All posts tagged: cake recipe

Old fashioned Vanilla Cake

It does not get more homey than this cake. Enjoy with a cup of hot chocolate or with a cup of coffee! Serves 8-10 250g butter (plus 1 Tbsp butter for greasing the tin) 160g sugar 4 eggs 1 cup full fat milk * seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod (or 1 Tbsp vanilla extract) 280g self-raising flour, sifted (plus 1 handful for dusting the tin) 1tsp baking powder 50g raw unsalted almonds, ground icing sugar for dusting Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Use a pastry brush and 1 Tbsp melted butter to grease the bundt cake tin really well. Take a small handful of flour and dust lightly around the inside of the greased tin. Turn upside down over your kitchen sink and knock gently to remove any excess flour. Combine the butter and caster sugar in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla seeds and the milk and combine. At this point the mixture will probably look a …

Lemon and Pistachio Cake

As we learned from “The Land where Lemons Grow” by Helena Attlee, lemons reached Europe with the Arabs when they invaded Sicily in AD 831. They were first grown in the protective environment of pleasure gardens until the Arabs built a new irrigation system, combining practices from the Islamic (water-challenged) territories in Egypt, Yemen, Mesopotamia and the Levant with the classical Roman water management  infrastructure that they repaired and extended. As for the Romans, not only did they build aqueducts, dams and conduits, they also introduced pistachio cultivation in Europe around AD 35. Until then it was grown in the Levant and Iraq – even in the handing gardens of Babylon during the reign of Merodach-Baladan, the king who fought the Assyrians and sent Hezekiah letters of concern because of his illness. (We can think of him dictating the letters to his scribes among the pistachio trees during a babylonian afternoon). So both the basic ingredients of this cake were brought to Europe from the near east – were they were introduced from central and southern Asia. The moral is that you should not take the delicate flavours of …