Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A little cookery project

I wouldn't say I'm a particularly stressed-out kind of person, but one of the ways I love to relax is by baking.

Allow me to paint a little scene for you. Since moving to the new house my new journey to and from work passes ALL the best cake and coffee shops in the town - you know the ones, they sell huge slices of cake and biscuits crammed with nuts and chocolate etc. So imagine me, tired and worn out after a heavy day of work having to drive past all this temptation -cake is my major vice, it's just not fair! So I came up with an action plan. Huge cake-shop-sized cake slices sat at home ready for me to enjoy with a cup of chai latte. Mmmm
This is my coffee cake, I use a basic recipe for the majority of my cakes and just change the flavour. I invested in some silicone bakeware - so easy, no greasing and easy to clean. I made this cake as a tray bake.

I weigh out three eggs and whatever this weight is I use the same amount of self raising flour, caster sugar and butter.
I add the flavouring as an extra ingredient except when I'm using cocoa where I substitite 1oz flour for 1oz cocoa.
When I am making a darker cake such as a coffee cake or chocolate cake I use half caster sugar and half soft brown sugar as it adds richness.

The method is easy;
Grease and line a baking tin and set your oven at 180°C.
Cream the butter and sugar together.
Add the eggs and flavouring once the butter mixture is fully combined and fluffy (you can use an electric mixer for these two stages but I just use a wooden spoon)
Then add the flour and fold in by hand very gently. The flour mustn't be worked to hard as the texture of the cake will become rubbery where you want it to be light.
Put the mixture into the tin (or two tins for a sandwich) and put in the oven for around 20-25 minutes, each oven is different so keep an eye on it if you don't know your ovens little quirks as these times can vary widely. The cake is ready when it springs back when you press the centre, or when you skewer the cake it will come out clean.

When I make butter icing I go by eye for the measurements. You use less butter to icing sugar (about half the amount of butter to sugar) and mix until it is smooth- add whatever flavour you like.

This recipe is so easy to modify into whatever flavour you like, vanilla, lemon drizzle, chocolate sandwich, cupcakes. Have a go and have fun!

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