drizzle over the cake.

Hopton House, Shropshire - A Perfect Place to stay

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Pink Gooseberry Jam

Posted by hg_graceimaging but recipe from Doris Minter

Buy gooseberries and wash them. Cut of stalks and ends.

Cook in little water for about 10 minutes, the gooseberries themselves release lots of juice and let them simmer in it.

Take off the heat and mash or puree to desired consistency.

Remove from the pot and weigh the mass of fruit. Pour back into pot and stir in the same quantity of jam-making sugar.

Once the sugar desolves, add small lump of butter, all on low to medium heat.

Stir and bring to the boil. Boil for 4 minutes exactly.

Fill into clean jars. Cool and store.

Think it also needs to be kept in fridge after opening, due to dairy content.

Thanks to my German housemate, Doris, for supplying this recipe.

Blackberry, Honey and Polenta Cake

By Skye Gyngell

4 tbsp honey
200g/7oz blackberries

For the cake mixture

275g/9oz softened, unsalted butter
250g/8oz sugar
200g/7oz plain flour
A pinch of salt
2 tsp baking powder
200g/7oz yellow polenta
3 organic eggs, lightly beaten
100ml/31/2fl oz milk

Place the honey into a small saucepan and gently warm through. When just warm, remove from the stove and pour over the blackberries. Set aside while you make the cake mixture.

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Lightly grease and flour a 28cm cake tin. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then mix in the flour, salt, baking powder and polenta.

Add the eggs and milk and stir gently to form a soft dough – the mixture should easily drop from a spoon.

Spoon the batter into the cake tin and gently stud the blackberries into the top. Pour over whatever honey is left in the pan and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for an hour and a quarter.

To test whether the cake is cooked, insert a skewer into the centre; it should come out clean. Leave to cool and serve.*

(I find this delicious with cream poured over a slice...)