Making a range of cakes reminded me how much fun they can be so here are a couple of recipes which all received the "Poppy" treatment.
Lemon Muffins Makes 10 or 12
For the Muffins
300 grams Plain Flour
175 grams Caster Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
50 grams Butter
225 mils Milk
1 medium Egg (beaten)
For the icing
2tbsp Lemon Juice
175 grams Icing Sugar
Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and add the sugar, mix well.
Zest the lemon and place the zest in a small saucepan with the butter (cut into cubes). Place on a low heat and add 4 tbsp of milk. When the butter has melted remove from the heat, cool slightly and add the rest of the milk and the beaten egg..
Combine the butter mixture with the flour and sugar and spoon into muffin cases.
Bake for 15 minutes at 200c.
Remove and leave in the tin whilst you make the icing by beating the lemon juice into the icing sugar. Ice the buns whilst they are still warm so that the icing spreads easier.
Cool and put into an airtight box.
I use the Avoca Cafe recipe (and so does Rachel Allen)
Makes 2 cakes, just as well as it is more-ish!!
14oz caster sugar
14oz grated carrots (I use a microplane)
14 oz self-raising flour
14fl oz sunflower oil
4 eggs (I use medium)
1tsp salt (I use Halen Mon) or even their Vanilla Salt
1tsp mixed spice
1tsp vanilla essence
Combine eggs, sugar and oil and mix well with an electric mixer.
Add salt, spice and vanilla essence and mix well.
Sift in the flour and mix thoroughly
Add grated carrots and mix through.
Pour into 2 baking tins, well-greased or use a paper liner.
Bake for 1 hour at 170c 325f Gas mark 3. Check after 55 mins especially in a fan oven.
Cool in tins for 15 mins the turn out on to a rack.
6oz cream cheese e.g. Philadelphia (I use Mascarpone)
2oz butter (softened)
Zest of a lemon and juice of ½ a lemon.
6oz icing sugar.
Combine all ingredients and spread on cake.
Probably the most versatile of all cakes, It can be added to to change the taste and can be cooked round, in loaf tins or in a swiss roll tin to make a range of traybakes.
Ingredients – for 18 cm square tin or 20 cm round tin
350 g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
250g softened margarine (I used softened butter)
250g caster sugar
4 xl eggs – beaten
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease the tin and line the tin with double thickness of greaseproof/baking paper (I tend to use commercial baking cases). Grease the paper and set the tin aside.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add in the sugar; mix well with a wooden spoon.
Now add in the margarine/butter, eggs and lemon juice. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
Now beat the mixture, either using the wooden spoon, vigorously for two mins or one minute using electric beaters on medium speed.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours. To test if baked, press lightly in the middle. If the cake springs back, it is baked. Or alternatively, test by inserting skewer in the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.
A traybake will take 20 minutes or so as the mix is much thinner.
Variations all added at the mixing stage
I tsp Coffee essence - Camp or Irel
Grated Zest of an orange or lemon
Mixed fruit and candied peel
Icing as for the Lemon Muffins
The Carrot Cake topping
Raspberry Jam and sweetened dessicated coconut
9oz Icing sugar combined with 3 tbsp Orange or Rose water to amke a runny fondant icing - it will set in time