Cut and Come Again – easy and flexible cake recipe

Cut and Come Again – easy and flexible cake recipe

I try, but don’t always manage it, to make a cake on a Sunday for afternoon tea but also to pad out the school lunch boxes during the week. I think this recipe may have come out of a Country Living magazine way back when. It’s so easy to remember (175g is the main amount) and is super quick to make. It’s not a gourmet cake by any means – just an everyday cake!

The basic recipe is for a plain cake using olive oil with some lemon zest & juice for flavouring. You could use a regular sunflower oil if you prefer. I have adapted the recipe many times – adding cocoa, seasonal fruit, coconut, muesli, bananas – whatever takes my fancy really or whatever needs using up. Recently I’ve taken to making it as an upside down cake. Yes, it’s more butter and sugar – but this adds an extra richness – and makes the cake a perfect pudding too.

I call this cake ‘Cut and come again’ – just because it’s easy to keep cutting another slice to have with another cup of tea, but also because it’s so quick and easy to make. Traditionally it may have been the name of a fruit cake – but I also like to think of The Magic Pudding – who really was a cut-and-come-again puddingy cake of a fellow!

Olive Oil Cut and Come Again Cake

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For the basic recipe…

Whizz together:
3 large eggs
175ml light olive oil
175g caster sugar
(1 tsp vanilla)

Mix in:
175g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Juice + zest of a lemon.

Pour batter into a greased 9 inch round cake tin and bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 180 degrees C.

When warm you could  pour a mixture of dissolved sugar in lemon on top (as per a regular lemon cake) or just sprinkle with icing sugar.

Adaptations I have tried (& which actually worked out ok!):

  • Fruit: simple cut some fruit (I’ve used apples, cherres, plums, tinned peaches) and place on top of the batter before putting in oven.
  • Upside down version: cream together approx 75g butter and half a cup of brown sugar and spread this on the bottom of your already greased tin. Place cut fruit on top (I’ve used plums, apples, pineapple). And then pour the batter over the top. In the picture above left, I have also added 2 tbsp cocoa powder as part of the 175g flour. If you want a deeper toffee-type topping, just cream more butter and sugar!
  • Banana & Muesli: I usually have quite a lot of black bananas piling up in the freezer, so I add 4 squishy bananas to the wet mixture and after adding the usual dry ingredients, I add about a cup of muesli, which absorbs the extra moisture from the bananas. If this isn’t enough, I add a handful of shredded coconut or half a cup of coconut flour. (NB coconut flour is amazingly absorbent and will densify any pudding or cake, or so I’ve found anyway.)
  • Coconut: I haven’t tried this yet – using coconut oil instead of olive oil or maybe half and half.

Please let me know how your experiments go with this recipe. Comment below and post your photos too 🙂

[Health warning: many of the recipes on this site contain flour & sugar. I always recommend organic, single origin ingredients, preferably unbleached, and will endeavour to offer alternatives. As we so very painfully know, cancer cells love sugar – so please moderate your sweet treats.]

Colin’s pudding

Colin’s pudding

Lynne Lowrie from Blegbie in Humbie has sent through this recipe for a quick pudding option.

Quite often Pamela and Ross would team up for casual dinner with neighbours Colin and Lynne. There were always plenty of cooking apples from the small garden orchard to be used up and Pamela liked to indulge Colin’s penchant for puddings. A hard working farmer can certainly be allowed to partake in as much cake and pudding as he likes!

The derivation of this recipe is a bit iffy, but our guess is that it is another Ida Wilkie / Pamela Flockhart ‘throw it altogether and bung it in the oven’ type of affair.

Apple and Almond Cake
Serves 4

12oz apples, peeled and chopped
6oz sugar
5oz butter or marg
2 eggs
½ tsp almond essence
8oz S.R flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Milk for consistency (Lynne to confirm?)
Sprinkling of flaked almonds, brown sugar and cinnamon

Turn on the oven and heat to 325°F or 160°C. Grease a 9 inch tin.

You pretty much mix everything together, but I find this sequence the most efficient unless of course you have a super dooper food mixer.

  1. Cream the sugar and butter (or margarine).
  2. Beat in the eggs and the almond essence.
  3. Add the dry ingredients (flour and BP) spoon by spoon and mix,
  4. Add some milk until the mixture is a heavy batter. (Is that right, Lynne? Other
    wise the mixture is very thick.)

Place half the mixture in a 9 inch tin or baking dish, cover with apples and top with remaining mixture. Sprinkle with the almond, cinnamon and sugar topping.

Bake for 1 ½ hours at 325°F or 160°C. Serve with ice-cream or natural Greek yoghurt.

To make this recipe for 6 people just use one and a half times the ingredients.

My photos aren’t the best but hopefully you get the giste.

[Health warning: many of the recipes on this site contain flour & sugar. I always recommend organic, single origin ingredients, preferably unbleached, and will endeavour to offer alternatives. As we so very painfully know, cancer cells love sugar – so please moderate your sweet treats.]

Quick Apple and Almond Cake in a bowl

Colin’s Pudding

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The Lowrie Family

Thank you Lynne!

That trifle thing!

That trifle thing!

In our household Zoe is the arch dessert maker. She takes after her grandmother (Pamela) and is an intuitive ‘throw it in’ type of cook. Last Christmas Zoe made Nigella’s Italian Christmas Pudding/Cake and it really was galumptious but this Christmas Zoe decided to go free-style with a trifle thing, taking inspiration from Nigella’s gallous ideas and Grandma’s diversions with tiramisu. Because of this – there is no real recipe and what I am about to write is an estimate only. All I can say is – experiment for yourselves and adjust the levels according to your own tastes and your tolerance for rich ingredients. Whatever it looks like it’s bound to be delicious because you cannot combine cream, cake, fruit, alcohol and nuts and it not be truly indulgently yummy! [The leftovers are really great for late night snack and even breakfast!]

Here goes…

Stage One – preparing the main components

  1. Select a beautiful glass bowl – so you can see the beautiful layers.
  2. Carve a large Panettone into about 1.5-2cm slices.
  3. Whisk two eggs with about a tablespoon of caster sugar until frothy.
  4. Whip together cream (approx 300ml) and marscapone (approx 300g tub) and add a dash of either Marsala or Tuaca (if you have a really sweet tooth add a dessert spoon of caster sugar).
  5. Fold together the creamy and eggy mixtures.
  6. Prepare fresh fruit – Zoe used a mixture of chopped fresh mango, nectarine, and passion fruit pulp and assorted berries
  7. Toast some pistachios and or slivered almonds – then crush/chop them a little.
  8. Knock out seeds from one pomegranate.
  9. Mix together a mug of cold black instant coffee with a good dowsing of Marsala and pour into a shallow bowl.

Stage Two – compilation

  1. Dip the panettone slices in the coffee mixture and place in bottom of bowl to make a single layer
  2. Spoon in the fruit salad (about a third) – at this point you could also sprinkle over a few nuts and maybe even some dark chocolate drops.
  3. Spoon in a layer of the cream mixture (about a third)
  4. Repeat the previous three steps twice.
  5. For the topping – sprinkle the nuts and pomegranate seeds over the cream.
  6. Place in the fridge til ready to devour. (Make sure to have a small main course if you want to have room for this!)

Enjoy! Then plan your fitness regime to start very soon.DSC_1034

My, oh, my! Sugar high!

Thank you, Moi, for handing me the recipe card that you found recently (see pic). In Mum’s hand, is the recipe for Caramel Sauce. This one, though, is not to be confused with the Linda Landers Caramel Sauce recipe. The former could be termed the ‘lite’ version but as both contain vast proportions of sugar, it really doesn’t matter! Having just tasted a wee swirl atop my ‘lite’ frozen yoghurt, I am definitely soaring in the heady stratosphere of a sugar high. I have very fond memories of scraping the last remnants of melted ice-cream and caramel sauce from my dessert bowl at Sunday lunch (no rude comments, please, about where that led me!).

CaramelRecipeCardCaramel Sauce (lite version!)
Good on ice-cream and keeps soft form in a jar to use as a cake filling or a spread. (Also good for surreptitious larder snacks – eaten by the teaspoon from the jar!). This recipe (thankfully) only makes a small amount (approx. 120g).

Boil 1 cup of light brown sugar with 2 tablespoons milk and 1tablespoon butter for 4 minutes.
Take off fire, add 1 teaspoon vanilla essence and a good squeeze of lemon.
Beat until thick.

Linda LandersLinda Landers’ Caramel Sauce
Truly divine and decadent on vanilla ice-cream. Forms an increasingly gooey thick toffee coating atop the cold ice-cream, and can become hard, depending on your cooking technique.

Bring slowly to the boil: 2 cups packed brown sugar, 2 tablespoons golden syrup, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 cup whipping or double cream.
Boil for 5 minutes. When off the stove beat in 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence.

Caramel04 Caramel05 Caramel09

CaramelRecipeCard

Rhubarb crumble, scones and banana oat bites (bobs)

Hi! It’s been another long pause between drinks (or posting). Please be assured, I hadn’t gone troppo; just life took the rev out of my extra-curricular activities. So let’s crack along before I’m distracted again.

Good Housekeeping 1960

Wonderful colour of GH in 1960. A treasure trove of daily recipes.

There has been talk of the family’s appalling scone making record; no-one seems to be able to emulate Mum’s ‘quick as a flash’ scone making prowess. It may be that ‘speed’ is the critical element. So – this may help: I came across a 1960 Good Housekeeping pamphlet in the rabbit warren of Pamela’s hand-built cookbook.  Please let me know if the recipe below works for you, as I haven’t had another go recently.

I’m on a bit of a health kick at the moment and so the white sugar and white flour packets have been banished from the pantry. This also means that many of Mum’s recipes for puddings, pies and cakes are out of the question at the moment. HOWEVER – you can substitute with wholemeal, organic ingredients – she’d always support that.

Crumble was a big favourite round our family table; mainly due to an abundance of seasonal fruit from the garden and also it was quick. It’s a healthy dessert, as long as you don’t load up with too much brown sugar, and simply delicious as the crunch of the crumble meets the soft tart fruit and the silky touch of a dollop of fresh organic cream or ice-cream. Yum!

In her own hand - notice fromage frais (not easy to find in Oz but easier in UK)

In her own hand – notice fromage frais (not easy to find in Oz but easier in UK)

Mum’s recipe adds a bit of zest to your usual crumble, making it seem like you’ve created something deluxe without the effort. If you don’t grow your own fruit, I suggest a visit to your local farmers’ market to pick up whatever is in glut – the traders may have reject fruit that you can pick up for a song too – no harm in asking.

My last mini-ultra-quick-and-healthy recipe today is the Banana Oat Bites (aka Bobs) – these pop in the mouth lifesavers have diverted me from far worse indulgences and stopped a gap in a late afternoon hunger emergency. Ticking all the boxes, these little babies (sorry for the Jamie Oliverism) couldn’t be faster, particularly if you are a hoarder of black bananas in the freezer, as I am.

BOBS

Banana oat cookies

Quick, easy, healthy, sweet treats

Heat oven to 180C (approx 350F). Whizz 2 cups of porridge oats in your food processor, til they resemble a rough flour. Squeeze in 3 large bananas and whizz again. Grease a baking sheet or layer with baking paper. Dollop teaspoons of the mixture onto the tray and bake in oven for 15 mins. It should make approx. 24 bites – each bite being about 50 calories.

Additions: Today I’ve added a teaspoon of vanilla essence, a small handful of dark chocolate bits and a tablespoon of shredded coconut. You could add sultanas, other dried fruit like cranberries, peanut butter, nuts – whatever you fancy, but of course they’ll up the calories a wee bit.

RHUBARB CRUMBLE
The instructions are a bit slim but here goes:
Heat oven to 180C (approx 350F).
Chop about 4-6 big sticks of rhubarb and put in a saucepan. Grate in a thumb of ginger and add the zest and juice of an orange and a lemon. Simmer lightly til the rhubarb just begins to soften. Don’t boil it or you’ll have mush.

Spread out into a pudding/baking dish or into ramekins ( I like to do small individual ones, as they look good to serve up at a dinner party and keeping a few extra in the fridge are great for the kids’ after school tea.)
For the crumble: whizz together in a food processor 1 cup of wholemeal plain flour (white may taste better but this is healthier!) with 1 cup of your favourite muesli (failing that a cup of porridge oats are good), a tablespoon of ground or slivered almonds and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Then add in 1 cup of fair trade dark brown sugar and chopped up cubes of 6oz organic unsalted butter. Whizz until mixture looks like hefty breadcrumbs. Spread across your fruit and bake in oven for 15-20 mins.

PLAIN OVEN SCONES (Good Housekeeping Breads and Buns, 1960)
Heat oven to 230C (approx 450F).
8oz flour (try half white, half wholemeal), 
½ tsp salt, 1½ oz butter, 2 tsp cream of tartar, 1 tsp bicarb of soda, ¼ pint of milk + egg or milk to glaze. (If using baking powder instead of tartar and soda, use 2½tsp).
Sieve all dry ingredients and rub in the butter. Add all the milk at once – mix lightly and quickly (Mum used a knife) to a spongy dough and then knead slightly. Roll out to ¾ inch thick, cut out, brush with egg or milk and bake in a hot oven for about 10 mins til well risen and golden.

To make these sweeter, you can add a tablespoon of sugar and/or a large handful of dry fruit, e.g. sultanas, currants. I also like to make herby ones, by throwing in a large handful of parsley, chives and maybe basil or coriander. Grated cheddar cheese or small cubes of feta with a sprinkle of dry chilli flakes are good too!

Good luck everyone – please comment, post or email me with how your scones, crumble or bobs turned out!

Squidgy (gluten-free) chocolate wrap cake thing

I had forgotten how easy, and quick to make, this ruinous dessert is. It was a regular favourite in the 80s after someone brought one over for a dinner party. I’m not sure of the origin but it could be Delia Smith or Miss Bell. I made it this week for Zoe’s going away dinner – my gorgeous girl is off to university already. We were all amazed at how good it was! There is no flour included but it’s pretty high on the fats and sugars – you can’t have everything I guess when you want your cake and to eat it too! It’s not as formal as a roulade and certainly I like the casual way it is folded.

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Squidgy chocolate wrap cake thing

Cake: 6 eggs (preferably room temp & free range of course!), 5oz caster sugar, 2oz fair trade cocoa (sifted);

Filling: 8oz double cream, block of dark chocolate and/or chocolate cream.

Turn on oven to 180 C degrees (350 F). Oil and line with baking paper a rectangular cake tin or roasting tin. (I used a baking tin with a 12 x 8 inch base).

Separate the eggs and whisk the whites until soft peaks form but not stiff. Then, in a separate bowl, whisk the yolks lightly and add the sugar. When creamy add the sifted cocoa. Fold the whites into the cocoa mixture.

Fold in the whites lightly.

Fold in the whites lightly.

When mixed, pour into the tin and spread evenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes. When it’s cooling, it will contract a bit so don’t be alarmed!

Stretch out a length of baking/greaseproof paper and sprinkle it with icing sugar. When the cake is still warm, tip it out onto the paper.

For the filling you can spread layers of chocolate cream or mouse (see below) and whipped cream; this time I whipped the cream and folded melted dark chocolate into the cream which, as it cooled in the cream, created crackly chocolate striations. I then added a layer of mixed berries.

After spreading on your filling, to make the loose roll, lift the end of the baking paper and roll it over (as per photo). To finish, sprinkle with sifted icing sugar. (Tip: I think it’s easier to fold over when it’s still a little warm, i.e. pliable.)

Chocolate Cream

1/2 cup of butter (100g -ish), 1 egg yolk, 6oz dark 70% chocolate (fair trade, melted and cooled), 1 tbsp cognac or sherry, 1/2 tsp vanilla essence.

Cream the butter, beat in the chocolate, egg yolk, cognac/sherry and vanilla.