On Curiously, Creatively today, we return once more to cake (both the baking and the eating of it), which as you might have guessed is a topic very close to my heart. The post graduate students’ coffee morning was yet again a great excuse to try out an idea. I mentioned in a previous cake related post that I would be talking about some more of my coffee morning products. This time I am going to write about two versions of a very basic cake recipe, baked as before in a small roasting dish for easy cutting into plenty of slices to go round. I had good reports of the cakes’ reception from those who tasted them, so I offer my improvisations in today’s post.
As I happened to have some raspberries and blueberries in the freezer, they formed the basis of my baking plan. I didn’t have any chocolate in stock so that ruled out making the chocolate raspberry brownies that I have featured before (I have wanted to try this recipe out with blueberries instead, an idea for the future). In the end, I came down on the side of a simple rubbed in cake mixture, mixed in two batches. For anyone who has not used this method before, you just rub the fat into the flour until you have something resembling fine breadcrumbs. Then you stir in the sugar and add the eggs, with a little milk if required, to make a soft dropping consistency. To the first mixture I planned to add the raspberries with some chopped apple and to the second I added the carton of blueberries.
Here is my (very) basic cake mixture, which I baked at 180⁰ C (gas mark 4), in a tin roughly 12” x 9” (30cm x 23cm). This is the size of tin in which I usually bake my shortbread squares which gives between twenty-four and thirty-two pieces.
8oz (200g) self raising flour
4oz (100g) butter/margarine
4oz (100g) sugar
(I used castor in one and Demerara in the other)
2 large eggs, plus some milk or juice to mix
I had 150 g cartons of the soft fruit and I used one medium sized eating apple in the raspberry and apple bake. You can tweak flavours by adding vanilla or almond essence, or by using lemon/orange zest and juice perhaps.
There are all sorts of possibilities for varieties of tray bakes, and you could top with a glaze or some glace icing before cutting into squares or slices. You could also add a sprinkling of flaked or chopped nuts before baking, for a crunchier square. I cut the cakes into squares (more or less evenly at four by eight) before packing them up. Naturally we both felt that we should have first taste of the goods, in the interests of Quality Control!
If you have a very adaptable basic recipe, do tell us about it below…
Picture Credits: Curiously Creatively