cakes and cookies – in the name of charity
It’s coming to the end of the school year and making cakes for charity seems to be the order of the day. Now I don’t mind this as a fundraiser, so long as they don’t charge less than it costs me to make them. Last month, school had a Father’s Day Fayre which demanded baking, so I produced some of Dan Lepard’s gingerbread wafers, some of the Hairy Biker’s lemon and cardomon cookies and a batch of Bake Off Chocolate Crackles (which every man and his dog who blogs about baking seems to have made, so I won’t give you a link – they all put the recipe up if you care to Google, which, obviously I don’t). Two of each in a bag with a nice label, bingo. Actually the other thing I object to is the mummies that supply a box of stuff baked by the local Co-op convenience store, still in the box so I know you didn’t make it. Really my dears if you can’t do it, or don’t know how, let those of us who do and can get on with the job!
This month it was the turn of the cub pack to do the tea tent at the town’s carnival yesterday. Didn’t much feel in the mood for it, but managed to come up with one of Dan’s dark banana and ginger cakes from the Guardian with a bit of lemon icing on the top to pretty it up. [Note to readers I used 3 large eggs and that looked like enough]. Woefully easy this one and almost feels like it could do you good! Accompanied by some white chocolate and cranberry cookies from the Sainsbury Magazine. As they don’t give you the recipe for that online so far as I can see it is:
125g soft unsalted butter, 125g caster sugar, 2tbsp condensed milk, 175g self-raising flour, 100g white choc in chunks, 40g dried cranberries.
Cream the butter and sugar, beat in the condensed milk, work in the flour, then the chocolate and cranberries. Divide into 50g blobs for big ones, 25 g for small ones, flatten a bit (12 or 24 cookies). Bake at 150C for 25 mins.
A tin of condensed milk goes a long way, and I have found the wretched stuff doesn’t freeze, but can at least be kept in icecube trays in the freezer. A very useful recipe if you’ve got no eggs but need some cookies or something sweet.
For home baking we have also had cake, and another recipe that uses the condensed milk.
Dan’s Brown sugar chocolate cake from Short and Sweet. There’s a version from 2005 on the Gruniad website, but the Short and Sweet version is slightly different. Having had a quick browse today I see that some people have found the Short and Sweet version challenging but I found it easy and it came out looking like it should. And after all that description and no pics, here’s two of the one that I made.
Being a bit old school I am often sceptical of cakes that move too far away from a basic fat, sugar, flour and flavouring mix, and this one does have some faffing about with melting dark chocolate, adding water, and glycerine(!), and I’ve had some bad experiences with the Hummingbird cake book, sadly for my readers not during the life of this blog, maybe I’ll go back there and we can relive those horrors. Anyway, all was good with that one. I diverted from Dan’s frosting suggestion and just bashed up some butter, icing sugar and cocoa.
And yesterday I’ve made some more bits to take to my auntie (Little Red Riding Hood me!) and she’s going to be on the receiving end of some double choc cookies as per the Sainsbury’s recipe above – 125g flour, 50g cocoa and 100g white chunks:
A marmalade cake from the Bake Off Book. You can Google the recipe if you want, other’s have reproduced it and it’s not for me to do that for you here. I am pleased with the outcome, and also pleased that I used eggs provided by one of my work colleagues who keeps a few chickens. I don’t know what she feeds them on but the yolks always come out very yellow and that helps to colour the sponge nicely. A simple butter sponge with spoons of home made marmalade stirred into it, topped with more marmalade and some icing.
And I’ve made some strawberry jam, despite haranguing Olly over on http://breadandbikes.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/bread-maker-jam/ about his use of the breadmachine to make jam. Boys and toys! Me, I used a saucepan and a wooden spoon.
And finally she gets a small loaf of 50:50 white and einkorn bread. No pics of that, it’s a small brown loaf! But the trick with that one has been to use Dan’s white bread sponge method over night to get the yeast going in the white flour, add the einkorn this morning, do the kneading stuff and then once it’s in the pans rising, go for a run. Eight miles and a bit – and being an idiot going along the route of the MK HM but thankfully off the course before they passed by, and the loaves are ready for the oven. My oven has an auto timer thing so I can decide when it comes on so it is ready for when I get back. Flour, slash and steam. In they go, 20 mins at 240C while I have a shower, turn down the oven and another 25 mins.
Right that’s me done for, only the lunch to finish cooking and then I’m done. Off to track the Tour de France (go Wiggins – a man who could do with a bit of cake IMHO) next and not watching Wimbledon (Roger Federer looking for his 8th title, no chance Murray), or Silverstone (makes me fall asleep and I’ve had enough of the helicopters going too and fro already today).