Thursday, 12 July 2012

Cakes and Toad in the Hole!

Yesterday was the last photo shoot for my book!  Hooray, and zillions of love and thanks to Lynne Kovan (Five Good Things at her love of all things cooked and her camera.  She and I have been working for months to take photos of the recipes in The Joyful Cookbook, and what beautiful pictures she has produced.  We have had such fun, and really been quite blissed-out doing what we LOVE to do!

It has been quite a journey, and now all that remains is which self-publishing website to use.   Watch this space!

It's funny how I forget about really great recipes, and cooking all the cookbook food has really made me realise that it is full of delicious recipes that really WORK!  This week I found two more which really WORK; Cappuccino Cake and very moist Chocolate Cake.  Groans of delight all round, in fact the Cappuccino cake was demolished in less than an afternoon (mostly by Jake!)

Another favourite is Toad in the Hole (I'm sure I have blogged this recipe before!).  A few years ago, I came across a formula for it which is so simple and needs only a measuring jug.  I love simplicity!  And everyone loves Toad, especially when it has been pretty wintry of late.

Have fun and don't let the b****ers get you down!

Cappuccino Cake

This can be baked in a Swiss roll sized tin and cut into about 20 slices for fetes and school fairs, or even Knit and Natter mornings!

2 tbsp coffee granules
2 tbsp hot water
225g/8oz soft butter
225g/8oz caster sugar
4 eggs
225g/8oz self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g/4oz white chocolate, broken up
50g/2oz butter
2 tbsp milk
175g/6oz sifted icing sugar
1 tsp cocoa powder for dusting

Heat the oven to 180C/gas Mk 4.  Mix the coffee and the water together.  Put into a large bowl with the remaining ingredients.  Whisk or beat together well then tip into two, lined 8"/20cm sponge tins or a 28 x 18x 3cm tin lined with parchment paper.  bake for 35-40 minutes until risen and firm.  Cool.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then take off the heat and stir in the white chocolate.  Stir til melted.  Add this and the milk to the icing sugar and beat.
When the cake(s) is cool, spread the icing over the top and dust with a little cocoa powder.

Moist Chocolate Cake

Rare to find, and doesn't last long!

Heat the oven to 180C/gas Mk 4.  Grease and line a 22cm deep cake tin.

Stir the lemon juice into the milk.  Beat together the butter and half the sugar until pale and fluffy.  beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the rest of the sugar.  Sift in the flour, soda and cocoa powder and fold in with the milk.  When smooth, pour into the cake tin and bake for one hour.  Leave on a wire rack to cool.

Toad in the Hole

Heat the oven to 200C/gas Mk 4 and bake a pack of sausages in a largish roasting tin for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, use a jug to measure out:

300ml plain flour
300ml eggs
300ml milk

Tip the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre.  Measure out the eggs and milk and beat together.  Pour into the flour, gradually whisking the flour from around the sides of the bowl until you have a smooth batter. Add some salt and pepper.
Remove the sausage tin from the oven and arrange the sausages equally around the tin, then pour the batter all over and around the sausages.  Return to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until risen and golden brown. 

What I have been cooking:

Baked Butternut Squash
Cut a medium butternut squash in half length ways.  Put in a roasting tin and drizzle with olive oil, a couple of chopped cloves of garlic and salt and pepper.  Bake at 200C/gas Mk 4 for about 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, slice a red onion and fry in olive oil until soft, then add 2 anchovy fillets, a small handful of raisins and a handful of pine nuts.  Keep frying until the anchovies have disappeared, you may want a little more olive oil.
Take the squash from the oven and cover with the onion mixture, bake for another 10 minutes.

I am just in the process of baking some bread using a recipe from a lovely blog called The Quince Tree.  (  She has a lovely way of writing and posting pictures, I was inspired to make a few loaves!  I'll let you know how they come out.

Have fun in the SUN!!!