The only cakes I remember my mum making when I was little was a boiled fruit cake and a chocolate ripple cake. I’ve always loved fruit cakes and I’ve been making this boiled fruit cake for as long as I’ve been cooking, it is easy to make and only uses one saucepan. It’s always seemed a bit “healthy” with the use of lots of fruit (however a dietician will not agree) and it will easily last a week if you store it well. Mum liked to spread a layer of butter on the slice of cake (she put a thick layer of butter on everything) and sometimes I do this too. Why don’t you try it both ways and decide which you like best? This cake is perfect for the lunch box and very popular with the older generation.
I picked the crop of pumpkins last week, I just hope it wasn’t too early, in the past I have gone by the rule that you leave the pumpkins on the vine until the vines wither and the first frost comes, but after reading alternative practises I made the decision to go for it. I was not happy to read later in another article that if pumpkins are picked too early they will not keep as well, oh boy what have I done? I guess we will just have to wait and see (I’ll look at it like a scientific experiment), so now there are 26 pumpkins on the deck (3 gone already) and my pumpkin cooking ideas may need to broaden. I made a batch of soup but the freezers are already full so there is no need for more soup just yet, and then I remembered a pumpkin syrup cake from the most used of all my cookbooks – The Australian Women’s Weekly Cakes and Slices Cookbook (1989), so out it came and as I flicked through it I realised that I have made most of the cakes and slices in it, what a fabulous cookbook it has been, the price tag of $7.98 was still on it, I have certainly got my money’s worth from that book! Anyway I made the cake and wow what a cake it is! My number two son said “that cake doesn’t look anything special but it is the best cake I have ever had” – now that is a ringing endorsement if I ever heard one – I changed the cake from an orange to a lemon / lime cake as I like the sweet/tart combination better (you could use orange juice and rind if you prefer an orange cake).
As no 2 son stated "mum this is the best cake I have ever eaten"
1tbs each of grated lemon & lime rinds
1 cup castor sugar
1tsp lemon essence
2 cups self raising flour
3 eggs separated
1 cup mashed pumpkin
For the syrup:
2tbs lemon juice
2tbs lime juice
¾ cup sugar
Prepare a large cake tin (23cm) and warm oven to 180*C
Cream the butter (take out of the fridge to soften), rinds and sugar until well combined (it will be light and fluffy in appearance)
Add the egg yolks one at time beating well after each addition
Stir in half the sifted flour and half the cold mashed pumpkin
Repeat with the remaining flour and pumpkin (the mix will appear dry)
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and fold gently through the cake batter
Spread into the prepared pan
Bake for approximately one hour or until golden and cooked through
Pour hot syrup over the hot cake and leave in the tin for 10 min before placing onto a cake rack to cook
To make the syrup:
Combine the juices and sugar in a small saucepan and slowly bring to the boil while stirring constantly and until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes
The challenge now is to see how long the pumpkins last, whether they are ripe (hopefully a dark orange colour) and just how much pumpkin we can eat and give away. I want to roast up pumpkin pieces to store in the fridge to use in everyday cooking and salads, maybe some pumpkin dip, deep fried in batter might be nice but naughty, and one thing is for sure I am going to make more pumpkin citrus syrup cake.
This book and their birthday cake cookbook (for kids) were the most used books in my kitchen for years and they bear the scars well, they’re falling apart, are battered and torn but no wonder they were a part of our family cooking scene, we would pour over them (the kids and I) deciding what treat or birthday cake to make, such a lot of sweet memories belong to these two cookbooks, thanks Women’s Weekly!
I’ve been thinking about writing a blog on scones for a couple of weeks now and buying some beautiful organic berry jam was all the inspiration I needed (you have to have wonderful jam and the best cream). Scones are a pretty basic food and I know a lot of you out there already know how to make them, but for those others who haven’t found the “right” recipe, or whose scones turn out like rocks then try this “Lemonade Scones” recipe. It’s an old recipe that’s been going around the traps between cooks for years, and yes it has lemonade and cream in it! Scones are not good left standing or stored in any way, cooked at the last minute and eaten straight out of the oven is the ONLY way to go. I have been informed that they freeze well and after a brief microwave are ready to eat and you wouldn’t know the difference, but I haven’t tried this. When we lived in the bush and had a huge vegetable garden, we grew youngberries, raspberries and strawberries but space is now an issue and our strawberry patch doesn’t seem to provide enough berries to make jam, so I may have to buy some fruit to make jam or buy more lovely organic jam.
Light fluffy scones served with luscious berry jam and double cream
3 cups of self raising flour sifted
1 cup cream (pouring)
1 cup lemonade
jam & double cream for serving
Heat oven to 200*C
Place flour in large bowl and pour in liquid ingredients
Mix lightly and until barely combined
Might still be quite wet but don't worry
Put some flour onto a board or your bench and tip dough onto it
Add a little more flour to the top of the dough and gently work dough to form a smooth surface
It should be about 2.5cm thick
Cut with a scone cutter and place scones on a lined oven tray
You can brush them with milk if you want a shiny top
Bake in a hot oven for 15min (check to make sure they are cooked in the middle by opening one up)
Place on a clean tea towel to cool and wrap to keep fresh
Serve with lashings of jam and cream and hot strong tea
I have a lovely scone cutter I bought about 30+ years ago from the blacksmith shop at Sovereign Hill. Scones can be tricky to cut with a glass or other implement, dipping the tool in flour helps the cutting process.