Saturday, 23 September 2017

Cake in Moderation

Usually Friday is bun day!  Ever since I baked nearly all the recipes in Jane Mason's Book of Buns, this has been the rule.  Either fresh or from my stash of frozen buns, two are served on lovely white china with a pot of tea on Friday afternoons, and if friends can pop in then, they are of course included.

We missed out on buns last Friday, and we were to have cake on Sunday at the pump rooms in Bath, but the queue was unbearably long.  We planned to pick up a cake or bun somewhere on our way back...but we were turned away at 4:02 because Morrison's close at 4 on a Sunday and were just letting people leave, not enter.

Mr S requested very nicely  cake and tea instead of buns and tea this Friday.  He wanted a cake like the granny cake we used to buy from the COOP on Fridays on the way home from work from the COOP.  I'm not talking about the large birthday cakes or sticky confections that are available these days.  The cake was a rather plain, lightly fruited affair with bits of sugar on the top. This was over 20 years ago!  The cakes were rather small, but quite tasty and came in a square box that made them look bigger than they were.

I wanted to make a cake as close as possible to the one we had years ago.  I looked for a 'frugal' type of cake recipe, but ended up devising my own.  The next problem was size, all my cake tins are 'ample sized', and making a frugal fruit cake in a small 1 lb fruit tin would not have looked like the one we used to buy.

I just could not get out of my head my 'contretemps' with Kenco in August, which I posted about on facebook, and recently copied here for my friends that are not on facebook.  If people are having smaller cups of coffee, then 'moderation must be 'en vogue'!  So I bought a small round baking tin....Here is the small 6 "cake tin which is still not as small as the standard 5" cake currently being sold in Sainsbury's!  If we cut the same number of slices from a 15 cm cake rather than 20 cm cake and had that with the 'smaller' cup of coffee, we can still have cake and coffee despite the recent hike in prices in the shops!!!!!!  Both are much smaller!!!

With this smaller cake tin...and thanks to Kitchen Craft the manufacturers they have printed the size in inches and centimeters on the outside, such a brilliant idea, I baked the following....

6 Inch Frugal Fruit Cake to be enjoyed in Moderation

200g self raising flour sifted
1/2 tsp mixed spice sifted with the flour
100g butter
100g caster sugar
150g mixed dried fruit
1 egg
75g milk or thereabouts
Coarse Sugar to sprinkle

Rub the butter into the flour and spice, add the caster sugar and mixed dried fruit, stir well to distribute the fruit.  Crack open the egg into a small bowl and mix with 50g milk, stir this into the main mixture, then gradually add the remainder of the milk to a stiff but not dry constituency.
The fruit was a mixture of raisins, currants and my home made crystallized orange and lemon peel.

Bake at Fan Oven Temp 160/ Gss Mark 3 for about forty minutes.  It may take less but watch, and cover after about 25 minutes to avoid scorching, and test with a skewer to check that it is fully baked, before removing.  Leave in the tin for a few minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack.  Eat only when completely cold!

Friday afternoon tea and cake time, with a neighbour invited over so that we could plan our joint order for autumn mulches for the garden.

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