Saturday, October 17, 2009

More From Store

Today's recipes continue the theme of 'made from a basic mix', and these I find really useful at this time of year, as with several months of assorted 'festivities' coming up most - when made - can be frozen. Three 'basics' are given, one for a traybake, another for shortbread and the third a 'pound cake'.

Basic Traybake: (F)
6 oz (150g) butter
6 oz (150g) caster sugar
2 large eggs
8 oz (225g) self-raising flour
2 tbls milk
Cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, then alternately beat in the eggs and flour. When thoroughly mixed, beat in sufficient milk to give a soft dropping consistency, then spoon into a greased Swiss Roll tin 11" x 7" (26.5 x 17.5cm) and bake at 180C, 350F, gas 4 for about 40 minutes until set and firm.
To freeze: pack into rigid containers, seal, label and use within 3 months.

lemon squares: makes 12
Mix together 4 tblsp lemon juice and 4 oz (100g) caster sugar. Bake the basic mix (as above) and while still hot spoon the lemon juice and sugar over the top. Leave to cool before cutting into squares.

apricot and almond squares: makes 12
add 2 oz (100g) chopped no-soak apricots to basic mixture, adding a few drops of almond essence (optional). Sprinkle top with 1 oz (25g) chopped almonds before baking.

ginger and cinnamon bars: makes 16
add 2 tsp ground ginger to the basic mixture. When cold pour over hot fudge icing (recipe following), adding 1 tsp ground cinnamon to the icing sugar before mixing.

chocolate fudge diamonds: makes 12 - 16
using the basic recipe, replace 1 oz (25g) flour with 1 oz (25g) cocoa, then make the traybake up in the normal way. Sandwich together with smooth fudge icing, and top with peaked fudge icing (recipe below) - making double the quantity given - and adding 4 tsp cocoa to 6 oz (150g) icing sugar before mixing. Cut into diamond shapes.

fudge icing:
6 oz (150g) icing sugar
1 tblsp golden syrup
1 tblsp milk
2 oz (50g) butter
Sieve the sugar into a basin. Put the rest of the ingredients into a pan and heat until melted and almost boiling. Pour this onto the icing sugar and stir well. Use at once as smooth fudge icing. For peaked icing, cool then beat until thick. Spread over traybake and swirl into peaks.

Basic Shortbread: (F)
4 oz (100g) plain flour
2 oz (50g) ground rice
2 oz (50g) caster sugar
4 oz (100g) butter
Mix the dry ingredients together and gradually rub in the butter until the mixture binds together. Place in a 7" (17.5cm) shallow square tin and press down so that it fits. Level the surface and prick the top with a fork. Bake at 170C, 325F, gas 3 for 35 minutes, then cut into triangles, squares, or fingers.
To freeze: cool, pack, seal and label. Freeze and use within 3 months.

chocolate shortbread:
cook the basic mix, then top with smooth fudge icing (recipe above) adding 4 tsp cocoa to the icing sugar before mixing.

ginger shortbread:
add 1 tsp ground ginger to the dry ingredients. Ice with smooth fudge icing, adding 2 tsp ground ginger to the icing sugar before mixing.

lemon shortbread:
cook the basic mix, then top with smooth fudge icing, adding 1 tsp grated lemon rind, and 4 tsp lemon juice to the heated ingredients.

walnut shortbread:
to the basic mix, add 2 oz (50g) finely chopped walnuts towards the end of mixing.

Pound cake was the name given to a basic cake mix made with equal weights (formally 1 lb of each) of flour, butter, sugar and eggs. This is enough to make the three cakes, suggested today.
Ideally weigh the eggs before making the cake, so that if using larger than normal, the other ingredients can be adjusted, but for general purposes it is expected that a medium egg weighs 2 oz and the following recipe uses that rule of thumb. Just remember that a 250g pack of butter now weighs 9 oz (500g - 18 oz), so if you prefer to use a whole block, then adjust the other weights accordingly.
Basic Pound Cake Mix: makes 3 large or 48 cup cakes
1 lb (450g) butter
1 lb (450g) caster sugar
8 eggs
1 lb (450g) self-raising flour
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, adding a little flour if it tends to 'curdle'. Stir in the flour and divide into four portions, then complete using two portions to make one of the following sandwich cakes, and one portion for each of the other two cakes. Or use some or all to make 48 cup cakes.
To freeze: pack un-iced cakes into polybags or rigid containers, seal, lable and freeze. Open-freeze iced cakes, then when solid pack into rigid containers or polybags, seal and label. Use within 3 months.
To use: remove from wrappings and thaw large cakes at room temperature for 4 hours.
Thaw small cakes at room temperature for 1 hour.

lemon sandwich cake:
spoon two portions into 2 x 8" (20cm) greased and floured sandwich tins. Bake at 190C, 375F, gas 5 for 35 mins. Cool on cake airer and when cold sandwich together with 6 tblsp lemon curd and 5 fl.oz (150ml) whipped double cream. Dust with icing sugar.

coffee and brandy sandwich cake:
into each of two portions of basic cake mix stir 1 tsp instant coffee that has been dissolved in 2 tsp water. Bake as for lemon sandwich cake. When cold, sandwich together and ice the top with brandy butter (6 oz/150g butter creamed with same amount of sieved icing sugar, plus 1 - 2 tblsp brandy - or other chosen spirit/liqueur)

chocolate fruit loaf:
into one portion basic cake mix, stir in 2 oz (50g) sultanas, 1 oz (25g) chopped mixed nuts, and 1 oz (25g) dark chocolate, chopped or grated. Bake in a greased and floured 1 lb (450g) loaf tin at 190C, 375F, gas 5 for 1 hour. Leave in tin for five minutes then cool on a cake airer.

chocorange marble ring:
take one portion of the mix and divide this into two. To one half stir in 1 oz (25g) melted chocolate. To the second half stir in 1 tsp grated orange zest and one tblsp orange juice*. Grease a 1 pint (650ml) ring mould and alternately spoon in dollops of the chocolate and orange mixtures. Swirl with a knife to give a marbled effect and bake at 190C, 375F, gas 5 for 45 minutes. Turn out onto cake airer. When cold ice with smooth or peaked fudge icing.
* Note, a stronger orange flavour is gained if the juice of an orange is simmered down to the amount required, then left to cool before using, or use a few drops of orange essence blended with water to make up to 1 tblsp.

Cup Cakes:
use the basic cake mixture to make 48 cup cakes, varying the flavours as suggested. Spoon into paper cases and bake at 180C, 350F, gas 4 for 25 minutes.

chocolate cups:
to two portions (that's half) of the basic mixture, stir in 4 oz (100g) melted chocolate. Spoon into 24 paper cases and bake as above.

butterfly cakes:
using the basic mixture (or part) bake plain cup cakes, then when cold, remove a small slice from the top. Cut the slice in half. Pipe a swirl of buttercream on top of the cake and into this wedge the cut pieces to resemble butterfly wings.

coconut cakes:
make plain cup cakes using the basic mixture, then when cool, brush each with warmed apricot jam and roll in desiccated coconut.

fudge cups:
make plain cup cakes, and when cold, remove the centre using a teaspoon to make a hollow. Fill cavity with the beaten fudge icing (see above), and finish with a sprinkle of icing sugar.