Sandie’s Lemon Drizzle

I’ve always loved a lemon drizzle but for some reason have never made one. Then along came Ovengate and put a stop to all baking. Now that I’ve got the power of the oven back again, I’m determined to bake all those recipes I never got around to.

This week my lovely friend Sandie posted some delicious-looking photos of her lemon drizzle cake and I knew that’s what I had to bake next! She kindly leant me her recipe, given to her by a friend years ago.

I tried searching online for the history of this oh-so-perfect cake but found nothing. Whoever it was that first decided to flavour a sponge with lemon and then pour gorgeously sweet and citrusy sugar syrup over the top is a genius who I think needs to be remembered and celebrated!

Sandie’s recipe was quick and easy to follow; she usually bakes a round lemon cake whereas I decided to go for the loaf tin approach, but the recipe still fit. If you don’t have a Sandie in your life to share her lemon drizzle recipe, there are loads online, including an article in the Guardian that compares and contrasts all manner of variations on the traditional recipe.

The cake came out and looked so good I couldn’t help but have a piece straight from the oven! It was delicious: lemony, soft and with a nice density to it, not too much as it still crumbled slightly but enough to keep the slice in one piece. The best bit is when you get a slice where the syrupy lemon sugar has pooled in the sponge, it’s just so sweet and moist and lemony! Yum!


Malteser Fridge Cake

Whatever your preference when it comes to tea, whether you like it black, with a splash of milk, with three spoonfuls of sugar, or, as pale and weak as my mum used to have hers: “just wave the tea bag in the general area of the mug, that’ll be fine”; and whatever your preference when it comes to your choice of biscuit, be it a ginger nut, custard cream, Jammy dodger, or a choccy bourbon, there’s nothing nicer than a cup of tea with a biscuit ready for the dunking.

Over the years there have been debates and experiments about which biscuit is best for dunking. What is the biscuit’s durability? How many dunks can it survive before it gives way and collapses into your cup of tea? You know, those all important life questions. I seem to recall that the hobnob is often nominated for the Best Dunker Award when these biscuit debates come about. But, for me, it’s always the humble digestive that I reach for when I get that tea and biscuit craving.

As early as 1851, if not earlier, there are records of recipes for digestive biscuits, recipes about how to make that semi-sweet, malty biscuit that we’ve all come to know and love. Now, the digestive might not be the best dunker in the world, but it’s got many hidden talents. I’m aware that the title of this post is Malteser Fridge Cake, and I promise I haven’t forgotten about it, but I wanted to pay a quick homage to the digestive, it may be plain and simple in the biscuit world, but its comforting taste, and its multi-purpose makes it a firm favourite for me. Not only is it a great biscuit for tea time, but whizz it up and you’ve got a perfect cheesecake base, serve it with your Stilton and cheddar and you’ve got a great cracker for the cheeseboard, and mix it with melted butter and chocolate and you’ve got today’s fridge cake.

The recipe for today’s blog entry is one of Nigella’s, and can be found here. This is another speedy recipe for a tasty treat that will always go down well and is great for me while I wait for the oven to get fixed!

Blitz your digestive biscuits and add slightly bashed maltesers. In a bowl melt butter, chocolate and golden syrup together and then add this to the dry ingredients. Combine until everything is coated in the chocolate mix. Squish into a lined baking tray and pop in the fridge to start setting. Melt more chocolate and pour this over the tray bake. To make the white chocolate pattern, simply space out dollops of melted white chocolate in a row on top of the melted milk chocolate and drag a knife through the dollops. Pop the tray back in the fridge to set, a few hours should do and then cut into squares to serve.



Thank Goodness for Old Reliable

My second lot of baking for the charity cake sale last week was going to be red velvet whoopie pies – sadly this just wasn’t meant to be! I couldn’t find any red food colouring to start with and then for some reason when I made the plain chocolate pies they turned into chocolate brownie type cookies! They were tasty but not what I’d planned at all!

Just in case anything went wrong with the whoopie pies, I’d also bought ingredients to make my favourite Victoria Sponge. I reckon all bakers have one cake or recipe that they can rely on to always turn out well and my old reliable, trusted, and tasty vicky sponge is my fallback. It always goes down well and the recipe I use from The Great British Bake Off cookbook works every time.

The cake sale, raffle and pub quiz at work raised £750 for Comic Relief which is great! We have so many talented bakers in the team it was amazing to see all the cakes, brownies, muffins and cheesecakes that everyone brought in.

Oh, and eating the leftover cake batter is probably the best thing about baking!






Hairy Bikers’ Low-Calorie Cupcakes

It was my friend Alpa’s birthday this week so I decided to try out the low-calorie cupcakes from the Hairy Bikers cookbook as I’ve been interested to see how they turn out! Now, everyone at work liked the cakes, they went down well, but I am standing firm on the point that truly delicious, fluffy, moist cupcakes need butter. I am a butter advocate, I can’t be doing with low-fat spreads and I just don’t think they’re right for baking cakes. But I’m glad I tried out the recipe as I’ve been curious for a while. I’ve decided that while Tom and I are on this healthy eating plan I’d rather treat myself, very rarely, to a slice of proper, full-fat, full-blown Victoria sponge or a chocolatey, gooey brownie and enjoy the naughtiness of it!

The main thing is though that Alpa liked them 🙂 and next week I get to treat myself to a whoopie pie as I’ve been recruited to bake for the Comic Relief cake sale at work! On the menu, red velvet whoopie pies and white chocolate cookies!