Experimental baking – the results

Straight out of the tin, before glazing.

Straight out of the tin, before glazing.

Things went quite smoothly with the baking last night – something that doesn’t always happen even when I’m following a recipe!

We have tasted the sample cake made with the extra batter but have yet to cut into the big one, but here are my observations so far:

– colour and texture was really good. Turned out of the tin very well.
– could definitely take more lemon
– good amount of poppy seeds and evenly distributed
– tester cake could maybe be a bit more moist. Big cake might be different

Here’s my recipe
450g plain flour
400g caster sugar
250ml buttermilk (I used whole milk with 1 tbsp white vinegar)
85g poppy seeds
4 large eggs (I also added 3 egg yolks, left over from meringues)
225g Stork
Half a teaspoon of baking powder
Half a teaspoon of baking soda
Zest and juice of one lemon

Preheat oven to 160 degrees and prepare Bundt tin (I used cake release spray and dusted with flour)

Add all the ingredients into a big bowl and using an electric hand mixer, mix until combined. Be careful not to over-mix.

Spoon carefully into the prepared tin, filling the tin no more than 3/4 full. (Any left over batter can be used to make extra cakes!)

Cook for approximately 1 hour, until a skewer comes out clean, and the cake is coming away from the sides of the tin slightly. Leave to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes then cross your fingers and turn out onto a cooling rack.

Allow to cool completely before decorating either with a dusting of icing sugar or a lemon glaze (icing sugar mixed with fresh lemon juice to desired consistency and drizzled over the cake).

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Experimental Baking

For the first time ever, I am totally making up a cake recipe.

I got my lovely copy of the Clandestine Cake Club book through the post yesterday and have been drooling over the amazing cakes that people have created, planning what to bake. There are loads in there I want to try! Then I remembered I’ve got extra egg yolks in the fridge from some meringue-making the other day and I started googling cake recipes that would incorporate those. So I thought…if these cake club bakers can create such brilliant cakes, maybe I should be brave and have a go?

Traditionally I’m a follower, not a creator. I think that baking is a science and you can only really mess with a recipe once you understand the chemistry between all the ingredients. Yes I tweak…a little more lemon or extra ginger, add a few nuts, whatever…but I’ve never made anything up. So tonight I looked at what I had in the cupboards and with an itch to use my Heritage Bundt tin that I’ve had for months without using, off I went!

The Heritage from Nordic Ware

The Heritage from Nordic Ware

Sitting in the oven now is what will hopefully be a lemon and poppy seed (one of my fave combos) bundt. Based on what (little) I’ve learnt about Bundt cakes (from fellow cake clubbers such as undisputed Bundt queen, DollyBakes) I set about creating my *ahem* masterpiece. It’s got flour, butter, sugar, eggs (including those yolks), raising agents, lemon zest and juice, milk and poppy seeds. Batter looked good and felt like a reasonable consistency. I’ve just checked on it after half an hour and it’s rising nicely.

Wish me luck. I’ll post the results later!

Bump blogging

Hello. Long time no post! 

I thought, as today’s quite an exciting day, it might be a good time to start doing a bit of bump blogging. I’ve shied away from it until now for various reasons: I didn’t feel too great at the start, just in case anything went wrong, and I wanted to tell as many people in person as possible!

So why today? It’s our 20 week scan this morning. I am really excited about seeing the little one again. It’s been very wriggly recently and I’m able to feel its movements much more easily now, which is lovely. To answer the obvious question, no, we won’t be finding out the sex of the baby. We think it’s fabulous to have the surprise at the birth…it makes that hard work even more worth it!

F is being a little superstar. She asks about baby all the time, she knows where it is and gives my bump a kiss and a cuddle often. She initially wanted it to come out straight away, and would try to unwrap my tummy, but now she understands its got to grow a bit first, and will tell anyone who’ll listen!  

How is the pregnancy going so far? Well, I had rubbish morning sickness at first, until about 13 weeks. Thankfully I didn’t throw up but the constant nausea was quite difficult. I also went off cake. I know. I’m glad to report that cake consumption has now resumed, but I’ve also a manic craving for fruit, which is no bad thing! The bump is very noticeable  – but it’s been very noticeable from about 8 flipping weeks! However, I definitely I think I’m in the best phase of pregnancy now. Bump is a good size, I have a decent amount of energy and am still managing to get some sleep.

I am very much looking forward to us being a family of four. Admittedly I have a few anxieties about how the hell I’m going to cope with a toddler and a newborn, but millions of people do it, so there’s no reason I can’t (she says…) and I’m thinking about the birth already, much sooner than I did with F. Already had a fabulous pregnancy relaxation session with my friend Natalie, who’s a trained natal hypnotherapist, and I’m hoping to do more learning with her soon, to help get me in the state I’d like to be during labour.

So, expect a bit more pregnancy blogging from now on. Probably not loads. I do seem to do this in fits and starts! But if you’re interested I hope you’ll join me for baby-related ramblings.

And if you’re just here for the cake, don’t worry…there’ll be plenty about that too!

H x