Mulled Wine Fruit Cake

Happy New Year!!

This recipe was a flash of inspiration the day after a Christmas Party when there was a little left over mulled wine.

I haven’t been given permission to share the family mulled wine recipe, but however you make it it will benefit from the addition of oranges which when soaked in mulled wine make this cake rather special.

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Ingredients

  • 300ml/ 1/2 Pint Mulled wine
  • 250g/ 8oz Sultanas
  • 250g/ 8oz Dried Apricots
  • 200g/ 7oz Soft Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 250g/ 8oz Self-raising Flour
  • Orange Segments (mine were from 2 small Satsumas)

Method 

Soak the dried fruit and sugar in the mulled wine for at least four hours – overnight is best.

When you are ready to put the cake in the oven, preheat it to 180oC and line a round cake tin with baking parchment.

Arrange the orange segments in the base of the tin. Next,  add the egg to the dried fruit mixture and beat it in with a fork. Fold in the flour and then put the mixture on top of the oranges.

Bake for approximately an hour in the centre of the oven; it may take a little longer, you will know it is done when a skewer comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

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Apple Sponge Cake

Apple Cake

I must say that I am enjoying Simple September so far. Receiving lots of courgettes, runner beans and apples from my parent’s garden has helped; although it does take rather a lot of imagination not to quickly get bored of courgette!

Some of you will know that I use the same basic sponge recipe for many of the cakes I make – Delia’s ‘all-in-one-sponge’ recipe. I find it incredibly versatile; sometimes I add lemon zest and then add a lemon-drizzle topping, other times I add chocolate followed by coffee icing… the possibilities are endless. Yum.

Ingredients

  • 4oz self raising flour
  • 4oz golden caster sugar
  • 4oz margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • two eating apples
  • two tablespoons demerara sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 180oC.

Quarter the apples, remove the core and then cut into thin slices. Place the apple slices in the base of a round cake tin lined with greaseproof paper and sprinkle them with demerara sugar. You could also add a little sprinkle of mixed spice at this stage if you so wish.

Put the remaining ingredients into a bowl and combine well with an electric whisk. Cover the apples with the mixture and bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 25 minutes. You will recognise when it is cooked because the mixture will have shrunk away from the edges of the cake tin.

Turn the cake onto a cooling rack. When cold put the cake upside down onto a plate, so that the apple is at the top.

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Sticky Date and Coffee Cake 

It’s been far too long since I last shared a recipe with you. I could give you reasons and excuses as to why I have been too busy and distracted to write, but as you are probably aware I am not a fan of waffle so I will just get on with it and share my new favourite thing with you.

A friend and I had a sudden urge yesterday to make sticky toffee pud; mostly because we made a big pot of coffee which we then forgot about, and soaking dates in it seemed like as good a way as any not to waste it. A quick Internet search brought us to this recipe, which we then adapted to make this fabulous cake.

Coffee Cake

What we changed…

Most importantly, the dates were soaked in coffee, not in water! We soaked them for rather longer than stated in the recipe (overnight is best), which meant that we didn’t need to use the very expensive and wonderfully gooyey Medjool dates; instead we used cheaper dates (no pun intended!) intended for baking instead.

The second adjustment was that rather than making a number of individual puddings we used two loaf tins. This did mean however that it took longer to cook; approximately 40 minutes. I suggest putting a skewer into the cakes at about 35 minutes; if it comes out clean it is cooked, if not put it back for five or ten minutes and then do the skewer test again.

sticky date and coffee cake

Coconut and Raspberry Fairy Cakes

I made this up at 7.30 this morning – not bad seeing as my brain very rarely kicks into gear until at least 10.00 am!

I needed to bake for the launch of a very exciting project ‘Cake and Conversation’ – an International Cafe for people in Stroud, who are new to the area or feel isolated due their limited English. I wasn’t at all happy with the the flapjack I had made last night (it was not gooey enough for my liking) and, although I had already made my yummy coffee cake, you really can’t have too much cake!

I can reliably inform you that this little invention went down rather well at the cafe.

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Ingredients

  • 5 oz self raising flour (actually, that’s a fib – I had run out of self raising and used Plain Flour with a teaspoon of baking powder, which was fine)
  • 1 oz desiccated coconut
  • 3 oz butter
  • 1 oz coconut butter
  • 4 oz golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • a good splash of milk (if I had had any I would have used coconut milk)
  • a handful of frozen raspberries

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Method

Pre-heat the oven to 190oC.

Put all of the ingredients, except for the raspberries and milk, into a mixing bowl and combine well using an electric mixer.

When the mixture is beginning to combine nicely, add a tablespoon of milk and whizz some more. If you haven’t achieved a nice smooth batter add another splash or two of milk. Remember to use a spatula to catch all of the dry bits from around the bowl and then whizz some more. The mixture should be the consistency of Extra-thick Double Cream (if you don’t know what that is, go and get some – it is wonderful stuff!).

Line a cake tin with little cake cases. Put approximately a tablespoon of mixture into each cake case – this should do a dozen cakes with a little batter left over.

If the frozen raspberries are large break them in half (they should just break when you squash them because they are nice and brittle when frozen). Put on the top of each cake and then top with the remaining batter.

Bake at the centre of the oven for about 15 minutes. They should rise nicely and begin to look nice and golden brown on top.