Monday 22 January 2018

Search for a lost recipe is over

Coffee and Walnut Sandwich
Norma wrote to me last week to say how delighted she was to find the recipe for Chantilly Cake which was a favourite in her family but which she had lost in a house move. She said the ‘cake turned out just like old times - delicious!’ She now was on the hunt for a Coffee and Walnut cake, also lost, so I’m posting this recipe from Grandma’s baking book.

Meryl’s tip : If you use coffee granules, make sure you grind them first to a powder, for example, in a pestle and mortar.
 Coffee and Walnut Sandwich
4oz /110g sugar
6oz/175g self raising flour
4oz/110g butter
3 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 dessertspoonful coffee extract or powder 

 Preheat the oven to 350F, Mark 4, 180C.  Cream the butter and sugar, add the coffee essence or powder. Mix well. Add the flour and eggs alternately. Lastly, add the baking powder. Divide into 2 x 8 inch (20 cms) sandwich tins and bake in a moderate oven for approximately 30 minutes. 

Cream 3oz/75g butter and 5oz/150g icing sugar. Add a little milk, beat well and then mix in 1 teaspoonful of coffee extract/powder. Spread half of one cake and place the other cake on top. Or reduce the amount of the mixture by half and decorate with glace icing flavoured with coffee extract or powder. Decorate the top with the remaining butter icing and the walnuts.

Meryl says : This is a delectable coffee cake which is easy to bake. I’ve not found out why we put walnuts on coffee cake but they do give it an elegant touch. One of my favourite reviews of Grandma’s recipe book came from Ana Cecilia, a fashion blogger who rates Grandma’s book as 'her personal cooking bible’. She’s posted a mean Coffee Cake picture too from my favourite city, Paris.
Do you know why we decorate Coffee Cake with walnuts? 

Monday 15 January 2018

Banana Loaf makes the grade

Banana Loaf
I’m quite a fan of bananas and was delighted when Kay from Gawber sent me a recipe for a Banana Loaf from her friend, Joan. Kay had tried out the recipe a couple of times and reduced the sugar as first cake she made was too sweet for her taste.  The friends had a lot of chat about baking times and said it could be ready between 35 minutes and an hour. Joan had found that the size and ripeness of bananas affected the sweetness and batter consistency. When I baked the cake, I left it in the oven for an hour. This seemed to work out well.
Banana Loaf
125g butter
150g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg - beaten
2 bananas - ripe
190g self raising flour
60ml milk
1 tablespoon demerara sugar for the topping
Pre heat the oven to 170C/Gas 3/325F. Grease or line a 1kg/2lb loaf tin. Melt the butter with the sugar and vanilla extract in a pan over a medium heat. Remove and cool slightly. Mash the bananas and mix with the melted mixture. Add the egg and mix well. Stir in the flour and milk. Pour into the cake tin and sprinkle the demerara sugar on top. Bake for 1 hour until a cake skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool. 
Meryl says : The trick with baking with bananas in cake is not to mash them up too much, so using ripe ones is a good thing - otherwise the cake may become too heavy. Hope you enjoy Joan’s recipe.
And if you are a banana fan, try this teabread recipe for 
Banana Nut Bread from Grandma’s Recipes page.