Coconut and Cherry Sponge Cake- Mercers of Yorkshire Cherry Jam.

Cherry and Coconut Sponge, a twist on an old retro favourite from childhood.

 A couple of years back as family circumstances changed we stopped having our traditional Sunday lunch at lunchtime.  My daughter was out at work and would miss having a Sunday lunch and the chance for us all to sit down over a roast dinner.  So our Sunday meal got moved to the early evening once she was in from work.  Because we were eating late I stopped making a Sunday pudding.  I really miss making a pudding on a Sunday as we don’t usually indulge throughout the week. It just makes it a bit more special.  This last Sunday I really wanted to test out an idea I had for a Cherry and Coconut Sponge cake using some Red Cherry Jam I had picked up at the Good Food Show a couple of weeks back.  It was baked in a bit of a rush though.  I have been running around like a headless chicken this weekend trying to get all my jobs done as it is a busy time for me at work in my day job supply teaching. I don’t want to be ironing or cleaning bathrooms when I’ve got in from work during the week, so I’ve been trying to keep on top of things.

 

Baking this cake gave me a great opportunity to use some special products like my favourite. Sugar and Crumbs icing sugars.
 

It was 2pm and I’d only just got dressed!  That makes me sound like a right lazy slob but if I don’t have to go anywhere I stay and do all my housework in my PJ’s. I ironed, cleaned the bathrooms, hoovered and dusted upstairs and by 2pm I was ready for a cup of tea and a baking session.

To bake the Coconut and Cherry Sponge Cake I adapted Lynn Hill (Founder of The Clandestine Cake Club’s) own recipe from the first Clandestine Cake Club cookbook which was published back in 2013.  This cake was wonderfully retro, the sort you grew up eating or your granny baked.  I don’t remember my Nana Mary (my Mum’s mum) baking it, though I do remember her baking lemon cake and fruit cakes.

I started by greasing and lining two 8″ diameter loose bottomed sandwich tins.  Once this was done I then weighed out some softened butter and caster sugar. This was creamed together with my hand held electric whisk.  To this I added three free range eggs, one at a time and then some self raising flour. Lynn’s original recipe calls for using vanilla extract for flavouring, but instead I used a few drops of some natural coconut extract which comes from Lakeland.  To add to the coconut flavour I also added some dessiccated coconut. The mixture was then divided between the two cake tins and put in the oven, preheated to 160oC.  After about 25 minutes when the cakes were risen and sprung back when touched, out they came to cool on the worktop.

While the cakes had been cooking I thought about how I could decorate the cake. Lynn’s original recipe used a butter and cream cheese icing which sounded delicious along with a filling of jam.  I decided to use some of my Mercers of York Cherry jam which is absolutely delicious.  Instead of the butter and cream cheese icing which I couldn’t do anyway as I didn’t have the cream cheese, I whipped up a carton of cream and to this I added some Sugar and Crumbs Natural Flavour Coconut Icing Sugar.  I got this ready and decided to go out for a run.  I’m doing the Couch To 5K app at the moment as I’m entering the Race For Life in June so I’m trying to train when I can.  An hour later, I’m back home feeling a bit tired but ready to decorate the cake.

One top of one cake I spread about 6 tbsp jam and to the other I spread about half the coconut cream mixture. These were then sandwiched together. The rest of the cream was spread on the top of the cake with a dozen glace cherries spaced around the edge. To finish off, I sprinkled desiccated coconut on top of the cake.

 

A blast from the past.. a sponge topped with dessicated coconut. I chose to use cream instead of buttercream for my icing.
  

A coconut flavour sponge, layered with cherry jam and coconut cream.

Even though the cake was meant to be a Sunday dessert treat we were far too full to eat it.  So at the time of typing it is in a box in my fridge waiting to be eaten throughout the course of the week. 

 

A perfect Sunday afternoon treat.
 

Happy Baking.

Love Sam xx

Sticky Toffee Cake.

About three weeks ago we had a special family Sunday meal at our house for my Dad and step-mum.  After some gammon which was the smallest joint ever and had to be padded out with pigs in blankets and lots of veg, I had to think of a pudding that everyone would like.

When it’s cold, dark and miserable outside I love nothing more than Sticky Toffee Pudding.  It’s simple to make yet tastes gorgeous and most people I know love eating it.  I wanted to try out the Scrumptious Sticky Toffee Cake in The Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook as the photo in the book looked absolutely mouthwatering.  The recipe was created by Jane Edgar who is a member of the  Pudsey and West Leeds Clandestine Cake Club. It also came with a separate toffee sauce which would work really well to cater for everyone’s tastes.  My step mum can’t eat cream which is in the toffee sauce so this was perfect for her.  She could eat the cake without the sauce and have custard if she wanted to instead.

First of all I had to put some chopped, stoned dates into a pan with some milk and water.  These had to cook until all the liquid had been absorbed.
First of all I had to put some chopped, stoned dates into a pan with some milk and water. These had to cook until all the liquid had been absorbed.
Once the liquid had been absorbed, I removed the dates from the heat and added some bicarbonate of soda.
Once the liquid had been absorbed, I removed the dates from the heat and added some bicarbonate of soda.
The bicarbonate of soda fizzed up when it was added to the date mixture.  It was fun to watch this happen!
The bicarbonate of soda fizzed up when it was added to the date mixture. It was fun to watch this happen!
Into my mixer went Pure Soya spread and  soft light brown sugar.  This was creamed together, then eggs were added to the mixture gradually.
Into my mixer went Pure Soya spread and soft light brown sugar. This was creamed together, then eggs were added to the mixture gradually.
Sifting in some flour.
Sifting in some flour.
Folding in the date mixture with a teaspoonful of vanilla extract.
Folding in the date mixture with a teaspoonful of vanilla extract.
The mixture was then spooned into a prepared cake tin.  This was a 20cm round cake tin.
The mixture was then spooned into a prepared cake tin. This was a 20cm round cake tin.
After the cake baked in the oven for about 45 minutes it was left to cool out on the worktop.  It came out a lovely dark golden colour.
After the cake baked in the oven for about 45 minutes it was left to cool out on the worktop. It came out a lovely dark golden colour.
While the cake was cooling I made the toffee sauce.  I heated double cream, brown sugar and butter together in a saucepan.
While the cake was cooling I made the toffee sauce. I heated double cream, brown sugar and butter together in a saucepan.
The cooled cake was put onto my stand and the sauce into a separate jug.  In the recipe book Jane, the recipe creator suggests pouring the sauce all over the top.  I chose to serve it separately so my step-mum could still eat some.
The cooled cake was put onto my stand and the sauce into a separate jug. In the recipe book Jane, the recipe creator suggests pouring the sauce all over the top. I chose to serve it separately so my step-mum could still eat some.
Here is the separate jug of toffee sauce.  I doubled the quantities suggested in the recipe as the toffee sauce would be great with some ice cream for the kids.
Here is the separate jug of toffee sauce. I doubled the quantities suggested in the recipe as the toffee sauce would be great with some ice cream for the kids.
All ready and waiting to be eaten.  Yum yum!
All ready and waiting to be eaten. Yum yum!

The Scrumptious Sticky Toffee Cake really lived up to it’s name.  It was delicious and everyone enjoyed their piece of cake.  We also had some Kelly’s Clotted Cream Ice cream to serve with it which was perfect.  There was even some left over for my hubby to eat after his tea the night after.

Definitely one I will bake again and again as it’s perfect for a Sunday lunch or a dinner party and I found it easy to bake.

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx