Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake.

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I’m a huge fan of Nordicware Bundt pans much to the annoyance of Mr SmartCookieSam and my kids.  I’ve lost count of how many pans I’ve got since I started collecting them seven years ago.  My first one was the giant cupcake pan and since then I’ve been lucky enough to find ones in local shops, chain stores, Ebay, Amazon and even over in Canada in Williams Sonoma.  I spend birthday and Christmas money on them. Even only a few days ago as I type I managed to buy the Blossom pan. It turned up when Mr SmartCookieSam was there and he said “But you’ve got already got that one!” Er no, but then I suppose they all look the same to him.

The other week I managed to find the Star Pan (pictured below with the Heritage pan and the Elegant Party pan) in my local Home Sense.  I’d only gone in to find a blanket for my dog to lie on when he goes in my car.  Thankfully he did get his beautiful tartan blanket but I also came out with a bundt pan!  I wasn’t expecting that!

Fast forward to a month later and I had the perfect chance to use my star pan for the first time.  In my previous two posts about the Pinata Cake and the Decadent Chocolate Bundt Cake I mentioned about my wasted day baking three sumptuous cakes for my local WI Supper, only for there to be a mix up on the rota.  The third and final cake I chose to bake was one that always goes down really well at WI is my Lemon Drizzle Bundt.

By this time it was early afternoon and I had already baked two cakes and decorated one of them. I had yet to decorate the second and to bake this one.  Fortunately lemon drizzle cake doesn’t need any icing on it, just the syrup and a dusting of icing sugar.  At least time was on my side.

I greased the Star Bundt pan with Wilton Cake Release, preheated the oven to 160oC and then started to weigh out the ingredients.  I beat together butter and caster sugar until it was light and fluffy and then added in four eggs one by one.  When the eggs were beaten in, I also added a tablespoonful of self raising flour from the whole amount each time to prevent any curdling.  In another bowl I grated the zest from two large lemons and also added the juice from one of them in with some natural yoghurt.  This was mixed together.

To bring the mixture together I alternated spoonfuls of the remaining flour along with the lemony yoghurt mixure.  This was carefully folded in so I didn’t see any flour not mixed in.  Then the mixture was ready to go into the tin and into the oven.

After about 40 minutes I checked the cake and noticed it was still a little bit runny in the middle.  I kept this cooking for another ten minutes or so and that did the trick.  The cake came out of the oven and was ready to cool down.

While the cake was cooling I had to make the lemon sugar syrup.  This was made with caster sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice gently heated up in a saucepan until the sugar had dissolved.

It needed to cool a little bit for a few minutes but the cake needed to still be warm for the syrup to soak into the sponge.  I did this as the cake was still cooling in the tin.

When the cake was ready to come out I felt as anxious as I always do every time I take a bundt cake out of it’s pan.  This one would have to look good as it wasn’t going to be heavily decorated and any chunks missing from still being stuck in the tin would be on show!

Fortunately, thanks to taking great care with greasing the pans carefully I didn’t have any problems.  So all that remained was to let the cake cool down on a cake board and to dust it with icing sugar.

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Honey and Apple Cake from The Clandestine Cake Club (A Year Of Cake)

  A Year Of Cake is the eagerly awaited second book by Clandestine Cake Club founder Lynn Hill with contributions of lots of delicious recipes from Cake Club members from around the world.  The book was published on 10th September but being as I was lucky to have two recipes included in the book, I got my hands on my very own free copy a few days before.  As with the first Clandestine Cake Club book which is well used and cake splattered, I know that this one will be the same. The book is arranged into recipes to fit suitable special occasions, birthdays and anniversaries throughout the year.  So it was apt that I started to bake a couple of recipes from the September chapter.

I will be writing a couple of posts about my own featured recipes in the next few days. So watch this space!

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I was really excited when my very own copy of A Year Of Cake arrived at my house the other day!
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Lynn Hill very kindly autographed all the recipe contributor’s books for us. This is just a small sample of the beautiful photography featured in the book.

Last Sunday was one of those days where hubby said to me “Don’t bake anything, we don’t need cake in the house!” Though funnily enough when I don’t bake anything he always says “Have you got any cake? It’ll put me on ’til teatime?” I can’t win!  Anyway we had got back off holiday a couple of weeks before and due to the miserable weather and me feeling tired after a long week at work, I succumbed to temptation!

I had some eating apples in my fruit bowl and some gorgeous Welsh runny honey in my baking cupboard.  So it had to be Lynn Hill’s own recipe for Honey and Apple Cake to try out first.

The Honey and Apple cake was included in the September chapter of the book to mark the Jewish New Year or Rosh Hashanah which falls in September and is the start of the 10 day celebration for Jews.  Sweet foods are popular at Rosh Hashanah, especially honey.  This can be with apples dipped in honey or in the form of a honey cake.  Lynn’s cake is moist but also has an aromatic flavour from cinnamon and mixed spice as well as from fresh coffee in the mix.

I was keen to try out this recipe as I tried out a similar Jewish honey cake recipe a few months back.  My recipe was a disaster.  I had planned to bake it, along with some Challah to take into a school where I was teaching on supply and we were learning about Judaism.  Unfortunately both the Challah (which didn’t rise and came out like a heavy doorstop) and the honey cake (which fell apart when it came out of the tin) ended up staying at home.  I was too embarrassed to take them to work!

Fortunately, I needn’t have worried with Lynn’s recipe.  Here’s how I baked it:

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In a large mixing bowl I sifted self raising flour, cinnamon, mixed spice, baking powder and salt together.
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In another bowl I beat eggs and both dark brown and light brown sugar together.
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In a third bowl I measured out oil, runny honey and some freshly brewed warm and very strong black coffee.
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To another bowl I added grated apple, flaked almonds and some raisins.
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Finally I carefully folded the flour mixture into the wet mixture and then added in the fruit and nuts to create this batter. It was very runny.
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Lynn’s recipe calls for the cake to be baked in a 23cm springform cake tin. I wondered if it would work in a bundt pan. I thought I’d try it out as my springform tin is too small. I would watch the cake carefully as it cooked though.
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Lynn’s cake needs to be baked for 40-45 minutes but being as mine was in a bundt pan I had to keep it in about 10 minutes longer. I was a bit worried as it was beginning to burn round the edge but it was fine. Now all I had to to was to give it time to cool down and then hope and pray it came out of the tin in one piece!
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I decided to go off for a run and to do a couple of jobs so I wasn’t tempted to take the cake out of it’s pan too early. Luckily it slid out really easily apart from in one place round the middle of the pan. It began to come apart but I managed to save it before it slid on the floor!
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I’m sorry to say I’m such a greedy pig that I couldn’t wait til pudding to eat it. We were having roast chicken at tea time and the Honey cake was meant to be the pudding. Did that stop me nicking a big slice? No way!

The honey cake was delicious, just as i imagined it. Moist and sweet with juicy plump raisins. It was perfect with a dollop of creme fraiche on the side.  My family were too full up after the roast dinner to eat any though, including me who had eaten my fair share before.  So it got cut up into sections and is now in the freezer! Now I have baked this recipe successfully I will have a go at baking it with a class when we learn about Judaism although I will omit the almonds and use de-caff coffee!

if you love the sound of this recipe and lots more like it, then A Year Of Cake is available through Amazon and through lots of other book retailers.

Happy Baking

Love Sam xx

Bundts, Bundts and More Bundts.

I’m getting just that teensy weensy bit obsessed with collecting Nordicware Bundt pans now. I think it needs to stop or else I will need a kitchen extension!  I just love the interesting shapes that the pans come in and how you can make a cake into a showstopper bake by using one of the pans.  I still see pans I want and the wish list is getting longer and longer by the day!

This post is to share some of the more recent bakes I have made so far this year using my bundt pans.  For recipe inspiration I can recommend the fabulous website by Rachel McGrath the Bundt Queen herself.  She has lots of ideas and fantastic flavour combinations to try out.  I would recommend looking at her Bundt recipe page and also adapting and creating your own ideas from her Build a Bundt recipe.

Rachel’s feature on her blog called Bundts on The Brain is a great insight into the history of the Bundt:

http://www.dollybakes.co.uk/p/bundts-on-brain.html

Here are my new bundt pans I have been getting excited about!

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The Heritage Bundt pan. I’ve been after this for ages, such a pretty design.
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My two loaf bundt pans: a lemon loaf one and a gingerbread man one.
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A pretty rose bundt pan. I haven’t had much success with this, tried to bake a white chocolate and raspberry bundt in it a few weeks back and it just wouldn’t come out of the tin. When I finally got it out, the top part fell out leaving half of it welded to the bottom! Try and try again I suppose!
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For Valentine’s Day I baked a chocolate and chocolate themed bundt heart cake. It featured Sugar and Crumbs‘s chocolate and coconut icing sugar which worked really well in both the mixture and the chocolate glaze. To top the cake I added miniature sugarpaste hearts.
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Connected with a previous blog post written in conjunction with Sugar and Crumbs, I baked this Jaffa Orange Bundt cake. This recipe was adapted from one in the latest Hummingbird Bakery recipe book and looked fab baked in my Heritage bundt pan.
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Bundt cakes are those baked in pans manufactured by Nordicware and not necessarily a cake with a hole in the middle. This sticky lemon loaf cake baked from one of my Nana’s old recipe books went along to a Clandestine Cake Club event in February.
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I spotted the Nordicware Pineapple Upside down cake pan on Ebay in March and just had to have it. Luckily it was a Buy It Now option but I did have to send for it from the USA. It was worth it to bake one of my family’s favourite desserts in such a pretty way.  The recipe itself I used from an American website but I am not sure if I got the quantities right having to use baking cups!
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Back in January I wanted to experiment with some Monin coffee syrups I was given just before Christmas. So I used one of Dollybakes’ recipes to bake this Cinnamon and Apple Bundt Cake with apple flavour glace icing.
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For my hubby’s birthday in January I baked my usual carrot cake recipe in a traditional bundt pan and decorated it with cream cheese frosting, chopped nuts and some ready made carrot decorations.
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My heart shaped bundt pan gets used at all times of the year, not just for Valentine’s Day! I baked Jamie Oliver’s Sticky Toffee Pudding from his latest book Comfort Food in my pan instead of in a traybake tin.
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My piece of sticky toffee pudding with some sauce drizzled over. Perfect for a cold February dessert.

Keep watching this space, there will be more bundts to come in the future!

Happy Baking.

Love Sam xx

Apple Pie Cake From The Boy Who Bakes

Not another apple related blog post?! Well it certainly feels like it at the moment but then again I have been inundated with apples.  The other day my next door neighbour came round with some apples.  He gave us two huge carrier bags full of apples from his tree in his garden. One bag of smaller apples is being eaten by my daughter’s horse, the others by me and my family here in North Yorkshire.

The other day I posted about baking a Sticky Toffee Apple Pudding nearly two weeks ago from the latest Great British Bake Off book but I still had loads of apples to use up.  I had been ill with a nasty cough so I hadn’t baked anything for nearly a week (a record for me!) But to me, Sunday lunch isn’t Sunday lunch without a pudding to finish it off especially in the colder weather.  So it had to be something with apples but what could I bake? I’d made apple cakes, apple crumbles, apple pies and was running out of ideas. I looked through my recipe books and although it looked very big for a Sunday lunch I couldn’t resist having a go at the Apple Pie Cake which is from Edd Kimber‘s recipe. This cake recipe is featured in his “The Boy Who Bakes” book.

I have always liked Edd and his style of baking ever since we first saw him on the very first series of The Great British Bake Off back in 2010.  His Red Velvet Cake from The Boy Who Bakes and his chocolate cake from his second book “Say It With Cake” are two of my favourite large cake recipes which I use time and time again.

Here’s how I made the Apple Pie Cake:

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I needed to use three 20cm/ 8″ sandwich cake tins to make the apple pie cake. Here they are greased and lined with baking parchment circles from Lakeland.

The cake itself is actually created using a whisking method where the eggs are separated.  The air gets into the cake by whisking the volume into the yolks and then into the egg whites. I’m not as experienced at this method so I did wonder how it would turn out.

Flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon were sifted into a large bowl.
Flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon were sifted into a large bowl.
Butter and half the sugar were creamed together.
Butter and half the sugar were creamed together.
One by one four egg yolks were added and beaten in to the mixture.
One by one four egg yolks were added and beaten in to the mixture.
Then some vanilla extract was added in.
Then some vanilla extract was added in.
The egg whites were whisked together.
The egg whites were whisked together.
Hoping to achieve soft peak status!
Hoping to achieve soft peak status!
Adding the remains of the caster sugar to the mixture bit by bit.
Adding the remains of the caster sugar to the mixture bit by bit.
Folding the egg whites into the cake mixture.
Folding the egg whites into the cake mixture.
Then adding the dry ingredients.
Then adding the dry ingredients.
Sharing out the mixture equally  between the three tins.
Sharing out the mixture equally between the three tins.
Making the caramelised apples for the top and filling of the cake; butter, sugar, cinnamon and sliced apples heating slowly in the pan.
Making the caramelised apples for the top and filling of the cake; butter, sugar, cinnamon and sliced apples heating slowly in the pan.
Two out of three layers of apple cake!
Two out of three layers of apple cake!
The final one!
The final one!
The apples were then taken out of the sauce so that the sauce could thicken and caramelise.
The apples were then taken out of the sauce so that the sauce could thicken and caramelise.
The apples in their bowl cooling down
The apples in their bowl cooling down.
Building up the cake layer by layer, spreading on a layer of cinnamon cream cheese icing, topped by a layer of apples.
Building up the cake layer by layer, spreading on a layer of cinnamon cream cheese icing, topped by a layer of apples.
Two of the cakes turned out onto the cooling rack.
Two of the cakes turned out onto the cooling rack.
Ta[dah! The finished cake.  It tasted delicious- all the flavours of apple pie in cake form!
Ta[dah! The finished cake. It tasted delicious- all the flavours of apple pie in cake form!

Despite still feeling rough from my cough after last week I was delighted that the cake turned out well.  It tasted absolutely delicious and everyone enjoyed it. Even my son who complains he “doesn’t like apple cooked in anything” ate a second slice!

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

Apple and Oat Muffins- The Great British Bake Off Everyday

Last Wednesday I woke up feeling in a baking mood.  I think the excitement of the Great British Bake Off starting back on TV and everyone talking baking on Twitter made me want to get my apron on.  I didn’t need to bake anything, I just felt like it.  It was a day when we were staying at home (apart from getting my son’s hair cut ) it was all about catching up on jobs for me.  My daughter was stuck up in her room doing Art coursework and my son had his friend round.  So apart from the usual, I needed something exciting to do!  So what did I do- well baking, of course! What else?

I’d had my eye on the Apple and Oat Muffins in the Great British Bake Off Everyday book.  I love making muffins.  Did you know my nickname was Muffin when I was little? My Dad called me that because I couldn’t say Samantha properly when I was little, it came out as Muffind!  Mind you, I was dead clumsy as a child and still am very accident prone, I wondered if it was because I was like Muffin The Mule!

These gorgeous muffins were easy to make and ideal if you want to make something in a hurry. They took just under an hour from start to finish and tasted delicious with a large mug of steaming hot coffee. They’d be lovely for breakfast or a snack and I’m sorry to say but they do taste much nicer than the ones you get in chain coffee shops!

So, here’s how I made them :

First of all i made the crumbly topping for the muffins.  This is made in the same way as a crumble.  Flour, porridge oats, demerara sugar and butter were rubbed in together to form the topping.
First of all i made the crumbly topping for the muffins. This is made in the same way as a crumble. Flour, porridge oats, demerara sugar and butter were rubbed in together to form the topping.
Some unsalted butter was put into a bowl and melted gently in my microwave for about 30 seconds.
Some unsalted butter was put into a bowl and melted gently in my microwave for about 30 seconds.
In another bowl I combined flour, porridge oats, caster sugar, baking powder and lemon zest. These were mixed together with a wooden spoon to combine them.
In another bowl I combined flour, porridge oats, caster sugar, baking powder and lemon zest. These were mixed together with a wooden spoon to combine them.
In another container I measured out some milk and added two beaten free range eggs.
In another container I measured out some milk and added two beaten free range eggs.
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I used two large Braeburn apples in these muffins. It didn’t say whether to peel them or not but I did. I kept the chunks quite large as I didn’t want them to reduce to nothing and go all mushy while baking!
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The batter all ready to be spooned into paper muffin cases.
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The batter was carefully divided between 12 muffin cases. I used plain brown ones which are fab. They are from my local Morrisons and they are ideal, they do not discolour or peel away from the muffins. Also they are a very reasonable price.
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The crunchy crumble topping is then carefully sprinkled on the top of the unbaked muffins.
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And half an hour later or so they were ready to come out of the oven.
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Displayed on my new cake stand bought in the Lakeland sale for only £7.49 the other day.
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I know I shouldn’t but the smell was too inviting! I just HAD to have a muffin with my elevenses!

When I told my kids I had made muffins and they asked what flavour they were, they said “Urgh, gross!” and “What did you have to put apple in them for?”  Funny how they all disappeared very quickly.  Either that or we have a cake ghost in our house!

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx