One of my favourite things about living in Dubai is that it is such a diverse international community. I have been trying to decide what to do with the blog while I am here (British seasonal and frugal food doesn’t quite fit) and I think that collecting recipes from around the world may be the answer.
To start me off my Czech friend Tereza has taught me how to make her famously delicious cherry cake. She uses a special flour which she brings over from the Czech Republic, however I have tested the recipe with ‘normal’ plain flour and it still works very well.
Tereza tells me that there are three basic types of flour in the Czech Republic:
fine (hladka– which is ‘normal’ white flour),
semi-rough (polohruba– the one in the picture, used for the Cherry Cake), and
rough (hrubá– close to semolina).
Give the recipe a try and let me know how you get on!
4 eggs, separated
200g caster sugar
150ml vegetable oil
a drop of vanilla essence
1 teaspoon baking powder
100g plain flour
the zest of one Lemon
a couple of handfuls of frozen cherries, defrosted
Don’t forget to take the cherries out of the freezer! Pre-heat the oven to 180oC.
Whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla essence, half of the sugar and the oil. Next whisk the egg whites, adding the rest of the sugar until you have ‘soft peaks’ (as though you were making meringue).
Mix together the flour and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the egg yolk mixture and fold in, adding a splash of milk until it is the consistency of thick custard.
Fold in the egg whites along with the lemon zest. The lemon smells divine!
Pour the mixture into a ceramic oven dish. Coat half of the cherries in flour so that they don’t sink too much and put them on top of the mixture, followed by the un-coated cherries.
Bake in centre of oven for 30 to 45 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting into pieces.
This wonderfully light cake can be served as a dessert with cream or with a cup of coffee.
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.
300ml/ 1/2 Pint Mulled wine
250g/ 8oz Sultanas
250g/ 8oz Dried Apricots
200g/ 7oz Soft Brown Sugar
250g/ 8oz Self-raising Flour
Orange Segments (mine were from 2 small Satsumas)
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.
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.
4oz self raising flour
4oz golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
two eating apples
two tablespoons demerara sugar
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.
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.
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.
I can reliably inform you that this little invention went down rather well at the cafe.
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
a good splash of milk (if I had had any I would have used coconut milk)
a handful of frozen raspberries
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.