Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Back to Baking, and the Blog

I can't believe a month has gone by since I last managed to fit in time for my lovely blog.  I don't like to complain about having too much work, but when it totally takes over your life, it can't be good!
And when it stops me from cooking things I want to cook, that's also very frustrating.  Having just completed a book of Italian recipes (all 360 of them), plus twenty recipes for The Dukan Diet, I was just itching to do some real baking at the weekend.  And just to ensure I did, I invited my lovely neighbours over for Sunday tea.
This recipe comes from a lovely lady in Devon, Isabel Tomlin who, with her husband, runs Northam House Bed and Breakfast in South Molton, Devon.  On our mammoth cycle ride from Lands End to John O' Groats back in May, Northam House was our second night stop.  We had no idea what we had let ourselves in for, but after 11 hours of cycling up the steepest hills I have ever seen, we finally reached the B&B and were met by Isabel and given a piece of cake to try to revive us.
Having failed to remember to take a piece with us the following day, my dear friend Liz then emailed to ask for the recipe, and finally it arrived last week!  I felt I had to make it to see if it really was as good as I remember, or was it just the 11 hours cycling that had heightened my taste-buds?!
This recipe also reminds me of one we all used to make as chalet maids when I worked the ski season a few years ago - having no scales in those remote alpine chalets, but having to cook a different cake every day, we all used a yoghurt pot to measure everything - it always worked a treat, and to vary it you would just use different flavouring and a different shape tin every day!

Boiled Apple Cake

1 mug sugar
1 mug dried fruit
1 mug water
125 g butter
1 des spn ground cinnamon
1 des spn ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cooking apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
1 mug wholemeal self-raising flour
1 mug self-raising flour
1 egg, beaten

1.  Preheat the oven to 190C (375F) Gas Mark 5.  Grease and base line an 18 cm loose-bottomed cake tin.
2.  Place the sugar, dried fruit, water, butter, spices and apple in a saucepan and heat gently until the butter has melted.
3.  Stir in the flours and egg, then pour the mixture into the tin and cook for around 1 hour.  The cake is ready when a knife inserted comes out clean.

This cake is really delicious and so easy to make and as Isabel told me, will come out different every time!

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