Marmalade Cake

I liked the look of this sticky marmalade cake taken from the Great British Bake Off  the book to accompany the BBC2 series. I loved the taste – it really is a cracker, moist and sweet with a sharp kick courtesy of the marmalade.

Sticky Marmalade Cake

A really good Seville orange marmalade – home made or a top brand – with an intense bittersweet flavour plus decent chunks of peel transforms a simple creamed sponge mixture into a special treat.






For the sponge:
175g unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
175g self raising flour
Pinch of salt
¼ tsp baking powder
3 tbs chunky marmalade
2 tsp full fat milk

To finish:
3 tbs marmalade
100g icing suger
2 tbs water

1 x 20cm round, deep cake tin or springclip tin, greased and lined with baking paper.

Preheat the oven to 180º/350ºF/gas mark 4. Put the soft butter into a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer for a minute, or til creamy. Gradually beat in the sugar, beating all the while, til the mixture becomes paler and fluffy.

Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition; add a tablespoon of the flour with the last portion of egg. Sift the remaining flour, the salt and baking powder into the bowl and gently fold the mixture with a large metal spoon. When thoroughly combined, add the marmalade and milk and stir in.

Spoon the mix into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a good golden brown and firm to the touch. (I tend to bake for 35, put a foil hat on it and put it back in the oven for 20 mins). Carefully turn the cake out onto a wire rack. Gently warm the second portion of marmalade and brush over the top of the warm cake. Leave to cool completely.

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add the warm water (I sometimes use half water, half lemon juice) and mix to a runny consistency using a wooden spoon. Spoon the icing over the cake and let it run down the sides – the chunks of marmalade will stick up through the icing. Leave til set before cutting.


Rosemary Shrager’s Yorkshire Breakfasts

Rosemary Shrager is a force of nature, a gale force. She swept into Fodder last week, to demonstrate some breakfast dishes from her new book ‘Rosemary Shrager’s  Yorkshire Breakfasts’.

And it was a demo like no other: crazy, funny, chaotic. She couldn’t work the induction hob so Fodder’s director, Heather Parry, hovered behind her turning the plates on and off, up and down on demand and sometimes failing altogether. There was only one frying pan when she needed two; potato cakes had been cut into rounds instead of rectangles. Fodder’s head chef put up with relentless scolding mostly for being French, poor lad. Even a chap from the audience, whom she’d met years ago was dragged up to help make the scrambled eggs. His mistake was once beating her at table tennis.

But her ferocious bark is far worse than her bite. She may come over as a posh and bossy lady, but she’s a pussy cat really, utterly charming, entertaining, delightful.

And she seems to genuinely love Yorkshire. She raves about everything: the place, the people, the ingredients, the food. She was thrilled to find Chris Wildman, the Yorkshire Chorizo man, in the audience,  went off at a tangent to praise local ‘Serrano’ ham and loved Fodder’s bacon. She raves about breakfast. too, which of course was the point.

Rosemary Shrager and Heather Parry

She told us why she loved breakfast, gave us tips to make things easier when entertaining. She made kedgereee – her tip: add a spot of curry powder. She made creamy scrambled eggs, poached eggs, quails eggs. She fried up some bacon and made a proper hollandaise sauce. She took questions, signed books, teased the chef some more. I don’t know about her but the rest of us sat down to our meal exhausted and we really did enjoy all the above. Breakfast for supper, you can’t beat it.

Fodder is a charitable food hall and cafe run by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society to provide a market for local farmers and food producers.

Open every day until 5.30pm, 7pm Thursday.

Fodder, Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate HG2 8NZ T: 01423 546111

Peggy Porschen’s Party Cakes

Did you see Kirstie and Phil fiddling with Peggy Porschen’s fondant fancies on last night’s Kirstie and Phil’s Perfect Christmas on Channel 4?

Oh, isn’t life so perfect in their world? Don’t you believe it. I made some gloriously kitsch heart-shaped fondant fancies from her book Peggy Porschen’s Pretty Party Cakesand by the time I’d finished icing them  the kitchen looked like a scene from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Peggy Porschen is cake maker to the stars. She has a posh shop in Belgravia where she bakes exquisite cakes for the likes of Madonna, Elton John. She made  Stella McCartney’s wedding cake.

For the telly she showed Phil and Kirstie how to make dinky little Christmas parcels finished with a big icing bow. Well, actually they only made the icing bows so their kitchen remained in perfect order.

Mine on the other hand was chaos when I was persuaded to make her sparkly hearts for the school cake stall. Even before the icing there were hours of prep. Make a Victoria sponge, fill with butter icing, pour over vanilla syrup, cover it all in marzipan and cut into heart shapes. Then warm the fondant icing to just the right temperature, colour it  to just the right shade of pink, dip  the cakes in the gloopy, sticky icing without letting them fall into the icing as I did and filling the icing with cake crumbs. Somehow, I don’t think Peggy gets into this mess.

But having pressed them into foil cases and dipped them in edible glitter they did look pretty good.  Obviously not as good as Peggy’s in the book but good enough to win the prize of ‘Cake Most Like Its Baker.’ So, happy ending, but I won’t be making them again in a hurry.

If you want to learn how to make cakes like Peggy Porschen, she runs a three day wedding cake masterclass at the heart-stopping price of £975. They are fabulous cakes though. Check out her website www.peggyporschencom.

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