Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Spring time for buns!

Daffodils and tulips are blooming in the garden so we definitely celebrate Spring with Spring time baking.  Here are some small cakes or buns which you can decorate however you wish – as long as they have a hint of Spring!

Spring time buns

What you need :

2oz/50g butter

2oz/50g caster sugar

1 egg

½ tsp vanilla extract

3 oz/75g self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

A little milk

How to bake :

Pre heat the oven to 350 F, Mark 4, 180 C. Cream the butter and sugar and add the vanilla extract and beaten egg. Sift the flour and baking powder and add to the creamed mixture using a little milk if necessary. Half fill bun cases with the mixture and bake in a moderate oven for 15 minutes. Makes 8-10 buns.

To decorate :

When cool, scoop out the top of each bun and fill the hole with butter cream. For this you need 2 oz/50g butter, *4 oz/110g icing sugar, a few drops *vanilla extract and 1-2 tbsps milk. Cream the butter and icing sugar. Add the vanilla extract and milk and mix well. Replace the scooped-out sponge as a lid. Dust with icing sugar. We like to add some butterscotch pieces too. 

Or, make chocolate buns by adding 2 tbsps of cocoa to the mixture. We made these for Easter but you can bake some the next time there's a special occasion.  

Meryl says :  

During lockdown home schooling, I’ve been baking every Friday with my grandchildren. We made lots of tasty bakes and carried on after school from March. You can check out our bakes as we post our efforts on @GrandmaAbson Instagram  Enjoy!

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Grandma’s homeschool baking


Rainbow Cake

During this last lockdown, I’ve been busy homeschooling my grandchildren. Every day we’ve been doing our best to do the lessons and keep our spirits up. We’ve had some fun and worked hard but by Friday afternoon, we were all getting a bit worn out, so we put our screens and writing away, put on our aprons and went into the kitchen to bake. Over the long winter months, when it was dark and gloomy by mid afternoon, we made lots of lovely treats for the weekend and cheered ourselves up. We posted photos and videos of our efforts on @GrandmaAbson Instagram  to delight and inspire others to bake.

This is our favourite cake (so far) and is also a thank you to all those heroes who keep us safe. We made Grandma’s recipe for a Victoria Sandwich in an 8 inch/ 20cms cake tin, to make a fabulous cake.

What you need

4 eggs and their weight in each of 

caster sugar

 self raising flour 

margarine or butter

Milk to mix. 

Raspberry Jam 

How to bake

Preheat the oven to Mark 5, 190 C. Cream the butter and sugar. Beat the eggs and add to the creamed mixture. Fold in the flour. Add the milk and mix in gently. Put into 2 x 7 inch (18cms) greased tins. Bake for 30 minutes. Check it’s done with a cake tester. Allow to cool on a wire cooling rack. 

Then make the butter cream and get the raspberry jam out to assemble and decorate the cake.

Butter Cream

110g/4 oz butter

225g/8 oz icing sugar

Few drops vanilla essence

1-2 tbsps tepid water or milk

Cream the butter and icing sugar. Add the vanilla essence and water or milk to make a soft mixture. 

How to assemble and decorate

When cold, cut the cake into 2. Spread the butter cream on one half and raspberry jam on the other and sandwich together. Then turn on their sides to form a rainbow shape. Cover one side of the cake with butter cream then decorate with smarties or coloured sweets in the order of the rainbow colours.

Grandma Meryl says : Enjoy a slice to say thankyou. Back at school now but we're still carrying on our  #bakingwithGrandma so keep checking for our Friday bakes! 

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Apple of my eye

Spicy Apple Cakes

I don’t often make cakes with fruit such as apples as I sometimes the wet mixture can make the final texture too heavy but there was nothing like that with this recipe for these little spicy apple cakes. 

50g/2oz butter

150g/5oz plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 egg

50g/2oz soft brown sugar

110gml/4fl oz milk

3 baking apples

Demerara sugar for topping

Pre heat the oven to 200C/Mark 6. Melt the butter in a pan and cool slightly. Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk the egg, sugar, milk and the melted butter then fold in the flour mixture lightly without over beating it. Grate 2 of the apples and fold this in carefully without over stirring. Divide the mixture into 8-9 small cake or muffin cases in a baking tin or tray. Chop the remaining apple into small pieces and arrange on top of each small cake, sprinkling demerara sugar on top. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Leave to cool.

Meryl says : This is a great recipe which can be adapted with the addition of other fruits such as blueberries. You could try it out with apricots too.  

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Hurrah for mincemeat leftovers

Apple and Mincemeat Pudding

It’s not surprising that with changing plans for Christmas, I made too much mincemeat. By 2 January I still had two jars left but, as the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. I had enough to try out a recipe which my friend Sarah gave me a few years ago. It was one that her mum used to make and the pudding became a family tradition for New Year.

What you need

2oz/50g + 2oz/50g (for topping) butter

2oz/50g sugar

60z/175g self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 large egg

3 fl oz/100ml milk

10oz/285g mincemeat

2- 3 cooking apples (depending on size)

2oz/50g demerara sugar

How to bake

Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Prepare a 25cm/10inch flan dish by rubbing it with butter. Beat the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and egg together until well combined. All the milk and continue to mix until a smooth consistency. Spread the mixture over the base of the dish and then spoon the mincemeat over it. Peel and core the apples, then slice thinly. Arrange these over the top of the mincemeat. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle demerara sugar on top.  Bake for about 30 minutes until the apples are cooked. Serve with custard, crème fraiche or ice cream as you wish.

Meryl says: It’s an easy dessert to make and proved a winner with us too. Grandma has a Mincemeat Cake which is another great recipe for leftover mincemeat. You can also freeze mincemeat too for around 6 to 8 months. 'Waste not want not' as she used to say!