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Thursday, 8 October 2020

mmm cake

Thursday 8th October 2020
You always have time for the things you put first. 

2.52am!  That's just wrong on so many levels, but she's not well the poor love so we got up together and now she's finally snoozing.  I've just got to make it through the day on caffeine and I can have an early night hopefully.

I'm buzzing anyway from such a good day yesterday, I managed to help two more customers save money, it's such a good feeling, then I got to catch up with my Ashmore crew on the night.  

Today is all about cake though!  Tuesday the very lovely Graham bought me a slice of cake and ma'an it was good, Dorset Pear cake, a WW recipe no doubt that proves once again, you can have good cake and stay on track.  Here's the recipe, I'm even tempted to make it for mom, it's one way of getting a bit of fruit down her! 


Dorset Pear Cake

Serves 12.  5SP per serving.  64SP total recipe value

Prep time 15 minutes plus cooling

Cook time 50 minutes

 note: The pears should be just ripe so they keep their shape during baking.

100g low fat spread plus  ½ tsp for greasing

2 just-ripe pears, peeled , cored and cut into bite-size pieces

A squeeze of lemon juice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

100g caster sugar, plus 1 teaspoon to serve

225g self-raising flour

1 large egg, lightly beaten

6-7 tablespoons

Skimmed milk


1) Preheat the oven to 180oC, fan 160oC, gas mark 4.  Grease the sides of a 20cm x 20cm baking tin and line the base with baking paper.

2) put the pears in a bowl and toss them in the lemon juice to prevent them from discolouring.  Add the cinnamon and 1tsp of the sugar, and mix until combined.  Set aside.

3) Put the flour in a mixing bowl and rub in the spread with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Mix in the remaining sugar (reserving 1 teaspoonful to serve), and the egg and milk to make a soft dough – you may not need all the milk.  Put half of the dough into the cake tin and gently press it out into an even layer.

4) Scatter the pears evenly over the top.  Put the rest of the dough on top of the pears, spreading it evenly to cover them completely.  Bake for 40-50 minutes until risen and golden.  Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.  Put a plate over the cake and flip it over again, then sprinkle over the reserved sugar and leave to cool.  Cut into 12 squares.

Now the lovely Vicky from Bloxwich bought mom some cake last week and there was lemon drizzle cake in there (she works here https://www.facebook.com/beanandbaked) well it got me to thinking about another cake, which Julie B bakes and it's off the scale, here's the recipe for that.  

Lemon and lime crunch cake

Makes 12 slices, 5sp a slice
175g self-raising flour (17sp)
1/2 tsp baking powder 
A pinch of salt
60g low fat spread (8sp)
100g caster sugar (25sp)
1 egg, beaten
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
150g fat free natural yogurt
40g Demerara sugar (10sp)

Preheat the oven to Gas Mar 3/180oC/160oC fan oven. Line a 900g loaf tine with non stick baking parchment.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl.

In a mixing bowl, cream the low fat spread and caster sugar together for about 3 minutes using an electric mixer.

Beat in the egg and 2/3rds of the lemon and lime zests. Add half of the flour to the mixing bowl and mix briefly, followed by half of the yogurt and mix again. Repeat with the rest of the flour mixture and yogurt. Don't over mix or the sponge will be rubbery. The mixture iwll be quite stiff compared to a standard sponge cake batter.

Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared loaf tin and spread out evenly. Bake on the centre shelf for 35-40 minutes. A skewer pushed into the centre of the cake should come out clean when it is cooked. Remove the cake from the oven.

Quickly mix together the rest of the citrus zest with the lemon and lime juice and the Demerara sugar. Use a skewer or fork to make little holes all over the cake, spoon the citrus drizzle on top and leave to soak in. Cool the cake in the loaf tin.

Store in an airtight tin for up to 3 days.

Cooks tip: to get more juice out of citrus fruit, warm them for 15-20 seconds in the microwave before halving and squeezing. Alternatively, simply roll the whole fruit on the work surface, pressing down firmly as you do so, to release more juice. 

Julie tips
I add a spoon of flour, when adding the egg, stops mix splitting. When adding yogurt/flour stir around the edge of bowl, cut through the middle (spatula works well). Mix until just incorporated and get it in the tin and straight in the oven. Once you start mixing the yogurt reacts with the baking powder to create a light cake. Happy baking 


Then that got me looking for the cake Liz bakes when we have a coffee morning but I can't find it, but I did find this which is one I've baked often because they're easy and you don't need to be a talented baker to make them, they make excellent breakfast muffins too.  

Raspberry and Banana Muffins

Serves 8, 5sp each

Whip up a batch of these light and fruity muffins.
Recipe taken from Anthony Worrell Thompson's cookbook The Sweet Life.

200g Plain White Flour (20sp)
2 teaspoons Baking powder
8 tablespoons Artificial sweetener, Granulated (such as Splenda)
100g Raspberries, frozen, briefly thawed
1medium Egg, whole, raw (2sp)
1teaspoons Vanilla Extract
50g Butter, melted (18sp)
100ml Semi Skimmed Milk (2sp)
1medium Banana(s), ripe, mashed

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6/200°C/400°F. Place 8 paper muffin cases into a muffin tray, or use squares of greaseproof paper.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sweetener and raspberries.

Beat together the egg, vanilla extract, melted butter and milk. Stir into the dry ingredients with the mashed banana until just combined. Avoid overmixing and do not beat. The mixture will be quite lumpy, but there should not be any traces of dry flour. Spoon into the paper cases.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Oh ma'an I'm gonna have to be careful today, I feel the carbs calling and it's only 5am!  I'll go make eggs for breakfast with mushrooms and tomatoes, that'll help.  

If you usually come to Bloxwich make sure you come today, keep me busy so the day goes quickly, if you've missed your workshop on another day, come today and add to my busyness ;) oh and if you want me to save you some money, get in touch.  

I need another cuppa and eggs so I'm off, let's make today count, mwah, 

luv ya 

Love me xx

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