Archive for the ‘Cakes’ Category

Christmas Cake

Posted on: November 2nd, 2018 by Harriet Low No Comments

1. Combine all the dried and glacé fruit, candied peel and almonds in a large bowl. Add the orange zest and juice, and the brandy. Mix well, cover and leave for several hours or overnight .

2. Heat your oven to 150°C. Line the base and the sides of a 20cm round deep cake tin with a double thickness of baking parchment, cutting it so that it stands a good 5cm proud of the top of the tin.

3. In a very large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together for several minutes until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a little of the flour with each to prevent the mixture splitting. Stir in the fruit mixture. Sift the remaining flour over the mixture and fold in, using a large metal spoon. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.

4. Bake in the middle of the oven for 3 hours, then check by inserting a skewer into the centre – if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. If not, give it a further 15-30 minutes. Leave the cake to cool before removing it from the tin.

5. When your cake is completely cooled – and ideally after a couple of days – you can marzipan and ice it. Warm the apricot jam gently in a saucepan with a splash of water to thin it down, sieve, then brush all over the cake.

6. Roll out 300g of the marzipan to a large circle, about 4mm thick. Using the cake tin as a guide, cut a round of marzipan to fit the top of the cake and then position it. Roll out the other 200g marzipan with the trimmings and cut 2 long strips to fit around the side of the cake. Position these, then smooth the marzipan and mould around the edges together.

7. If you are using ready-to-roll icing, roll it out on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar to a thickness of about 5mm. Lift it over the marzipan, smooth down and trim off the excess at the base.

8. If you are using homemade royal icing, smooth it over the cake with a palette knife. You can leave it smooth or swirl it into peaks with the back of a spoon or your palette knife, as you choose. Leave to set.

 9. Wrap a ribbon around the side of your Christmas cake and finish as you wish with festive decorations.

 

Gluten-Free Victoria Sandwich

Posted on: April 29th, 2018 by Harriet Low No Comments

1. Heat your oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Grease the base and sides of two 20cm loose-based cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment.

2. Sift all the flours together with the baking powder and xanthum gum into a bowl.

3. In another large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the flour mixture and fold in, using the spatula or a large metal spoon until just fully incorporated.

4. Divide the mixture between the prepared cake tins and gently smooth the surface with a palette knife to level.

5. Bake in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the sponges are risen, golden and slightly shrunk from the sides of the tins. Leave in the tins for a few minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

6. Choose the best-looking sponge for the top layer and then lay the other one, top side down, on your serving dish. Spread the jam over this bottom layer.

7. Whip the cream in a bowl to soft peaks and spread on top of the jam then place the other cake layer on top. Dust with sifted icing sugar or caster sugar to finish. 

 

 

Victoria Sponge

Posted on: April 21st, 2017 by Harriet Low No Comments

1. Heat your oven to 180°C. Line the base of two 20cm cake tins with baking parchment and lightly butter the sides.

2. Put the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, butter and eggs into an electric mixer or large bowl. Mix on a low speed, or whisk slowly using an electric hand-held whisk, until all the ingredients are evenly combined; do not overmix as this will tighten the mixture and result in a rubbery texture.

3. Split the mixture between the cake tins and put in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes. The sponge is ready when the top is golden and slightly shrunk from the sides of the tin. Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool.

4. Select the best looking sponge for the top layer and then lay the other one, top side down on your serving dish. Spread the jam over the bottom layer, and then whip the cream to soft peaks and spread over the jam. Place the other layer on top and dust with icing or caster sugar when serving.

Simnel Cake

Posted on: March 19th, 2017 by Harriet Low No Comments

1. Heat your oven to 150°C. Line the base and sides of a 20cm round deep cake tin with baking parchment, cutting it so that it stands a good 5cm proud of the top of the tin.

2. Roll out one-third of the marzipan to about 5mm thickness and cut a circle that will just fit inside the cake tin. Set aside.

3. Using an electric hand-held whisk or mixer, beat the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, cinnamon, orange zest and lemon zest together in a large bowl until thoroughly blended. Stir in the sultanas, currants and glace cherries until thoroughly combined.

4. Put half of the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface. Lay the prepared marzipan circle over the mixture, then spoon the rest of the cake mixture on top and smooth the surface.

5. Bake for about 2½ hours until the cake is well risen and firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

6. When the cake is cooled, warm the apricot jam gently with a splash of water in a small pan over a low heat, sieve, then brush over the top of the cake. Roll out half of the remaining marzipan and cut to fit the top. Press firmly on the top and crimp the edges decoratively. Mark a criss-cross pattern on the marzipan with a sharp knife, if you like.

7. Form the remaining marzipan into 11 balls. Brush the marzipan on the cake with beaten egg, then place the marzipan balls evenly around the edge. Brush the balls with beaten egg too. Use a cook’s blowtorch to brown the marzipan balls. Alternatively, do this by putting the cake under a hot grill for a few moments; watch it carefully because marzipan burns easily.

Lemon Drizzle Slices

Posted on: June 17th, 2016 by Harriet Low No Comments

1.Preheat your oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Line a 20cm x 20cm square baking tin with parchment paper.

2. Using an electric whisk, beat the butter and caster sugar together until pale, light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix again. Add the flour, baking powder, lemon zest, lemon curd and milk and mix with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

3. Mix the granulated sugar and lemon juice together and pour over the hot cake. Leave to cool in the tin. You can then eat the cake just as it is, or for a fancy finish try making this feather icing.

4. Mix the icing sugar with just enough of the water to give a runny, but not watery, icing. Take a small amount of icing and place it in a separate bowl. Add a few drops of the food colouring to this icing until you have the desired colour. Spoon this not a disposable icing bag.

5. Remove the cake from the tin and peel off the parchment paper. Sit the cake on a wire rack over a baking tray. Spread the white icing over the cake. Using the icing bag, pipe lines of the coloured icing across the width of the cake. Using a cocktail stick, drag through the lines at right angles to create a feathered effect. Leave to set before cutting into 12 slices.

Photography by Issy Crocker

Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Walnuts

Posted on: January 26th, 2016 by Karl Hudson No Comments

1. Heat your oven to 180°C. Line a 1kg loaf tin with baking parchment. For the filling, soak the sultanas in the brandy in a small bowl.

2. To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy; this can take up to 10 minutes. Gradually beat in the eggs and brandy, adding a little of the flour with each egg to guard against curdling. Sift the remaining flour, cocoa and baking powder together over the mixture and fold in gently. Finally, fold in the walnuts and biscuit crumbs. Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin.

3. Bake for about 45 minutes or until firm to touch. Leave in the tin for about 10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack.

4. For the filling, chop 150g of the chocolate and melt in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Let cool until barely tepid. In a large bowl, cream the butter and the icing sugar together, then vigorously beat in the melted chocolate until creamy. Add the walnuts and sultanas with their brandy.

4. Slice the cake horizontally into 3 layers. Use two-thirds of the filling to sandwich these together and spread the remaining filling on top of the cake. Grate the rest of the chocolate on top and chill the cake thoroughly before serving. Sprinkle with icing sugar to finish.