Tag Archives: cake

Grapefruit & Ginger Cake


The Sunday just gone marked our second attending at Leicester’s excellent Clandestine Cake Club, this time at Deli Flavour in the recently refurbished Silver Arcade. The theme this month was “Memory Lane”, though I must shamefully admit that the caked I baked has no link to memories whatsoever. I just fancied baking a grapefruit cake, so I err…did.

Before I divulge the recipe, I would like to draw attention to the fact that on 3rd May I shall be cycling 100 miles to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research and YoungMinds. Please follow this link if you would like to donate, which would make me and my little legs very happy indeed! In some crazy twist of fate I also believe this is our 100th post. Huzzah!



1 grapefruit
250g sugar
225g stork/butter/spread
3 eggs
300g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger


50g stork/butter/spread
200g cream cheese
300g icing sugar
zest of a lemon
2 stem ginger balls, finely sliced


Boil the grapefruit in a pan for 20 minutes, drain the water, then repeat. (I must admit I don’t entirely understand the change of water but the recipe told me to so I did!). Leave the grapefruit to cool before removing pips and blending to a pulp (the whole thing, including skin).

Preheat the oven to 18ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4Beat the stork and sugar together. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the pulp. Fold in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ground ginger. Divide the mix between two well greased/lined 20cm cake tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Leave in the tins for a few minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

To make the icing, beat the butter and half the icing sugar together. Add the cream cheese, remaining icing sugar, zest and sliced stem ginger and beat until smooth. Keep in the fridge until the cake has cooled enough to ice it. Spread half the icing on each sponge, starting in the centre and spreading it outwards in ever increasing circles. For the bottom layer leave a 1-2cm gap around the edge so that when you place the upper layer on top the icing doesn’t splurge out. Place one on top of the other, decorate with a few strips of lemon zest. Share with friends at your local cake club!




Tiramisu Cake


So George’s sister introduced us to our local Clandestine Cake Club. Each month they hold themed cake making/scoffing extravaganzas based on three simple principles:

1. You make a cake big enough to share
2. You get together and eat and share your cakes (and attempt conversations between mouthfuls of yumminess)
3. You take all sorts of cake home and get fat for the next week

This month’s theme was cakes based on other puddings or in other words, puddings masquerading as cakes. There’s no judging or egotism, just friendly people filling their faces as bemused members of then general public mosey on by. This tiramisu cake is based on the Smitten Kitchen tiramisu cake recipe, whose marsala cream is to die for. In fact, even if you don’t make the cake just make the cream and let spoon meet mouth.


For the coffee cake:

150g butter
120g sugar
150g self raising flour
3 eggs
1 tbsp baking powder
3 tbsp coffee essence such as camp coffee or very strong instant coffee

For the chocolate cake:

130g plain flour
40g cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
100g butter
2 eggs
120g sugar
120ml buttermilk (made simply by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to milk and leaving for 10-15 minutes)
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla essence

For the coffee syrup:

3 tbsp coffee essence (as above)
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp icing sugar

For the marsala cream:

250g marscapone
50g icing sugar
200ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp marsala wine


Preheat the oven to 160oC/320oF/gas mark 3  as you prepare the cakes and grease two 23cm (or thereabouts) cake tins.

For each of the two types of cakes, mix the dry ingredients together in separate bowls (sieved flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cocoa). Add the butter and mix with an electric whisk until each turns to a sandy consistency. Add the respective flavourings.

In a separate bowl or mug, gently beat the eggs for one cake and add to the mixture a bit at a time, whisking until incorporated. Repeat with the eggs for the other cake. The coffee cake mixture is now ready to be poured into the cake tin and baked for 20-30 minutes. To the chocolate cake mixture, add the buttermilk and continue whisking until it becomes smooth. Pour into the second tin and bake for 20-30 minutes.

When baked, take the cakes out of the oven and mix up the coffee syrup in a small bowl. Drizzle evenly over the cakes and leave the cakes to cool fully.

To make the marsala cream, (which by the way, is extremely versatile and I challenge you not to eat any before it sees your cake) begin by beating the marscapone with the sieved icing sugar. In a second bowl, whisk the double cream until it forms stiff peaks. Add around a quarter of the cream to the marscapone mixture and mix thoroughly. Add the rest of the cream to the marscapone and fold very gently, so as not to lose the air from the mixture. When evenly mixed, store in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble your cake…if you can manage to not eat it all first.

To assemble the cake, place the chocolate cake on a plate or tray (the chocolate cake is slightly more structurally sound thus it makes sense for it to go on the bottom). Cover with a thick layer of marsala cream. Place the coffee cake on top. Spread the remaining marsala cream over the top. Dust with cocoa powder in some kind of pretty pattern. And go and join your local CCC!


Red Velvet Cake


Recipe adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery recipe for red velvet cake, by Kerry, winner of our Bake-Off in aid of Arthritis Research!


60g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
1 egg
20g cocoa powder
40ml red gel food colouring
½ tsp vanilla extract
120ml buttermilk
150g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1½ tsp white vinegar

300g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter
125g cream cheese


Preheat the oven to 170°C. Mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until well incorporated.

In another bowl, mix the cocoa, red food colouring and vanilla to make a dark paste. Add to the other mixture and mix thoroughly until combined. Be sure to scrape the bowl to evenly mix the colouring through. Add half of the buttermilk to the mixture and stir before sieving half the flour. Beat again. Repeat to add the rest of the buttermilk and flour. Beat until you have a smooth, even mixture.

Add the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat for a couple more minutes.

Spoon into a lined, greased tin and bake for around 25 minutes. Alternatively, spoon into individual cases and bake as individual cupcakes for 20-25 minutes. As with standard cakes, a skewer should come out clean and the cake should be soft to the touch.

To make the cream cheese frosting, beat the icing sugar and butter together until well mixed. Add the cream cheese and beat again until incorporated. Continue until light and fluffy but be very careful not to overmix as it may separate and become runny. Spread over the top of the cake. Note you may need 1 1/2 – 2 times the frosting recipe to cover the entire cake.


Two Days in Bristol


We spent the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in Bristol and these are our foodie highlights:

1. The Archhouse Deli

A beautiful, impressively stocked deli/café that serves some nice cakes and incredible looking sandwiches (although unfortunately we didn’t have the appetite to try one). We had a slice of banana cake and a slice of apple cake and both were rather tasty, though in different ways. The apple cake was subtle and delicate whereas the banana cake was one massive banana hit, although personally I would have loved some dark chocolate chips. Check out their menu here.

2. Westfield Park Jubilee Street Party

While wondering around Clifton we stumbled across a street party. Sauntering up to take some arty-farty photos we were greeted with open arms and paper plates. Somehow we had timed our wandering to perfectly coincide with a bake-off! Approximately 50 different cakes were lined up, from cupcakes to fruitcakes and bakewells to brownies and we were told to taste them ALL and choose our favourite. This kind of opportunity doesn’t come very often so we had to pinch ourselves to check we were actually awake.

We couldn’t quite manage a taste of all, but we must have tried at least 10 between us. Jelly’s vote went to a squidgy, gooey Rhubard Crumble Cake and Whale’s went to some Raspberry and Blueberry cupcakes. We are awaiting recipes for both! Thanks to all the residents of Westfield Park for their hospitality!


COOK is a great shop that sells homemade frozen meals. And some bloody good brownie too. Check out their website here and use their store locator function to find your closest brownie! We demolished a whole block (apparently 6 servings) in a day. In fact our diet on Monday literally just consisted of tea and cake.

4. Cordial & Grace

A recently opened café that serves some quintessentially British afternoon tea with a twist. We tried both their savoury (cheese & mustard scones with cream cheese & chutney) and their sweet (ginger scones with clotted cream and rhubarb jam) options. Trying to pick a favourite is nigh on impossible. For us, the savoury wins on points (but that might just be because we are massive chutney whores). Here’s their menu.

There were many more wonderful looking cafés, pubs and restaurants we didn’t get a chance to try…maybe next time!


Summer Cake


Serves 8 [or 6 generously]

Pretty simple but beautifully light and yummy. You could make this with any summer berries really – I used strawberries and blackberries, buy I’d love to try it again with the sharp acidic kick of raspberries to balance the sweetness of the strawberries. I also might cut down the sugar by 25g or so, but I always prefer my cakes on the less-sweet side.

This recipe, courtesy of smittenkitchen, courtesy of Martha Stewart.


85g butter/margarine
190g plain flour
1 ½ tspns baking powder
½ tspn salt
225g sugar  (200 in mixture, 25 for topping)
1 large egg
120ml milk
1 tspn vanilla extract
400-500g summer fruit

Preheat oven to 180oC/gas mark 4. Butter a pie-dish. Half/hull your berries.

Sieve and mix the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl beat the butter and (200g) sugar until uniformly pale and light. Depending on the temperature of your butter (the warmer the better) this should take 5-10 minutes. But look on the bright side, the more calories you burn doing this, the bigger slice you can justify eating when it’s done! Mix in the egg, milk and vanilla essence – at this point the mixture won’t look too appetising so don’t worry if yours is somewhat separated. This should be rectified by gradual the addition of the dry ingredients. Continue to mix until a smooth batter forms. This shouldn’t take long at all.

Pour the mixture into the pie-dish and add your fruit, halved-side down. Press gently into the mixture and don’t fret if there’s overlap. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the berries and whack in the oven. After ten minutes, turn down to 160oC/gas mark 3. Leave for 50-60 minutes, checking every so often, until the top is golden brown. Use a skewer or a knife to pierce the centre – if it comes out dry then the cake is done!

Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream and you’re onto a real, fresh, summery winner. This totally counts as 1 of your 5 a day. Honest.

Oh look, I took a picture!


Summer Cake