What a miserable couple of days it has been in the UK. It seems to have turned to Autumn and we are not at the summer holidays yet. It is going to turn warmer again but until them comfort food seems the order of the day.
For dinner last night the family had Sausage Casserole made in the slow cooker, not because I was out during the day but more due to the fact that the casseroles always turn out delicious when cooked in the slow cooker. The crock-pot was licked clean so it must have been good. All I did was prepare some vegetables which I cut into similar sized chunks, add the sausages which I had browned in the frying pan a little first, then add tinned tomatoes plus two tinfuls of water. I left the cooker all day on a high heat. It turned out nice and thick with plenty of flavour. Not very difficult to do and the flavour combinations can be whatever you have available. I used up courgettes, carrots, celery and potatoes in the casserole and I added tinned butter beans near the end of cooking.
For pudding the children had the M&M Cookies to try. These were a hit with the children and husband but one daughter said she preferred the softer, gooier cookies so I am going to make some Millie style cookies today and add some chocolate buttons to them (as that is all the sweeties I have left in my baking cupboard). These cookies are in the oven as I write so I will share a recipe later. These cookies were based on a recipe which I found in a “ Mary Berry Cook Book ” which uses semolina in the recipe. Semolina is something the children would normally turn their nose up at but they have no idea when they eat these cookies.
Today I am changing the recipe of the week to my Granola Bar recipe. To my basic flapjack recipe I added some other yummy flavours in the form of dried cranberries and chunks of white chocolate. You can add whatever you like into the granola recipe so the variations are endless. Although, I started with my flapjack recipe I changed the recipe due to the presence of the sweet chocolate and cranberries. I din’t want to mask the flavours due to the sugar overpowering the flavours so I adjusted the sugar to suit.
Also, I am adding the recipe for my Bakewell Cake which is a big hit in my household. This Bakewell Cake is a delicious alternative to the standard Bakewell slice which was very popular in my market stall days. Another plus about this recipe is the addition of marzipan which is a great ingredient to include and helps to use up the leftover marzipan from Christmas.
This cake uses all my favourite ingredients at the moment, so much so that I had to make the cake twice. The first time I made it with a standard sponge but I felt it was too heavy with the addition of the marzipan and the second time with the genoisé sponge. The second time around was a much better result as the final cake was light and airy and the flavours were all rich and very distinctive but when combined together the resultant taste from that first bite was tremendous. Although the cake was very sweet due to the presence of the jam, marzipan and glace icing I would not change any of it. This cake is a showstopper and the flavours are amazing. Just go and give it try.
- 250g caster sugar
- 230g plain flour
- 4 eggs
- 1tsp almond essence
- 40g golden marzipan
- 2tbsp cherry jam
- 3tbsp icing sugar
- 2tsp water
- 3 glacé cherries
- flaked almonds
- Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180°C/375°F.
- Line a 7 inch round loose bottomed, high sided cake tin.
- In a glass mixing bowl, weigh out the sugar and eggs.
- Over a pan of boiling water, whisk the eggs and sugar together till the whisk leaves a trail in the mixture.
- Remove from the heat.
- Sieve the flour into the mixture before carefully folding the flour in to the mixture.
- Add the almond essence.
- Transfer to the cake tin.
- Bake for 20 - 30 minutes till firm and golden brown.
- Allow to cool before removing from the tin.
- Slice the sponge through the middle to form two even layers.
- Roll out the marzipan to form a circle which fits the 7 inch diameter of the cake.
- Lay the marzipan on top of the first sponge layer followed by the jam.
- Place the second cake layer on top.
- Make the glacé icing by mixing the water into the icing sugar.
- Spread over the top of the cake.
- Sprinkle on the flaked almonds and half the glacé cherries before placing around the edge of the cake.
As I opened a fresh packet of marzipan for this Bakewell Cake I am going to try and use some of it up in the kitchen today by baking a batch of Cupcakes some of which will be almond flavoured cupcakes for the husband with a ball of marzipan placed in the centre of the cake batter before it is baked. These cupcakes will be decorated with glacé icing and a cherry on the top. The remainder of the cupcakes will be decorated with oreo buttercream either as a mini sandwich cake or as a swirl of buttercream on the top. These will be a big hit with the children at the weekend. I will share some photos later.