Vinegar Cake

I’m a fan of salt sweet things but vinegar and cake seems very unusual!!

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I had a cupboard full of dried fruit for all my Christmas baking so had plenty left to make this. It’s a weird recipe when you read the ingredients, obviously the vinegar is unusual but then there’s no egg. So am thinking there must be some sort of a scientific explanation for the vinegar!

I mixed all the dry ingredients together..

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I do think some cinnamon and mixed spice would be good added at this stage. Then I mixed the bicarbonate with some of the milk and added that with the vinegar, I just used regular malt vinegar. I then needed to add way more than another 2 tbsps of milk in order to get a dropping consistency, and it is quite a sticky mixture..

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That all went into a 7 inch tin..

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….and then into the oven for just over an hour.

After all that time cooking it does smell great and has browned nicely..

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It just hasn’t really risen very well..

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I let it to cool for only a few minutes before trying, and still warm it is great! It’s quite a dense texture but I like that.

Once it cooled a bit it was slightly drier, maybe some more milk would avoid that happening. As a fruit cake it is good, on eating it I can’t taste any vinegar which is probably a good thing, and I guess it’s handy to have a cake recipe with no eggs.

Would I make this again? Yes

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Coconut Tarts

I do love baked goods with coconut..

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This recipe does come with a colour photo along with a few other bakes, but don’t know if it’s just the immature child in me but I think it’s a bit of a rude photo…

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So first off I made the pastry which was easy enough, and I did actually leave in the fridge for a while before rolling out. I don’t have a patty tin but assumed a cupcake tin would work just as well..

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I did only end up with the 12 rather than the 16-18 that the recipes says, so maybe I rolled it too thick or a patty tin is smaller.

Each one is filled with some jam..

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Then I made the filling and put a couple of spoonfuls of that into each tart. It does look like scrambled egg at this point..

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These then go into the oven for about 15 minutes before they turn a nice brown colour and look nothing like scrambled egg now..

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These smell pretty good and was impossible to wait for them to cool before trying, I think my daughter had eaten 2 before they had manage to reach room temperature!

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They are delicious warm, the pastry is just right and then the warm jam combined with the coconut spongy filling is great.

We did manage to leave a few to try cold and just as good!

Would I make these again? definitely!

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Rich Afternoon Tea Scones

I had been given some homemade raspberry jam from a friend so felt I had to make these to try with it!

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I had made the basic oven scone recipe almost two years ago! This recipe comes just after that and is more like a variation of that recipe. I was just going to go for the everyday fruit scone but decided I’d try the rich afternoon ones just to be a bit fancy!

So for this it’s the same dry ingredients with some sugar and then I did opt to add the fruit..

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Then I added the egg and milk and started kneaded lightly..

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Once I’d managed to remove as many of the cracks as possible by kneading, which took a bit longer than I expected, I cut into small rounds..

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After 10 minutes they had risen a bit..

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I couldn’t wait for them to cool before I had to try one..

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There is blurb at the start of the scone chapter that does give some info on scone making faults and one of the reasons for not rising is due to over handling, I think I did possibly over handle the dough when trying to remove all the cracks.

Despite them not being massively risen they are great and perfect with the fantastic jam!

I don’t know if I would be able to tell the difference if I had a fruit scone with no egg in it though, I’ll maybe have to make a batch of each just to test that out..

Would I make these again? Yes!

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Cherry Cake

There seems to be quite a few cherry cake variations in the book, which suits me as I love cake and I love cherries!!

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Am sure there is some sort of science behind the flour/cornflour mix but I’ve no idea what it is. I’ve made a good few cakes in my time but I’ve never use cornflour with plain four and self raising flour like this! I have plenty of regular red cherries but opted to throw in a few of the multicoloured ones..

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So I did wash the cherries and died them pretty well. I mixed all the other ingredients together and then folded in all the dry. I did try to make sure all the cherries weren’t grouped together when I put the mix in the tin..

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Not sure why it has to be sugar cubes, pretty sure regular brown sugar would do but I do have sugar cubes in the cupboard so crushed a few of them and sprinkled on top..

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After about an hour and 20 minutes it was looking done..

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I don’t know about anyone else but I do like to make sure there is something sweet, preferably home baked, to have with a cup of tea after dinner, in fact I get annoyed if there isn’t anything! So thinking this is the ideal post dinner treat to have with my cup of tea…

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I did try to make sure the cherries hadn’t been grouped together, and the distribution looked ok when I cut into the cake..

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Well I thought this was great. I love the almonds in the cake and that’s a great combination with the cherries. The crunch sugar on top is a nice touch as well. Still have No idea what the cornflour is doing and if it’s really necessary to have both types of flour, it’s a nice texture so maybe there’s some sort of science thing behind it all. I thought it was another great cherry cake.

Would I make this again? Yes definitely..

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Queen Cakes

Is a queen cake essentially a cupcake? I think generally cupcakes have a lot of icing, then there is fairy cakes which have slightly less icing so maybe a queen cake is the next level down with no icing at all. So think I’ve gone off recipe with this…

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I was just going to make the basic queen cakes with the sultanas but my daughter got involved and insisted we make the chocolate chip variation!

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Really quick to make and a good recipe to get the kids involved with. We had this mixed up in a matter is minutes then into the cases..

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After 20 minutes they were golden and nicely risen..

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So I suppose at this point the cakes should be done, but we had some chocolate ganache left over in the fridge from another cake and I was either going to end up eating it straight from the bowl or we had to use it to decorate these!!

We opted for the latter..

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So would this now be considered a cupcake? Or does it not have enough icing for that? I’m thinking it’s no longer a queen cake and no idea if it’s a fairy but whatever the heck it is it does taste good and perfect with a cup of tea!

Would I make this again? Yes!

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Farmhouse Cake

I had never heard of a Farmhouse cake before but I was talking about this in work today and a colleague remembered her gran making it a lot! So I then did a quick search and came across loads of recipes, all pretty much the same and it’s an old fashioned light fruit cake!!

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So first off all the dry ingredients are mixed together, I do love a cake with mixed spice..

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I assumed it was plain wholemeal flour, and it does seem like a lot of compared to the amount of bicarbonate of soda! The start of this chapter does talk about rising agents and there’s even a wee science explanation about baking powder! It goes onto say that bicarbonate of soda is sometimes used instead of baking powder but I didn’t think they were that interchangeable!

Anyway, that fat is rubbed into the dry ingredients..

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Then the fruit and sugar is added..

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Then finally the egg and milk are added. I used the full amount of milk to get a dropping consistency. The mixture is then poured into the tin. It’s says an 8 inch tin the only reason I picked a square is that it’s deeper than my round 8 inch tin!

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So I left it to bake in a fairly low oven for just about two hours, and by then the house was smelling great. It’s risen quite well and nicely browned after all that time..

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I think I left to cool for about 30 minutes before having a slice..

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It does have quite a crumbly texture, which am wondering if that’s because it’s quite a high flour to butter ratio..

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I don’t care about it being crumbly as its takes fab!! I do love a fruit cake and this is a pretty light fruit cake so might appeal to those who don’t like their cakes packed with dried fruit! The mixed spice adds a nice flavour which I also love!

Would I make this again? Yes..

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Raspberry Buns

Some people think I’m crazy when I say that I find baking very relaxing! So after a rather long and tiring day I did a spot of relaxing baking with my daughter..

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This isn’t what we were originally going to bake but I went to get the eggs out of the fridge and they’d all gone! So this was an alternative recipe that fortunately doesn’t need an egg!

First off the margarine is rubbed into the flour and salt, I use stork for all my baking..

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Next the sugar is stirred in and then finally the milk. I added the 3 tbsps first and then maybe only another teaspoon before I felt it was a stiff enough dough..

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Next it’s rolled out into a long sausage shape..

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Then cut into rounds..

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They did need a bit of reshaping into circles before putting onto the baking tray..

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Next we made a hollow in each one and then filled with jam..

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Next we brushed them with milk and then they were sprinkled/drenched in sugar..

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After 15 minutes they were cooked and have spread out quite a bit..

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After our tea we had to do a good bit of taste testing and they are good, although I wouldn’t describe these as a bun, more like a biscuit! I asked my daughter if these are better than jammie dodgers and after she’d tried three she decided they were!

Would I make these again? Yes..

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