Posts Tagged ‘autumn’

Cakes & Bakes: Soul cakes

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

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Home-made soul cakes | H is for Home

These soul cakes are very fitting for this week’s Cakes & Bakes. They’re part of an ancient Christian tradition that took place in the UK – especially ‘up North’ – each All Hallow’s Eve. Or as it’s better known in this day & age, Halloween.

sugar, butter and egg yolks

The cakes were baked on All Hallow’s Eve to honour the dead – hence the name ‘soul’ – and the cross made on them before baking. On All Saints’ Day (1st Nov) and All Souls’ Day (2nd Nov), they were then were given as alms to the poor (especially children). Perhaps it’s the origin of modern day trick or treating.

plain flour and ground spices

I searched through all my old-fashioned cookery books and finally found a recipe for them in the not so old A Calendar of Feasts: Cattern Cakes and Lace.

adding currants to soul cakes dough

The recipe isn’t the most detailed, but from the way they turned out, I’d say they were more a biscuit than a cake! If I made them thicker than I did, they’d probably resemble scones… but they wouldn’t have cooked completely through in the 15 minutes advised.

cutting soul cakes dough

I was all out of the mixed spice that the recipe called for; I did some detective work and found out that Schwartz mixed spice comprises nutmeg, cinnamon and ground coriander seed. I used half a teaspoon each of nutmeg and cinnamon… I was all out of coriander seeds too!

uncooked soul cakes

I don’t think the mixed spice is mandatory if you don’t have any, soul cakes can be made with ground ginger, allspice, the aforementioned nutmeg and cinnamon… or any mixture of all the above!

soul cakes cooling on a wire rack

I wonder if I’ll get any funny looks from the neighbourhood kids if I hand these out when they come around trick or treating this weekend! :-)

Soul cakes
Yields 20
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Cook Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
  1. 175g/6oz butter
  2. 175g/6oz caster sugar
  3. 3 egg yolks
  4. 450g/1lb plain flour
  5. 1tsp ground mixed spice
  6. A little milk to mix (I used about 4 tbsps)
  8. soul cakes ingredients
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl and then beat in the egg yolks one at a time
  3. Sift the flour and the spice into another bowl then add to the butter mixture
  4. Stir in the currants and add milk if necessary to form a soft dough
  5. Form the dough into flat cakes and mark each with a cross
  6. Put on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown
Adapted from A Calendar of Feasts: Cattern Cakes and Lace
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Etsy List: Spring forward, Fall back

Monday, October 13th, 2014

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'Spring forward, Fall back' Etsy List curated by H is for HomeThe clocks go back (or is it forwards?) on the 26th of October this year – it always happens on the last Sunday of October. We’ll go from British Summer Time (BST) or ‘daylight saving time’ back to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) at 1am.

For ages I couldn’t get to grips with this bi-annual time change – it’s not practiced in Trinidad where I grew up. The sudden change to dark evenings still affects me hugely even though I’ve been back living in the UK for over 25 years. But I take the rough with the smooth; the long, bright summer evenings almost make up for it!

I now mentally recite the mnemonic, “spring forward, fall back”, to remember which way to turn the hands on my watch & clocks around the house.

Spring forward, Fall back
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Etsy List: If you go down to the woods today…

Monday, October 6th, 2014

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'If you go down to the woods today' Etsy List by H is for HomeWe love walking Fudge in the woods near our house – it takes on such a magical quality in the autumn.

The colour; the earthy smell; the sound of crisp, dry leaves underfoot; squirrels darting here & there up trunks and between branches; mushrooms poking up through the leaf litter.

Yesterday, I (Adelle) was lucky to get a long look at two startled deer leaping away – it was the first time I’d seen deer in over a year. Justin boasts of sightings at least once a week!

If you go down to the woods today…
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