7.9.08

Good crumb!

I think I have perfected my basic cake recipe. I try to bake Andy a fill-me-up cake every week, and it has to be large (he is not fat, just 6ft 8'' and needs his sustenance). I've been dickering with proportions for years, and my last effort had the best crumb ever, with a moist, soft texture like a sticky cushion. I use the best part of an 80p block of cheap butter, and the rough price of making it is under one pound fifty. It takes about 25 minutes max. to make and I vary the added ingredients from week to week. Cherry, fruit, and this week lemon drizzle. Nothing fancy - we don't do gateaux or swish icing.



Basic cake mix

8oz butter, 8oz caster sugar, creamed together. Three medium eggs, added one at a time. 10 oz plain flour with three level teaspoonfuls baking powder. Mixed. Then a splash of milk, to loosen the mix up. Baked in a low-medium oven, until it is done. I always use a shallow 8 inch square tin; it bakes more quickly.

Variations - cherry vanilla - add 2-3 teaspoons vanilla essence when adding eggs and when flour/baking powder is added, add 6 (or more) oz chopped cherries (dusted in flour)

Fruit - add between 4-8 oz mixed fruit, and lessen the baking powder to one teaspoon,

Lemon drizzle - grated rind of 2 lemons which is added to the creamed butter/sugar, and the juice of one, added after the eggs. When cake is done and cooled, make a drizzle by mixing the juice of the other lemon with about 5-6 tablespoons of icing sugar in a small pan and gently heated to make a clear liquid (I don't even measure this bit, I just bung the juice in the pan and add as much icing sugar as I need for the cake). Poke holes in the cake (I use an old knitting needle) and slowly ladle the drizzle over, trying to ensure as much is soaked into the sponge as possible.





For years I made the error of not using enough baking powder. My cakes were fine, but I was frustrated that I could not make them lighter, no matter how I altered the proportions. A few weeks ago I actually read the side of the tub and read that for a stout fruit cake, only one teaspoon is used, but for a sponge-style cake, then three are required. Sometimes it really helps to read the instructions...

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

mmmmm cake
your lemon drizzle being the best

the cake-force is truly strong with this one

best wishes from cloudy London
the type nerd

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Oh well now, you have gone and made me hungry. Love love love to bake!
Hot tea, or milk, with the cake?

Is he really 6'8"??? It would take a lot of cake to fill him up, I would bet.

Happy Sunday from both of us!

fionakelly said...

Ok I'm officially drooling now! yum :)

gilflingsdesigns said...

Gretel I have now decided I want to come and live with you

Cake, crafting and countryside walks - my idea of bliss!

I have been on muffing baking fix - coffe and walnut or blackberries from the farm shop but now I am thinking I must put in the extra effort to bake a proper cake.

So great to see you come out the other side of your working frenzy. Hopefully work is now on a much more sedate schedule for you!!

Anonymous said...

ooh lemon drizzle my favourite. Is that a piece of woods ware i spot! K x

PG said...

Yes Pamela, he really is that tall, (I'm six foot myself) and works ten hour days, so he eats a lot! We like our cake with tea, the English way.

Gifling, you would be welcome, if you could squeeze in amoungst all the various presses/type chests/cats/motorbike gear etc!

If that is the 'K' I think it is then yes, it is Woods Ware, and yes, I know you collect it... :)(what else could one eat afternoon tea off of?)

Kim said...

Aaah, your cake looks divine, and the recipe is very similar to one I tried this week for the first time. I've never made lemon drizzle before and it was supposed to be for packed lunches, but most of it was consumed warm from the tin! and yes, it does have to be accompanied by a nice cup of tea :)

Kim x

tut-tut said...

It's always nice to have something like this to add variations to. It jazzes things up.

You must make a striking pair when out and about!

Gina - RoseThistleArtworks said...

This sounds and looks so delicious!! Thank you so much for sharing. I'm going to try it out on my 6'5" hubby. I'm 5'9", so we're just three inches shorter than you guys . . . coincidence? I think not.

Cindy said...

I should have dropped by here on an empty stomach. Now all I want is some of that cake! ;)

Hugs,
Cindy

Francie of The Scented Cottage said...

Looks yummy...I'm always on my Sweetie to "read the directions" :)

(())

wyldhare said...

You have made me hungry for cake! I think I like the lemon drizzle best, but they all sound lovely!

tlc illustration said...

Ha, directons...

It sounds divine, especially poking it and letting the drizzle soak in... I'm hard pressed to ever get enough sour-lemon flavor with my desserts.

Ever try your lemon variation with poppy seeds? Or poppy-seed almond? (I've been harvesting the poppy knobs this week).

natural attrill said...

That sounds like the sort of thing I'd do, I hate reading instructions.
Cake looks yummy, wish we lived closer and i could pop round to try some with a cuppa and a natter.
P.x

Frances said...

Oh, I bet that cake disappeared quickly! Just scrumptious looking, and nice to have all the variations, too.

xo

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Looks yummy, may have to try this....Hmmm, yes, directions can be helpful....having a learning curve with my Logan Mat cutter, not as easy as it looks to cut a perfect mat. Re-reading the directions helped amazingly.

June said...

Oh dear... now I have to go and eat because my mouth is watering. But there is nothing here as nice as your cake!

Contessa Kris said...

The cake looks divine and the adding of lemon drizzle just about made me swoon. I love lemon! i'll have to try out your recipe! Thanks so much.

Jess said...

Yum Meee.
Is there end to your talents? I hope you'll let us know when your project is out in the world - I'd love to see what you've been working on!x

Cotswoldgent said...

Book me in for afternoon tea! Besides guzzling myself silly on your superb cakes, we can discuss motorbikes and the Cotswold countryside and you can give me a lesson in taking good pictures!

Jennifer said...

Oh, yum! I think blogging is making me fat.

;-)

Soozcat said...

That looks delish! And the lemon drizzle sounds particularly drool-worthy.

That tears it, we need to have a bloggers' potluck. I'll bring the soup if you'll bring the cake. :)

ellen said...

Mmmmm and yum! I love a simple cake with no gooey, sticky frosting. If I am faced with a plaster of icing, I scrape it off and then eat the naked cake.