Thursday, 28 June 2012

A Baking wash-out!

Rain, rain go away, come back another day!

Here in the Back of beyond, like many parts of our green and pleasant isle, it has done nothing but rain for weeks and this is causing havoc with my baking and Master Vander-Cave's sporting fixtures. Both of the Vander-Cave males are heavily involved with the local cricket team which is causing frayed tempers, tearful disappointments and a generally despondent air around the house as match after match has been cancelled due to rain or a water logged wicket.

Last Season!
As disappointing as this is for the boys, for me it is a triple disappointment. Not only do I not get a quiet Sunday morning,  my baking for the cricket tea doesn't disappear from the house (meaning my diet goes to pot for another week) and I have to put up with a grumpy faced boy complaining that he is "never going to get a match at this rate!"
This week it had been a double dose of rain stops play with cricket being cancelled and the school sports day/fete being postponed, equalling lots of baking not leaving my kitchen. For the fete I had made a tray bake lemon drizzle cake, only 20 portions to get through then!

The crunchy topping is sublime!
My waist band cannot cope with this amount of cake and as Mr V-C doesn't partake of lemon cakes (they're just not chocolate) I ended up sending half of it to school for the teachers. Always good to be kind to the teachers!

Today I have learnt from this lesson and have produced some very scrummy chocolate cornflake cakes for tomorrows cricket tea. So if plan A doesn't work out I know that plan B definitely will (all the cakes being eaten before I get a look in, they are chocolate after all!)

Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Cake
225g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
275g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
4 tbsp milk
2 lemons, grated zest only (preferably unwaxed)

For the crunchy topping;
175g granulated sugar
2 lemons, juice only

Cut a rectangle of non-stick baking parchment to fit the base and sides of a 30 x 23 x 4 cm roasting tin. Grease the tin and line with the paper, pushing it neatly into the corners of the tin. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

Measure all the ingredients for the tray bake into a large bowl and beat well for about 2 minutes, until well blended.

Turn the mixture into the prepared tin, scraping the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula to remove all of the mixture.

Level the top gently with the back of the spatula.

Bake in the middle of the oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed and is beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tin.

Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes then lift it out of the tin while still in its lining paper.

Carefully remove the paper and put the tray bake onto a wire rack placed over a tray

To make the crunchy topping, mix the lemon juice and granulated sugar in a small bowl to give a runny consistency. Spoon this mixture evenly over the tray bake whilst it is still just warm. Cut into squares when cold and store in an airtight tin.

So simple but delicious!

Chocolate Cornflake cakes
75g butter
6tbsp golden syrup
150g chocolate (use your favourite dark or milk)
120g cornflakes

Gently melt the butter, syrup and chocolate in a small, heavy pan. Stir in the cornflakes. Place spoonfuls of the mixture into cake cases in a fairy cake tray leave to set in the refrigerator.

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