Tag Archives: loaf

Sticky marmalade tealoaf…

I’ve developed an all encompassing addiction for my homemade Seville Orange marmalade…slathered on hot buttered toast, it can quell even the worst of hangovers and brighten the rainiest of days. But stock levels are dwindling and I’ve had to ration my last couple of jars very carefully. However, the other day, having promised a friend that I would bake for them, I decided to throw caution to the wind and use the last jar in an attempt to make a double whammy of homemade goodness…

sticky marmalade tealoaf…

I was a bit worried that I had overcooked it, but despite my apprehension at the slightly darker colour of the cake…it turned out to be delicious! The chunky marmalade not only added texture to the cake along with the pecans but also made the most amazing sticky glaze to top it off perfectly!

Here’s the recipe…

140g marmalade

175g butter, softened

175g light muscovado sugar

3 eggs, beaten

225g self raising flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp mixed spice

100g packet pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin (or if you’re jammy like me, you’ll have a silicone loaf tin!).

Save about 1 tbsp of the marmalade in a small pan for later.

Put the rest of the marmalade and the other ingredients, except the pecans into a bowl and mix together for a couple of minutes until smooth and light. At this stage you can stir in three quarters of the pecans.

Pour the batter into the tin and smooth the top. Sprinkle the remaining pecans over and bake in the oven for 1 – 1 1/4 hours. You’ll need to cover the tin loosely with foil after about 35-40 minutes of cooking otherwise it will burn. After an hour (or just before), take the cake out and insert a skewer into its middle. If it comes out clean…it’s ready! If not pop it back in for a few more minutes and check again.

Once you’re happy that it’s cooked, remove it from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack for a while.

Gently heat up the marmalade that you set aside earlier, this is going to provide a gorgeous sticky glaze for your loaf. Once the marmalade is liquid and smooth, spread it over the warm cake and there you have it…

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Sod the New Year’s diet…

Christmas just wouldn’t feel like Christmas if I didn’t receive a cookery book of some description. This year my Mum bought me a little, unassuming looking recipe book called 101 cakes and bakes published by BBC Good Food. It’s chock full of really great sounding recipes, one of which I tried here back in September.

My sudden urge to get baking was also spurred on by the need to christen my new silicone 2lb loaf tin, a wonder of modern technology. Only those who have experienced the misery of an over browned loaf that doesn’t want to come out of the tin will understand my excitement ;).

I reviewed the contents of my fridge and settled on a yummy sounding pumpkin and ginger teabread, the recipe can also be found on the BBC Good Food website here. In the absence of a pumpkin I used butternut squash, which worked really well and adds moisture to the mix in the same way as carrot does in carrot cake.

Enough blethering here’s the recipe…

butternut squash and ginger teabread

175g butter, melted

140g clear honey

1 egg, beaten

250g raw peeled pumpkin or butternut squash, coarsely grated (approx 500g before peeling and seeding)

100g light muscovado sugar

350g self raising flour

1tbsp ground ginger

2tbsp demerara sugar

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and butter and line a 2lb loaf tin or, if like me, you have a spanky silicone number you don’t need to do any preparation at all!

Mix the melted butter with the honey and the egg and add the squash.

Stir in the sugar (not the demerara), flour and ginger until all incorporated. Then pour into the tin and sprinkle over the demerara sugar.

Put in the oven for 50-60 minutes, until risen and golden brown…

I settled for 55 minutes and think I could have afforded to leave it for the extra 5 minutes. After removing from the oven, leave it in the tin for 5 minutes before turning it out to cool…

It’s delicious served warm from the oven, in thick slices…

and even better smothered in butter…sod the New Year’s diet and get stuck in!

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Autumnal baking…

I feel like I’ve neglected my blog a bit in the last week. The annoying thing is that I’ve actually been super busy cooking and trying out recipes but have either forgotten to take photo’s or have lacked time to blog my latest kitchen exploits. My main aim for last week was to test out some of the recipes that I plan to use for a catering job that I’m taking on in a couple of weeks time…canapes and fork buffet for 40 people at a Ruby Wedding Anniversary celebration. On Monday I made courgette, chicken and pistachio couscous with an orange and harissa dressing which I managed to snap (badly) before me and Marky devoured it (I hasten to add…it was very yummy)…

Later in the week I also made pear and gorgonzola wrapped in parma ham (along these lines), sweetcorn fritters with a cucumber, tomato and avocado salsa, an all in one roasted sausage, butternut squash, new potato and beetroot bake with a dill and caper dressing and a pasta dish with pesto, garlic chestnut mushrooms and wilted spinach stirred through…sometimes the simplest of dishes are the best. Thankfully everything went really well and as true testament to the fact, my friends who I’d called upon to be guinea pigs wolfed down every last morsel with no complaints. 

I’ve just spent the weekend with an old University friend and her gorgeous 4 month old daughter. She happened to have the November Sainsbury’s magazine lying around, I’m such a sucker for a good food magazine or cook book that I took it with me for bit of bedtime reading…I was amazed at just how many amazing recipes it had packed into it! So after a lazy brunch of bagels topped with sliced avocado, smoked salmon and creamy scrambled eggs *drool* I set off back up to North London with a recipe scribbled on a scrap of paper stuffed into my handbag. I made a quick pitstop at the supermarket and when I got home I set about making…

spiced parsnip and apricot loaf with maple frosting…

I’d never heard of a cake containing parsnip before but am a great lover of carrot cakes so thought it was definitely worth a try! Here’s the recipe…

150g plain flour

50g wholemeal spelt flour

1tsp baking powder

1tbsp ground cinnamon

1 slightly rounded tsp ground cloves (I omitted this)

1tsp ground ginger

10 cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed

4 eggs, lightly beaten

225g caster sugar

225ml groundnut oil

2 medium parsnips, peeled and grated (200g grated weight)

100g pecan halves, chopped

100g ready to eat dried apricots, chopped

For the maple frosting – 

75g soft unsalted butter

200g light cream cheese, chilled

100g greek yoghurt, chilled

1 1/2tbsp maple syrup

1tsp ground cinnamon

50g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a 9 x 20cm loaf tin.

Sift the flours (I used self raising wholemeal flour so I only added 3/4 tsp baking powder) and baking powder into the bowl of an electric mixer (or use a handheld mixer). Tip any bran left in the sieve into the bowl too. Add the spices, eggs, sugar and oil and beat together. Fold in the grated parsnips, pecans and apricots and pour into the tin.

Bake for 1 hour 15 – 1 hour 30 minutes until golden and risen. Leave it to cool in the tin.

For the frosting whisk together the butter and cream cheese. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together. Put in the fridge to chill until later when the cake is fully cooled. Turn it out of the tin and  slather the frosting over the top.

For some reason my frosting turned out to be far too runny. It tasted good but was more pouring than spreading consistency. The cake was lovely and moist, rather like a carrot cake but with a gorgeous sweetness provided by the parsnip and nuttiness from the pecans. The edges had kind of caramelised (and no that’s not just code for burnt) which added a really lovely texture and flavour. I still, for the life of me, can’t work out what went wrong with my frosting but the fact that it was runny wasn’t detrimental to the overall taste of the cake and I guess that’s what really matters. 

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Foraging in the fens

I decided this weekend that it was high time I escaped London and visited my friends and family back in Cambridge. There’s something about going home to the flat, open fenlands that gives me an enormous sense of wellbeing and calm. However by Sunday I was having severe baking withdrawal symptoms so I started trawling my Mums vast cookery book collection and came across a book called ‘101 cakes and bakes’. I discovered a recipe for blackberry and apple loaf, which I have also found on the Good Food website here.

Now is the season for both blackberries…

and apples…

so I had the perfect chance to make the most of the fruits growing on my doorstep and in my parents garden. After a yummy homemade Sunday lunch me and my brother went foraging for blackberries straight from the hedgerow…it felt extremely wholesome and we managed to collect a bumper crop…

enough for my cake, with some left over to put in the freezer for another day.

Here’s the recipe I followed for blackberry and apple loaf –

250g self raising flour

175g butter

175g light muscovado sugar

1/2tsp cinnamon

2 rounded tbsp demerara sugar

1 small eating apple, quartered (not cored or peeled)

2 large eggs, beaten

1 orange, finely grated zest

1tsp baking powder

225g blackberries

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line a (1.7 litre) loaf tin.

This recipe uses a bit of a different method…you rub the flour, butter and muscovado sugar together with your fingertips to make fine crumbs. Measure out 5 tbsp of this mixture in a separate bowl, mix with the demerara sugar and cinnamon and set aside to use later as the topping for the loaf.

Coarsely grate the apple and mix with the eggs and the zest. 

Stir the baking powder into the rubbed-in mixture in the large bowl and then quickly stir in the egg mixture until incorporated but be careful not to overmix.

Carefully fold in 3/4 of the berries trying not to break them up. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level it out. Scatter the remaining berries on top and sprinkle over the topping mix.

Bake for 50 minutes, remove from the oven and cover it loosely with tin foil to stop it browning too much. Then return it to the oven for 20-30 minutes until firm. Insert a sharp knife or skewer, if it comes out clean the cake is ready!

Leave in the tin for 30 minutes…

 before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool…

then slice and revel in it’s beauty…

The recipe says that it will keep for up to 2 days in a tin, however it’s so delicious and moreish, that if you’re anything like me and my family, it probably won’t last longer than a couple of hours let alone days.

The blackberries are tangy, the cake is rich and extremely moist and the topping adds a gorgeous crunchy texture…

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