Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Butter Rum Moist Fruit Cake

A wonderfully flavoured fruit cake, sent to me from across the pond by a rellie. You can chop or change the fruit, but I would definitely recommend leaving in the dried pineapple. If you would like a simple moist rum cake, you can leave out the fruit completely.

The cake lends itself to be baked in a bundt tin, but is equally good in a loaf tin. Pre heat your fan oven to 150C. Spray or grease really well your bundt tin [or loaf]

Start the night before:
Soak 10 oz of dried mixed fruit of your choice and 4 oz of dried pineapple in 3 fl oz of rum. 
I used raisins, apricots and dried cranberries.

4 oz butter
7 oz light muscovado sugar
1 tablespoonful golden syrup
1 teaspoonful baking powder
pinch salt
1 teaspoonful vanilla extract
½ teaspoonful mixed allspice
½ teaspoonful nutmeg
2 large eggs
2 fl oz buttermilk or milk
7 oz plain flour
2 fl oz rum
2 oz 3 oz chopped pecans
4 oz halved glace cherries

Glaze: 3 fl oz rum and/or brush with a light sugar syrup

In a large bowl, cream the softened butter, syru, vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix together your dry ingredients. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then fold in your flour and other dry ingredients along with the milk and lastly the rum. Now add your fruit that has been soaking overnight along with the cherries and nuts.

Tip into your prepared tin and bake for approx 80-90 mins. Turn down to 130C after 45 mins. When firm and a fine knitting needle come out clean, remove from the oven and let it rest for a while.  Spoon over some of the extra rum and allow it to soak in, then spoon over a little more. Leave until the mixture has soaked in and allow it to cool some more. Invert onto a cooling rack and finally pour over the rest of the rum.

Do not cut for a few days!!! Keep your mitts off it until the flavours are allowed to mature! Wrap well and store in a cool place.

Just a wonderful fruit cake. The rum flavour shines through, so if you don’t like the flavour, this cake is not for you!

Be warned though. It does contain uncooked alcohol.

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Cornish Slab Cake [number 1]

I would imagine there are as many versions of this as there are villages in our fair County! I have put off tackling this recipe until I found some old authentic recipes after being asked many times for the genuine article. There is no definitive genuine article I feel!! Cornish farming ladies, WI and suchlike would each add their own touches over the years and so it would evolve. So here is one and I will post another in a week or two. Anyone with more? This recipe probably dates back to the turn of the last century or late 1800s.

My close friend Jeny comes from Tuckingmill/Camborne area as did her father. His grandmother was affectionately known, by one and all, in the nearby village of Roseworthy as ‘Granny Clements” [I am not sure of the correct spelling of this surname]. She was of farming stock and this is her recipe. Jeny’s mother often made this and Jeny has many fond childhood memories of this being served at teatime.

You will need a baking sheet or an oblong shallow ish tin, as I used. Pre heat your fan oven to about 200C

1lb self raising flour [or plain and baking powder]
4 oz butter, softened
4 oz lard
¼ pint whole milk [I wonder what it would be like using buttermilk?]
12 oz currants
6 oz caster sugar [or granulated]
½ teaspoonful salt

In a mixing bowl, rub the lard into the flour and salt. Add the sugar and fruit. Mix with the milk and roll out into a rectangle. Divide the butter in half and dot little dobs of half the butter over two thirds of the mix and fold the bare third into the middle, then fold the other third over the top of that. Turn. Roll out once more into a rectangle and repeat. Roll into your finished shape, about 1 inch thick and bake for approx 30 mins.

Oh my! Absolutely wonderful.

Notes: I sprinkled some sugar over the top before popping into the oven. My oblong tin was 11 x 8 inches and I lined it with parchment to help lift it out,

To the non Cornish baking folk, this is not Heavy Cake. Heavy Cake has no raising agents and is mixed with water and a lot less fat and sugar! This is light and quite soft.

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Moist and Creamy Chocolate Roll

Well, this is absolutely scrumptious. Fairly easy to make, as long as you follow the Swiss Roll rules and I love the idea of thickening the cream filling, so it doesn’t squish out. Another recipe from rellies in Wisconsin, of Cornish extract of course!

You will need a large Swiss Roll tin. Lightly grease it and line the base with parchment, hanging it over the edges to help lift it out. Pre heat your fan oven to 160C.

5 oz caster sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or bean paste
3 oz plain flour
1 oz good quality cocoa powder [you know I like Green and Black]
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
2 fl oz vegetable oil 
3 fl oz buttermilk

In a large bowl or mixer, beat the eggs until thick and pale [about 3-4 mins], then whisk in the vanilla and sugar. Sift the flour, bp and cocoa, then fold this into the egg mix. Now whisk together the oil and buttermilk and stir into the batter. Mix well.  Tip into your prepared tin and level off as best you can then pop into the oven for about 12 -14 mins.

Let it cool for a couple of mins, then turn out onto a clean tea towel or baking parchment that you have lightly dusted with some sifted icing sugar. Roll up starting at the short end, evenly and tightly and allow to go cold. If you make a little cut half an inch in, this will help to start you off.


approx 8 fl oz double cream
a dessertspoonful of icing sugar
3 oz finely chopped or grated, 70% cocoa solids chocolate
a level teaspoonful of gelatine, stirred into a little very hot water then allowed to cool for a few moments.

Whisk the cream and icing sugar until you have soft peaks, then stir in the chopped chocolate. Add the cooling gelatine. Chill for an hour or so until it is starting to set.

Unroll the cake and spread over the cream filling. Re roll and dust with icing sugar or drizzle over some melted chocolate, thinned with a little more double cream. 

Just lovely. Absolutely delish. A dessert cake, with fresh cream, so store in the fridge. I also added some extra chopped chocolate on the top.