Posts Tagged ‘baking’

Cakes & Bakes: Black bread

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

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Sliced & buttered home-made black bread with a mug of tea

We recently bought a box of mixed ephemera at auction.

Vintage Esso wall calendar from 1958

There were quite a few vintage calendars in the box including this charming Esso calendar dating from 1958. Each month is represented by a traditional activity for the time of year…

Black bread recipe on a wall calendar from 1958

…and on the reverse is a recipe from a different county of the UK. I liked the sound of the black bread from Buckinghamshire so decided to test it out for this week’s Cakes & Bakes.

Black bread ingredients

I’m not sure whether it actually hails from Buckinghamshire or not, I couldn’t find any mention of a ‘Buckinghamshire black bread’ on the internet anywhere. Have you ever heard of it?

Adding treacle to the other black bread ingredients

From its list of ingredients, I presumed it would be a sweet bread, perfect for having with an afternoon cup of tea.

Black bread dough before putting it into the oven

It was really easy to rustle up, I already had everything in the store cupboard. It was quick too, no waiting for the dough to rise; just mix, into a tin and in the oven – job done!

Home-made black bread loaf

I’ve changed the original cooking temperature and duration. The top began to look a little too ‘black’ and it was definitely fully cooked after an hour.

Sliced & buttered home-made black bread loaf

It’s reminiscent of malt loaf but less sticky and more… treacley! We had a few slices with a healthy layering of butter – divine!

If you fancy giving this recipe a try you can pin it from here for later!

Black bread
Yields 1
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 450g/1lb wholemeal flour
  2. 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  3. pinch of salt
  4. 300ml/½pt milk
  5. 1 egg
  6. 300ml/½pt black treacle
  7. 225g/8oz dried fruit (I used sultanas)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Grease a 1kg/2lb loaf tin
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift the salt and bicarbonate with the flour
  4. Mix in the milk, egg and treacle before adding the dried fruit
  5. Pour the mixture into the greased loaf tin and bake for about an hour. If the top begins to look too dark, cover with tin foil
  6. Turn out on to a wire rack to cool
Notes
  1. The original recipe says that this bread is best left for a month before cutting & consuming. We couldn't wait that long!
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Lemon & blueberry cheesecake

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

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Slice of home-made lemon & blueberry cheesecake | H is for Home

Right, it’s official, cheesecake is H is for Home’s favourite cake!

Home-made lemon & blueberry cheesecake ingredients | H is for Home

Hobnobs ground in a food processor | H is for Home

It’s by far, the most baked Cakes & Bakes entry.

Cheesecake biscuit base made using Hobnobs | H is for Home

Juicing & zesting lemons | H is for Home

This week, lemon & blueberry cheesecake joins the ranks.

Eggs broken into a small measuring jug | H is for Home

Cheesecake mixture and blueberry purée | H is for Home

I’ve used Hobnobs instead of the usual digestive biscuits for the base. Frozen blueberries are available in the supermarket all year round and at a fraction of the price of fresh.

Adding blueberry purée to cheesecake mixture | H is for Home

Lemon & blueberry cheesecake put into a water bath before baking | H is for Home

Home-made cheesecake isn’t difficult. The secret is cooking it long & low. Wrapping the tin with foil and placing it in a water bath (bain-marie) makes sure it cooks properly all the way through without burning. You want the slightest browning of the top.

Top of home-made lemon & blueberry cheesecake before topping with fruit | H is for Home

Home-made lemon & blueberry cheesecake | H is for Home

It feels like a very indulgent cake… but I know the blueberries count as one of your 5-a-day. It leaves just one question, do the lemons make it two? 😉

Detail of a home-made lemon & blueberry cheesecake | H is for Home

If you’d like to save this recipe, you can pin it from here.

Lemon & blueberry cheesecake
Yields 8
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Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
for the base
  1. 200g/7oz Hobnobs
  2. 75g/3oz butter, melted
for the filling
  1. 500g/17½oz cream cheese
  2. 350g/12oz blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  3. 3 lemons, zest & juice
  4. 200g/7oz caster sugar
  5. 3 eggs
  6. 150ml/5fl oz sour cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF/Gas mark 2
  2. Grease the sides of a 20cm/8-inch spring-form cake tin
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter
  4. In a food processor, add the Hobnobs and grind to a fine crumb
  5. Add the ground biscuits to the butter and combine
  6. Empty the mixture into the base of the tin and smooth the surface evenly using the back of a tablespoon
  7. Bake the base for about 15 minutes then set aside to cool while you make the cake mixture
  8. Zest & juice the lemons. Set aside
  9. In the food processor you used to crumb the biscuit, add half the blueberries and lemon juice and purée
  10. In a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl if doing it by hand) add the cream cheese, sour cream and sugar and mix thoroughly
  11. Gently whisk the eggs in a measuring jug before adding them to the cheese mixture in 3 stages, mixing well after each addition
  12. Add the puréed blueberry & lemon juice mixture followed by the lemon zest, making sure it's well incorporated
  13. Boil a kettleful of water
  14. Before pouring the cheesecake mixture into the tin, wrap the tin in foil to make it water tight
  15. Put the tin into an oven tray (at least 5cm/1-inch deep)
  16. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the tin and put the oven tray & cake into the preheated oven
  17. Fill the oven tray to about ½cm/¼-inch below the rim with the boiled water
  18. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes
  19. When cooked, turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven, with the door ajar
  20. When completely cool, top with the other half of the blueberries and put in the fridge
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Rhubarb, apple & cardamom crumble

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

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Home-made rhubarb apple & cardamom crumble | H is for Home

In a recent post, we mentioned that Justin wasn’t a massive fan of fruit crumble – there was utter disbelief amongst some of our readers! We’ve talked through it over recent weeks – it’s good to get things out in the open. To be precise, he doesn’t like a soggy zone between the fruit & browned topping. The merest hint of uncooked, wet flour and there’s real distress.

Rhubarb apple cardamom crumble ingredients

Now we’ve identified the true cause of his phobia, we’ve been able to work through it together (with the help of a crumble counsellor) and have experimented with different methods. We don’t add any water to the fruit or pre-cook it any more – and top with thinner layers of crumble mix to produce crispy, crunchy perfection. There’s no stopping him now – strawberry, pear, plum – bring it on!

Cardamom pods

So, for this week’s Cakes & Bakes we’ve got a crumble – rhubarb, apple & cardamom crumble.

Sugared crumble fruit

The cardamom adds a distinctive and really interesting twist…

Crumble ingredients

…and chopped almonds in the topping also worked well.

Uncooked rhubarb apple & cardamom crumble | H is for Home

So, the only decision left to make – custard, cream or ice cream. It was a custard kind of day for us!!

Bowl of rhubarb apple & cardamom crumble with custard | H is for Home

  Second helpings for Justin – we really have moved forward from those dark, crumble-free years!

Pin the recipe for later!

Rhubarb, apple & cardamom crumble
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 2 large stalks of rhubarb
  2. 1 Bramley apple
  3. 50g/1¾oz demerara sugar
  4. 3 cardamom pods
  5. 100g/3½oz plain flour
  6. 25g/1oz rolled oats
  7. 10g/⅓oz almonds, roughly chopped
  8. 75/2½oz cold butter, cubed
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas mark 6
  2. Remove the cardamom seeds from their husks and grind finely with a pestle & mortar
  3. Slice the rhubarb into 2½cm/1inch slices
  4. Peel, core & chop the apple into 1cm/⅓ cubes
  5. Put the rhubarb, apple, half the ground cardamom and 2tbs of the sugar into a medium-sized bowl and mix until the sugar coats the fruit evenly
  6. Decant the mixture into a 30cm x 15cm oven-proof dish
  7. In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour, oats, sugar, chopped almonds, butter and remainder of the cardamom. Rub in the ingredients with your fingers until they resemble coarse, lumpy breadcrumbs
  8. Cover the sugared fruit evenly with the crumble mixture
  9. Cook for 20-30 minutes until the top has begun to brown and fruity syrup is bubbling up
  10. Allow to cool slightly and serve with custard or vanilla ice cream
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/