Apricot Streuselkuchen

Cakes

Hi Joe

This is for our Grandparents, the most generous people I know.

I keep a lot of the letters Oma and Grandad write me. Some of these letters make me cry, it’s actually happened quite a few times now. Haha it’s becoming a trend. They don’t make me cry in a bad way. I’m not sure why this happens, I think it’s what happens when you feel a particular kind of love in your heart. I have a couple different stacks of the letters, in different draws and different rooms spread between Oxford and Glasgow. Do you keep the letters they send you?

I asked Oma to send me her recipe for Streuslekuchen, the stuff she always had about 3 boxes of stashed in the freezer just in case there was ever a…Streuslekuch shortage…? Haha can you image! What would become of the world. I got a letter a few days later of the recipe handwritten, in true Oma style.

If your name isn’t Joe and you don’t know what Streuselkuchen is – it’s a German vanilla sponge cake topped with a cinnamon sugar crumble. Cake-like but falls somewhere in-between the biscuit and cake category. It’s not the most jazzy thing in the world but you’re world will be brighter with it. You’ll eat one slice and then eat lots more in quick succession. My lil addition of apricot jam, was because we had apricot jam in the fridge. Feel free to leave it out.

Ingredients

For the StreuselDepending on the size of your tin, you may end up with extra. Stick it in the freezer to use another day. Or um eat it?

  • 200g flour – I’ve made it with plain and self raising, there isn’t too much difference here
  • 125g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 125g butter – fridge cold and cubed

For the Kuchen.

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 500g self raising flour
  • 200g butter – softened
  • 200g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 250ml milk
  • Apricot jam – a couple of tablespoons if you want to use
  • Icing sugar to serve – 2 ish tablespoons. This bit is v important. Oma never made Streuselkuchen without a thick powdering of icing sugar, it doesn’t taste the same without

Method

Pre heat the oven to 190 / 170 fan. Grease and line a shallow 20 x 25 cm tin. A 20cm square tin will work just as well. This is a forgiving cake, so work with what you have.

Make the streusel. Put the flour, sugar, cinnamon and cubed (cold) butter in a bowl. Using your finger tips rub the butter into the flour mixture. You are looking for a rough texture, with smaller and lager bits of crumble. Put the bowl in the freezer or the fridge while you make the cake.

For the cake, measure out the flour, add the salt and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until lighter in colour and fluffed up around the sides of the bowl. I use electric beaters but a wooden spoon will do it.

Add one egg and beat until fully incorporated, then the second egg and a table spoon of the flour. Beat again until the mixture has fluffed up.

Tip half of the flour and salt into the butter and egg mixture. Beat to combine. Now pour in the milk and add the rest of the flour. Mix until there is no more dry flour.

Pour the batter into the cake tin and smooth out. Spread the apricot jam over the batter layer if you are using. Follow with a generous covering of the streusel, you shouldn’t see any cake beneath.

Bake for 30 – 35 mins, until a knife inserted into the cake comes out with no wet batter.

Once cooled, remove from the tin, cover with sifted icing sugar and cut into big chunks.

Joe, I reckon you’ll say somethin like ‘mmm cake. Can we put some chocolate ganache maybe in place of the apricot jam?’ Love Caitlin X

Banana Chocolate Swirl Muffins

Cakes

Yo Joe

I had an identity crisis yesterday. Did a HIT workout and then ate an egg white omelette…with no toast. Lol I’d rather eat a muffin, thanks.

Time the eating of these right – not too hot to burn your mouth, not too cold to firm up the chocolate – and you get the most amazing little pockets of melted chocolate hiden in swirls of sweet banana cake.

I developed this recipe from a very old baking book that mum had on her shelf. It’s the kind of baking book where desiccated coconut and glace cherries are put on everything, and all the pictures have a kind of yellow tint to them. The recipes in this book are simple. They say things like ‘combine all of the ingredients, smooth into a tin and bake for 50 minuets.’ or ‘Once you have made the cake, ice it.’ In the spirit of this baking book, I’ve made this recipe really quick and easy. Have a good muffin!

Note on tins – This recipe makes 6 large muffins. If you’re using more of a standard cupcake style tin, expect to get about 12 muffins from the batter. Just remember they will need less time in the oven.

Ingredients

  • 240g mashed banana – about 2 medium bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 185ml / 3/4 cup milk
  • 60g / 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 185g / 3/4 cup + 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 250g / 1 1/4 cups + 1 tbsp self raising flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

For the Chocolate Batter

  • 60g / 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 120g / 3/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped – milk chocolate will work just as well

Method

Pre heat the oven to 190C / 170C fan. Grease 6 miffin holes in a muffin tin.

In a large bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together; mashed banana, eggs, milk, melted butter and vanilla extract.

To this, add all the dry ingredients; sugar, salt, self raising flour and baking powder. Mix everything together to combine.

Pour half of this batter into another bowl. Add the cocoa powder and chopped chocolate. Give it all a mix.

Alternating between the two batters, spoon blobs of the cake mix into the muffin tins until they are 3/4 full. Using a skewer or knife draw a figure of eight through each muffin, this will give you the swirl effect.

Bake the muffins for 25 mins or until a skewer insterted into them comes out clean.

Caitlin X

Ricotta Rhubarb Cream Gateau

Cakes

Yo Joe

Cake On My Face is one T O D A Y boiiiiiiiii !! Happy Birthday to us! lol my nose and your arm got a bit of a camio.

Wow, big moment. We have a bigger family than we did a year ago, more than two readers actually (mum, dad, I’m lookin at you). Let’s give our hundreds of readers some reviews of our birthday cake; ‘Really good‘ – Mum. ‘The texture of the cake with the cream is really good‘ – Joe. Brilliant, that concludes our review section.

I know you would’ve preferred a chocolate birthday cake Joe but there is a big Chocolate Orange cake coming soon on here and I got in my head that I wanted to recreate the ricotta cake I made for mum’s last birthday. It was a peng cake creation but I didn’t write down how I made it, so it’s sort of remained a mystery cake. Well, I have recreated it for us, and this time I wrote down the recipe.

This cake is really good on its own, dust it with some icing sugar and it’s a moist and buttery dream. But the rhubarb cream is really beautiful with this cake, lil bit tart, lil bit sweet and paired with the cake it’s a rich, light and buttery combo. I’ll explain my thinkin behind the rhubarb cream. I’m not a huge fan of buttercream on cake if it isn’t chocolate or creamcheese based, so rhubarb buttercream wasn’t gunna happen. I was looking through some old baking books and every single cake in the book, other than muffins, was called a gateau. Lemon gateau, chocolate gateau, blueberry gateau, passionfruit gateau, tropical gateau (by tropical they meant mango)… replace the word ‘gateau’ with ‘cake’ and that’s pretty much what they were. Thought this really elevated the vibe of the cake. I worked out the gateau component of the cake was cream. No cream, Cake. Cream, Gateau. Instead of buttercream or icing, they covered their cake layers with a flavoured double (heavy) cream. So I made us a Gateau for our birthday.

My instructions on how to ice the cake are pretty lacking, so here is an informative picture guide detailing how I ice cakes.

Cake.
Cream.
Cream on cake, people call this a crumb coat, its a thin layer of cream to fix in place any loose crumbs before you put the rest of the cream on. hahahahahah can you see the lil grumpy face in this cake.
More cream.
Smooth out tadaa!

This cake will keep in the fridge for about 3 days, so eat it fast!

Ingredients

For 2 round 8inch Ricotta Cakes

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 150g ricotta cheese
  • 20g (1 tablespoon) milk
  • 50g wholemeal flour
  • 150g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

For The Rhubard Sauce – can be made up to a week in advance, just keep it covered maybe?

  • 200g rhubarb, chopped into small pieces
  • 50g sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornflour or plain flour

For The Cream

  • 600ml double cream
  • a splash of milk

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 / 160 fan oven. Grease and line two 8 inch round cake tins.

Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt for 3 mins until pale and fluffy, it’s easiest to use electric beaters here but you can also use a wooden spoon. Add 50g of the plain flour and one egg. Beat together to incorporate. Add the other two eggs, one at a time, beating to combine until you have a glossy and fluffy batter.

Mix the ricotta and milk in a small bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl (sorry, washing up, but it’s worth it), sift in the remaining flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon, adding back any bran from the wholmeal flour that the sieve collected.

To the batter, add the flour mixture in three goes and ricotta in two, beating inbetween each addition, starting and ending with flour. Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake for 50/55 mins, until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely before icing.

For the rhubarb cream. Add the rhubarb, sugar and a splash of water to a small sacupan. Heat on medium, until the fruit softens and bubbles (about 4 mins). You may need to help it by mashing it a bit.

With a whisk at hand, add the flour and whisk quite quickly to make sure the flour doesn’t clump. It’s fine if it does, no one is gunna see with all the cream. Once the flour has been incorporated, let the mixture bubble for another 10 mins or so. It’s best to watch and whisk this for the 10 mins because it’s not much fruit so it can burn easily.

Once the mixture is thicked and reduced pour onto a plate and allow to cool completely (about an hour and a half).

When the rhubarb sauce is cooled put it in a large bowl and gradually whisk in the cream. Once all the cream is incorporated add in the milk (not to much). If you’re worried this cream won’t be able to hold up the cake, dont worry, it will, it’s pretty sturdy stuff. Because the rhubarb is acidic, it thickens the cream so you won’t have to whisk this as long to get it thick enough to ice the cake. Keep whisking, either by hand or with an electric whisk, until the cream holds a stiff peak when you lift the whisk out the batter. Keep the cream covered in the fridge until you are ready to ice the cake.

Fill and cover the cake with the cream. If you want this really neat, you can trim the cake to get a flat top and even sides before you ice it. Give a generous amount of cream for the middle, sandwich the other cake on top and spread the whole thing with the remaining cream. Stick in a candle, call it a gateau and sing happy birthday.

Me, Cake, Joe.

Happy Birthday to us. Love Caitlin x

Vegan Spiced Carrot Cake

Cakes

Hello there Joe

This loaf has a crunchy sugar crust and a kinda caramel vibe to its soft inside, in its sweet stickiness. It’s the kind of stickiness that makes you want to eat one thick slice of this cake after another… and another, and then another. And then, it’s gone! Hmm. Oops. I really had no idea that a vegan cake could taste so good. A while ago, Beulah had sent me a photo of a carrot cake recipe scribbled on a notebook page that she had been given by a friend. I wanted to make her a surprise carrot cake using this recipe. I was asking her if she liked raisins in her carrot cake, before I chucked them in. Didn’t want her to be eating the surprise carrot cake, smiling but feeling sad that there were unwelcome raisins in her cake. The conversation went like this:

Caitlin: If you had a hypothetical carrot cake would you want it with or without raisins?

Beulah: I am an unhypothetical vegan. But I love raisins!

I worked on the un-vegan (non-vegan?) carrot cake recipe she sent me. What I ended up with was a beautiful beautifl lil vegan carrot cake that I’d take any day over one with eggs and butter.

Ingredients

  • 175g caster sugar
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 100g water
  • 100g vegetable oil
  • 50g golden syrup
  • 50g black treacle
  • 60g chopped walnuts – any nuts are good
  • 375g grated carrot – yes, 3 7 5 g
  • 60g raisins
  • 40g demerara sugar – to sprinkle over the top

Pre heat the oven to 190 / 170 fan. Grease and line a 1kg (2lb) loaf tin.

Grate the carrots and chop the nuts. Set them aside.

Combine sugar, flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and spices in a large bowl. Set this aside.

In a small saucepan, heat the oil, syrup and treacle. When the first bubbles appear, remove from the heat and pour into the dry ingredients. Add the carrots, nuts and raisins. Mix everything together until combined.

Pour into the loaf tin. Sprinkle the top of the unbaked loaf with the demerara sugar and bake for 55 mins or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out with no wet batter on it.

Have a good carrot cake. Caitlin X

Blood Orange Madeira Cake

Cakes

Yo Joe

A Maderia is the best kind of cake. It’s sweet and dense but so moist, it keeps for ages and you can slice and eat it like bread. It’s the thick sugar icing that makes me want to eat this cake all of everyday. Coloured pink from the blood oranges, its sweet but sour enough to be able to eat it on it’s own with a spoon. Paired with the mellow and buttery orange cake its peng. A traditional Madeira cake has equal parts butter and sugar, I’ve put more butter in which makes the cake hold together better when sliced and makes it stay moist for longer.

This is a really easy cake, it’ll make your kitchen smell of sweet orange and it’s pink. Great!

Ingredients

  • 200g softened butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of 2 small blood oranges
  • 225g self raising flour

For the icing

  • 100g icing sugar
  • Juice of blood orange and a splash of milk, added to the consistency you like.

Method

Pre heat the oven to 170, 150 for a fan oven. Butter and line a loaf tin, I use a 1lb loaf tin, 20 cm x 10cm x 6cm.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light, fluffy and pale in colour. Add the eggs, vanilla, salt, and orange zest. Cream until fluffy and pale in colour again.

Sift and then fold in the flour, pour into the loaf tin and bake for 55 mins to an hour, or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.

While the cake is cooling make the icing. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add a small splash of milk and a squeeze of the blood orange juice and give it a mix. Keep adding very small amounts at a time of the orange juice until you get the thickness you like.

Once the cake has cooled, pour over the icing and eat cake!

hahah lil bit lopsided there

Caitlin X