Posts Tagged ‘baking’

Baking Botch

My baking is usually successful, but I’ve never had much luck with sponges, and it was years since I’d tried.  I needed something to take for an afternoon tea, and decided to try out a recipe I’d seen for sponge drops.  I measured everything carefully, and sifted the flour three times (the first outing my sifter’s had for years).  The recipe said it would make sixteen spoonfuls, but I managed only eight.

The outcome was disappointing,  They were edible, but not the light and fluffy sponges I was hoping for.  I cut them in half, added jam, and took them anyway.

“I’d hoped for delicious sponge drops
but these turned out more like sponge flops.”

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Ginger Cake

On a day with persistent rain, baking was the ideal occupation.  I wanted to make something different and discovered this recipe in my book.  It’s so long since I’ve made it the temperature was still written in fahrenheit.

Ginger Cake (small)

125g butter, cubed
½ cup boiling water
½ cup brown sugar
3 tbsp golden syrup
1 egg
1 tbsp grated root ginger or finely chopped crystallised ginger (my preference)
1 ¾ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
½ tsp cinnamon

Cut butter in small cubes, and pour the water over them in a saucepan.  Heat until butter melts then remove from heat.  Do not let mixture boil.  Alternatively cook 90 seconds in microwave.
Add brown sugar, golden syrup, egg, and ginger.  Beat to combine thoroughly.
Sift dry ingredients.  Add mixture which must be no more than lukewarm, and beat until mixture is lump free.  Do not overbeat.
Pour into lined ring tin and bake at 180 degrees (celsius) for 45 minutes.

“This cake with ginger and with spice
produced a taste that’s very nice.”




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Feijoa Feast

A friend shared her feijoa harvest with me the same week a feijoa recipe by Ruth Pretty had featured in the “Press” Weekend magazine.

I made a few adaptations.  I like to measure rather than weigh, and I substituted sultanas for dates.  The loaf is delicious!

Feijoa loaf

Feijoa loaf

Feijoa and Ginger Loaf

(recipe from Ruth Pretty with adaptations)

Makes one loaf or eight mini loaves

Three large feijoas (320 g), peeled and diced
1 ½ cups sultanas
175 ml boiling water
1 cup sugar
71g butter
2 tblsp diced crystallised ginger, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 ¾ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 180 Celsius.  Lightly grease a loaf tin or 8 mini loaf forms
Put feijoas, sultanas, water, sugar, and butter in a saucepan and stir to combine.  Bring to boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.  Add ginger and stir to combine.  Remove from heat and cool.
Add egg and vanilla and stir to combine.
Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda into the mixture and fold to combine.
Put into prepared tin or loaf forms and into preheated oven.
Full size loaf- bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Mini loaves – bake 12-15 minutes or until centres bounce back when prodded.
Remove from oven onto cooling rack.
Keeps for up to three days.
Slice and serve.

The feijoas on our ‘Unique’ tree are still small.  One fell off and tasted fine, but it was tiny compared to the ones from my friend’s tree.

Our feijoas are still small

Our feijoas are still small

When  more are ripe I’ll be making this loaf again.  It’s quite moist (could be the sultanas) so needs to be eaten with a fork.  I’m lucky enough to have a left-handed cake fork.  I’m tempted to buy some mini loaf ‘forms’.  They would be fun to bake with.

“When it is feijoa harvest time
this makes a fruity loaf sublime.”

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Day of Domesticity

On this dreary, drizzly Sunday I have:

  • lingered in bed with a good book
  • enjoyed a leisurely cooked breakfast
  • ventured out to pick a bunch of sodden snowdrops

Snowdrops from my wintry garden

  • played Wordscraper (online scrabble)
  • joined Plinky.com
  • baked a fruit cake
  • Fruit cake

  • written to an old friend
  • done the ironing
  • darned socks
  • Sock-darning equipment

  • written a letter to the Editor

Now it’s time to sit doown with a cup of tea and look forward to tonight’s episode of “Dr Who”

“A rainy day gives time to pause
and catch up on those inside chores.”

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