Monday 30 January 2017

Goin’ Courting Cake

Courting Cake
This recipe came from Edith, who was a member of a group in Barnsley where I did a talk about Grandma's baking. ‘Courting’ in the North of England means ‘dating’ or ‘going out’ with a partner. 
Courting Cake is a traditional cake given as a gift to your ‘intended’ or ‘betrothed’ or whoever you had ‘got your eye on’ as a potential partner! The texture of the cake is denser than a Victoria Sandwich but lighter than Shortbread. It's usually filled and topped with lightly bruised strawberries but I’m hoping the baker’s heart doesn’t get bruised along the way!
Courting Cake
6oz/175g butter
6oz/75g caster sugar
2 large eggs (beaten)
8oz/225g plain flour
1½ tsps baking powder
pinch bicarbonate of soda
Milk to mix

Grease and line 2 x 8 inch (21 cm) sandwich tins with baking paper.  Pre heat the oven to 180C (Fan 160c)/Mark 4/350F. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy and add the beaten eggs gradually. Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Add enough milk to give a soft dropping consistency. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and bake for 25 - 30 minutes until well baked. Allow to cool before turning out onto a wire rack.
For the decoration
8oz/225g strawberries
Double or whipping cream or butter cream
Icing sugar

Whip the cream or prepare the Butter cream and spread on one cake. Slice the strawberries and put on top of the cream, reserving some for decorating the top of the cake. Put the remaining cake on top. Either dredge the top with icing sugar or cover with cream or butter cream and decorate with the reserved strawberries.
Meryl says : It’s a good way to use those luscious strawberries which we get all year round now in the markets and grocery stores and makes a gorgeous cake or dessert for Valentine’s Day. What will you bake for your Valentine? Tempt them with biscuits?

Monday 9 January 2017

Warm up with Marmalade Bread & Butter Pudding

I’ve just made this year’s batch of Marmalade with the new crop of Seville Oranges and I can’t wait to start baking all my favourite marmalade recipes. Here’s Grandma recipe for Marmalade Bread and Butter pudding which will warm us up as well as reminds us of the beautiful area of Spain where the super Seville Oranges come from.

Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding
50g/2oz butter
8 slices slightly stale (e.g. 1 day old) bread
150g/6oz Marmalade
50g/2oz sultanas
2 tsp cinnamon
Zest of 1 orange  
350ml/12fl oz milk
50ml/2fl oz double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 (large) eggs
50g/2oz caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C/355F/ Gas 4. Grease a 1 litre/2 pint pie dish with butter. Spread butter and marmalade on each slice with. Arrange a layer of bread, buttered-side up, in the dish, then add half the sultanas. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and orange zest, then add another layer of bread, sultanas and cinnamon. Warm the milk and cream with the vanilla extract gently in a pan over a low heat. Beat the eggs in a bowl with the sugar. Add the warm milk and cream mixture and stir well. Pour this over the bread layers and sprinkle nutmeg on top. Leave to stand for 30 minutes. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the custard has set and the top is golden-brown. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Meryl says :  Don’t let the milk and cream mixture  boil - just heat gently until warm before you add it to the eggs and sugar. Serve with crème fraiche, cream or ice cream as you wish. Delicious start to the New Year!

Here’s how to make Marmalade
and bake Grandma’s popular 

All with a kick of ginger to enhance the taste. Let me know which you like best.