Category Archives: Cakes

Lavender Streusel Cake

I found this recipe in Country Living magazine, in the ‘Bring Back Teatime’ edition. It looked delicious and very attractive and of course I couldn’t resist the lavender connection! I made this for my Mum’s birthday as a nice summery alternative with no buttery icing in the hot weather…

This is the streusel topping before baking. It smelt wonderful…  It is made from chopped nuts, brown sugar, butter, a small amount of flour and lavender blossoms.

The finished product… I think I should have put all of the streusel topping in the centre to give more of a dip and to let the buttery mixture sink further into the middle of the cake. However, it tasted lovely as it was so not to worry!

I love the effect here when the buttery topping has made its way down into the sponge cake. It was also lovely to decorate the cake with fresh lavender from my Farnham garden.

This was the first time I had tried a streusel cake recipe and I found it very successful. I think it is good to have a cake on the tea table that looks a bit unusual. This recipe (and variations on the theme) may well find themselves on the afternoon tea menu!

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Curious Chocolate Cake

This is ‘Curious Chocolate Cake’, a recipe I picked up on a visit to the wonderful Bailey’s Home and Garden at Ross-on-Wye last weekend.  It is a really gooey and rich cake and has no flour – it uses ground almonds instead which helps keep it beautifully moist. As it was such a very hot day I didn’t ice the top with my usual chocolate fudge icing, but just placed a few swirls of buttercream on it instead. It is possibly more of a dessert cake – I think it would go beautifully with fresh raspberries or in winter some caramelised oranges…

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Gorgeous Tea Cosy

This beautiful red tea cosy was knitted by my mother-in-law. This started off as a fundraising initiative for her local church, but these have become incredibly popular and are now spread across the UK with several in Surrey and several in Cambridgeshire, not to mention those all around Tenbury Wells!

These are so beautifully thick that they keep your teapot warm for ages – brilliant for when you’re having a nice long chat over several cups of tea (and lots of lovely cakes of course)!!

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Chocolate Whoopie Pies

At last, I have got round to making some Whoopie Pies!  I went to the ever reliable Martha Stewart website for an authentic American recipe.  Although these cakes are on sale at Harrods and are being touted as the “new cupcake” in various places, they are actually from a very old recipe.  According to Martha’s information, the origin of these cakes is shrouded in mystery, but some say they were developed as a way to use up left-over chocolate cake batter and icing, which makes sense…  During the 1940s and 1950s they became popular as a dessert to make at home and are still a favourite in Pennsylvania and New England.  Traditionally they are served with a glass of ice-cold milk, but I say a nice cup of strong coffee would work very well.  Or of course a refreshing cup of tea!

I sandwiched these together with a basic vanilla buttercream, as I was just trying out the recipe and didn’t want to use lots of ingredients to make one of the more luxurious fillings.  I have decided that they are definitely worth making again but would definitely try a different filling next time.  The buttercream is a little too sweet.  The texture of a whoopie pie is somewhere between a cookie and a cake, it really is quite different… Of course they can be baked in many flavours and I will be baking a different one next time.

I have several of these and will be giving them to friends to sample so that I can get feedback!  I will let you know what the verdict is…

KM

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Jammy Victoria Sandwich

This was a quick Victoria Sandwich made to have with a cup of coffee after the first barbecue of the year yesterday evening.  Maybe I went a bit over the top with the jam, but I quite like the look of it oozing it out between the sandwich like that!  It was certainly popular with the younger ones, who licked off the jam and the vanilla buttercream and left the sponge…

Today has been spent at the garden centre and in the garden, planting out and getting the raised beds ready for the vegetables.  It has been wonderful to finally get outside and feel some warm sunshine this weekend.

KM

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Lemon Drizzle Cake for a Sunny Spring Day

An old favourite, but I had a lovely big bowl of lemons in the kitchen and just fancied making this on a sunny afternoon.  I took this to a friend’s house and we enjoyed a slice with a strong cup of coffee after a delicious meal this evening.  I had these dear little pink sugar flowers in the cupboard and couldn’t resist sitting some in the sugary glaze on top of the cake.  This means that they stick beautifully – no need for edible glue today.

I’ve been so busy over the past few weeks that it temporarily slipped my mind that I have been meaning to bake a batch of the next big thing in the cake world – the Whoopie Pie.  I’m just deciding which recipe to try and then I’ll report back…

I’m wearing a Cath Kidston vintage apron in this photo – shame on me that it is not a Lavender Sugar apron! This is a treasured birthday gift from a dear friend, so I think I can get away with it…

KM

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