I had a very complicated school/train station/cricket match run tonight - enough to test anyone's sanity! What for tea?? Well, not very adventurously, all I could think of that a) I had the ingredients for and b) the kids would actually EAT, c) I could fit in around running people here and there, was a plate of Birdseye fish fingers (I always have a pack in the freezer, just in case....) with homemade chunky chips and sweetcorn.
Then I thought (as I often do under extreme pressure!), what else then? I had decided to bake some chocolate cakes, but as I was mixing, I changed my mind to make Barney's favrourite Chocolate and Orange Marble Cake. Easy as easy and very lovely, the sighs of delight were reward enough!
(But to make it all better, my little doggie, Pepper, was a star at her puppy class afterwards!)
And I have discovered, in a LOVELY book called, 'Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey Treats for Kids' by Jill O'Connor, a GREAT breakfast for those of us who can sometimes Be Prepared! They are called Heaven-Sent Angel Biscuits, and are a cross between a scone and a sweet bread roll. Make the dough the night before (no kneading required!!) and just pull bits off in the morning to bake. My kids loved them, and so did I.........
Orange and Chocolate Marble Cake
150g soft butter
150g caster sugar
0.5 tsp baking powder
150g self-raising flour
2 tbs good cocoa powder
zest of an orange and 2 tbs of juice
Set oven at 180 degrees/Gas mk 5.
Whizz the butter, caster, eggs, baking powder and flour in a processor until smooth. (If your butter is cold, whizz the butter and sugar first until creamy, then add the rest).
Grate the zest into the mixture, add the juice and whizz to mix. Spoon half the mixture in blobs over the bottom of a base-lined and greased 7" cake tin. Add the cocoa to the remaining mixture and whizz again until mixed. Blob this randomly into the tin. Take a wooden spoon handle and gently make figure-of-eight swirls in the mixture - less is more though; don't overdo it!
Bake for about 35 minutes, until the top of the cake looks cooked and a skewer or sharp knife comes out clean.
What I have been cooking:
Heaven-Sent Angel Biscuits (from the above book)
1 tbs dried yeast
one cup warm water (maybe more if too dry)
5.5 cups of strong bread flour
1 tsp bicarb of soda
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
14 tbs butter (you'll just have to guess it!)
2 cups buttermilk or natural yoghurt
Measure out all the dry ingredients, then rub in the butter, leaving some pea-sized pieces. Add the water and buttermilk and mix to a stiff bread dough. Place in a sealed plastic bag and put in the fridge overnight (leave some room for expansion in the bag!).
In the morning, before you shower, grab ping-pong ball sized pieces, roll into balls and place on a greased baking tray. Leave to rise while you shower, then place in the oven for 12-15 mins until lightly browned.
Eat with butter and jam - Angelic!!
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