Kids home ill today, which always ends up meaning baking. But without any warning of illness, I don’t have the right ingredients in. I don’t even have enough flour and butter, and no eggs at all…
But they’re ill and clamouring for cake.
Ok then. Let’s see if we can make a fabulous cake with only random ingredients…
And we can! This is an awesome, fruity, light cake. I was amazed!
I mixed all the above together, and baked for 1 hour at 190c.
I mixed the last of my icing sugar and butter together with some more lemon juice to make a toupee of butter cream icing on the top. It’d be great to kid myself that with the polenta, fibre powder and fruit this approximated to healthy, but it’s cake at the end of the day, and a lovely one too. After all, if you can’t have comfort food when you are ill…
My toddler has a new hobby: baking. I discovered recently that he bakes once a week at nursery – he has usually eaten his biscuit or cake before he gets home so I have rarely had the chance to see the results – but he came home this week saying that he had made a red nose and digging in his bag revealed a smiley face cookie with icing and a glace cherry.
So we’ve been cooking at home too. He corrected my crumble the other day (I’d made it with flour and butter and his help but just as I was about to use it he said “no Mummy, you need to put sugar in it now then rub it some more”) and told me the timing (“it goes in d’oven from 11 to 12” – in actual fact it took about 50 minutes).
So we’ve started baking cakes. It’s great fun when he has friends round, and an easy and tasty way of spending some time together in the afternoons. To date, we’ve made peaches and cream cupcakes, and adapted the recipe to be banana and toffee, triple chocolate, summer fruits, and vanilla and raisin. Baked at 180 degrees in a fan oven for 15 minutes (for mini cake cases) or 25 minutes (in the standard size silicone cupcake cases) these are speedy and fun.
Here’s the basics:
Beat these together with an electric whisk.
Beat in 1 egg.
Add 150g self-raising flour – I’ve never yet found a need to sift it.
Plus a pinch of baking powder.
Beat in 2 further eggs.
Add in your flavours. I recommend big chunks of chopped banana and bits of dark chocolate (put half a bar into a plastic bag, seal the top and bash with a rolling pin to break into suitable chunks.
Stir in so these are distributed evenly.
Spoon into cake cases – I’ve found it fills 12 larger and 12 smaller cake cases usually, but sometimes a few fewer.
Cook as described above.
These timings will give a slightly soft and springy centre.
Cool on a rack, after peeling off the silicone cases.
These can be eaten just as they are, or with a buttercream cupcake icing (butter beaten into icing sugar and cocoa powder) piled on top, or a frosting (water or and appropriate fruit sauce beaten into the icing sugar and drizzled over).
(one chopped onion and two crushed garlic cloves)
We started off by coating the steaks in flour, and browning them in the olive oil. Put them into a big lidded pan for the oven (we used a Le Creuset).
Once that’s done, really you should cook the onion and garlic in the same pan until the onions are golden after which they should go in the same oven pan as the pork.
But we forgot to add them all together and the casserole was still delicious.
Next, we added half the carrots, all the mushroom and apple to the pan, frying these a bit to release the flavours, then tipped those into the same pan. Seasoning with the salt, pepper and thyme, we topped up the pan with cider so that pork and bits were completely covered, adding the rosemary sprigs to the top.
We dissolved a stock cube in a little bit of boiling water and stirred in the resulting goop.
This all went into the oven at 180c for an hour and a half. You could take the lid off for the last half hour to reduce the sauce into something nice and sticky.
You could stir in crème fraiche at the last minute if you like.
We served ours with jacket potatoes, and more carrots (the other half bag) – yum. Just the thing now the nights are drawing in…