I was baking
Who doesn’t like a good treat? Well, I’m sure there are some people who would say they choose savoury or something else instead of anything sweet, but me – I’m a sweet tooth girl. Not too sweet, but still – a bit of sugar in my life does me good. And the baking process… the mixing, the smell that travels around the house and tickles your taste buds and makes you feel happier – hmmmm… It’s a perfect therapy! So I bake…
Here we have a simple ‘honey cake’ recipe, but since we did not use any of it, it has to be renamed into a ‘molases cake’ (although it’s very yummy with honey too)
3 eggs (separated)
1 glass of milk
250 g butter
200 g honey (in our version it’s 4 heap spoons of black molases)
500g flour (in our case 250 plain and 250 wholegrain)
1 tsp baking powder
4 tsp cacao or carob powder
3 tsp mixed spice (ground: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, coriander seed, caraway)
100 g chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 220C/ gas 7/fan 200C and lightly grease a cake pan. Dust with flour.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cacao and mixed spice.
In a large bowl, cream together molases and egg yolks. Add milk and melted butter. Add flour. Whisk the egg whites and gently fold it in the rest of the dough. Add walnuts.
Working in two or three additions, alternately add flour mixture and milk to the sugar mixture. Stir only until just combined, then gently stir in the diced pears.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean and the cake is brownish in color.
Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
Dust with powdered sugar before serving if you wish.
Now, how about some very quick and very easy morning buns? Can be vegan if you choose! Originally it’s a scone recipe, but we change it a bit and those buns taste even better.
It takes 25 minutes. Makes 5-6, easily doubled and can be frozen after baking.
225g self raising flour ( I use wholegrain spelt)
1/4 tsp salt
50g butter (I used vitaquell spread), chilled, cut in small pieces
25g caster sugar (1 heap tbsp black molases is even better)
I also add 1 spoon carob syrup
125ml buttermilk (we substitude it with plain soya yogurt)
4 tbsp full fat milk (or soya)
a handful of linseed, sunflower seeds, rasins or anything else you want
I also put 1 tsp mixed spice and grated zest of an orange
a little extra flour for dusting
Preheat the oven to 220C/ gas 7/fan 200Cand lightly butter a baking sheet (unless you’re using a non stick sheet). Tip the flour into a mixing bowl with the salt. Shoot in the butter, then rub together with your fingers to make a reasonably fine crumbed mixture, lifting to aerate the mixture as you go. Try not to overrub, as the mixture will be lighter if it’s a little bit flaky. Now stir in the sugar. If you’re using molases, mix is with the buttermilk or yoghurt.
Mix milk with buttermilk/yoghurt. Make a bit of well in the middle of the flour mixture with a round – bladed knife, then pour in buttermilk mixture. Using knife, gently work the mixture – just cut it till you get a soft, sticky dough. Don’t overwork at this point or you’ll toughten the dough.
Put the dough out of the bowl on to a lightly floured surface. Pat the dough gently with your hands to a thickness of no less than 2cm and no more than 2.5cm. Dip cutter into a bowl of flour , then cut out the buns. Place on the baking sheet and dust it with flour.Bake for 10-12 minutes until risen and golden/brown.
Eat them as fresh as you can and smile!