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Apple and Raisin Loaf Cake

Apple and Raisin Loaf Cake

Apple and Raisin Loaf Cake, perfect for a rainy autumn day

I was over at my parent’s place this weekend because I was looking after all the sick people there. Mostly this just involved feeding people, something I rather enjoy. I knocked up this simple little cake because there were lots of apples to be eaten or used, and a slice of comforting apple cake on an autumnal day is surely good medicine even if you’re not feeling poorly.

Apple and Raisin Loaf Cake

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125g self raising flour
  • half tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eating apples (I used Pink Lady), cored and chopped into small chunks
  • generous handful raisins

Heat the oven to 170C and grease and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add one egg and beat, then add about half the flour and mix to incorporate, then mix in the second egg followed by the remaining flour, baking powder and cinnamon (if you’re a big cinnamon fan, I’d say chuck in an extra half teaspoon). Mix well, then stir in the apple chunks and raisins. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about an hour. It’s done when golden and it springs back when pressed with a fingertip. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for about half an hour before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack.

Cold Oven Lemon Drizzle Cake

Cold Oven Lemon Drizzle Cake

Sticky, sharp and sweet Cold Oven Lemon Drizzle Cake

There’s been a bit of a gap in posting any recipes here, mostly because I’ve either been baking other people’s recipes, or because I’m experimenting with new recipes and they’re not quite ready yet. To make sure you got your regular dose of Lip Smackin’ Treats I thought I’d post one of my tried and tested recipes that I call Cold Oven Lemon Drizzle Cake. Most recipes require you to heat the oven first but, unusually, this recipe calls for you to turn the heat on only once the cake mixture goes in to the oven, hence the name. If you have a food processor, you can make this as an all-in-one cake, but it’s still incredibly easy to make without any fancy gadgets, as long as your butter is good and soft.

Cold Oven Lemon Drizzle Cake

Ingredients:

  • 115g butter, softened
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 170g self raising flour
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 2 lemons
  • 85g icing sugar

DON’T turn on your oven! Grease and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix well, then tip in the flour and give another good mix. Add the milk and finely grated rind of both lemons and give a good stir until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin, put it in the oven and turn on the heat to 175C. Cook for 50-60 minutes (make the syrup as per the instructions given below at about 45 minutes into the cooking time – that way it will still be warm when the cake is ready). The cake is done when risen, golden and firm to the touch – a skewer inserted will come out clean.

To make the syrup, juice the lemons (making sure you dispose of any pips) and place the juice in a small saucepan with the icing sugar. Bring to the boil and turn off the heat.

When your cake is done, take it out of the oven and put it, still in its tin, on a board or cooling rack. Prick the cake all over with a skewer (if you haven’t got a skewer or cake tester use a fork) and pour over the syrup over the still warm cake, making sure you get it over the whole surface. You may find it pools in the corners so you can use a teaspoon to guide it over the rest of the cake. Leave to cool completely in the tin before turning out and removing the greaseproof paper. Cut into slices and serve.

Cherry Bakewell Loaf Cake

Cherry Bakewell Loaf Cake

Cherry Bakerwell Loaf Cake

Personally I’m not a fan of the well-known pastry this cake is inspired by, but my best friend is a bit of a cherry bakewell junkie (she ate them almost every day of her pregnancy – I reckon Mr Kipling was working round the clock to feed her habit). This recipe is what I’ve come up with for her birthday cake; a little nicer than the overly sweet treats consumed during her pregnancy, I’d like to think!

Cherry Bakewell Loaf Cake

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 65g self-raising flour, plus 1 tbsp for dusting cherries
  • 65g ground almonds
  • half tsp almond extract or essence
  • half tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 150g glace cherries
  • 150g icing sugar, sifted
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 15g flaked almonds, toasted

Heat the oven to 180C and grease and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in one egg, then add the flour, mix again, add the second egg and beat again. Add the ground almonds, almond extract and baking powder and give a good mix, then stir in the milk. Put 100g of the glace cherries in a small bowl with the additional tablespoon of flour (reserving the remaining 50g of cherries for the top of the cake) and toss them around so they’re coated. Tip them into the cake batter and fold in so they’re evenly dispersed. Pour the cake batter into the loaf tin, smoothing into the corners and levelling off the top with a spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes; it’s done when golden brown, springs back when lightly pressed or a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.

If your flaked almonds aren’t toasted already, take advantage of your already hot oven and spread them on a baking sheet in a single layer, baking for about 5 minutes until golden brown; leave to cool. In a bowl mix the icing sugar and lemon juice together to form a thick paste. Once the cake is cooled, remove from the tin and smooth the icing over the top; it’s fine if it runs down the sides a little as it adds to the lovely homemade look. Sprinkle over the toasted almonds and add the remaining glace cherries. Let the icing set for half an hour or so before slicing and serving.