Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The Glorious Bake

No... I'm not talking about the wonderful weeks of sunshine we've been experiencing in many parts of the UK at present!  I'm talking about baking cakes, bread, puddings... opportunities for yumminess.

I thought I'd share some of the naughty bakes created and eaten in our home over the past month.  I try to use half fat butter / margarine to try to reduce the calory content but a little bit of what you fancy and all that!
Quite often my bakes are spontaneous.  We have a larder cupboard which is stocked with essentials meaning I can bake on a whim.  Lately this has been pudding requests...  more commonly at present these are being eaten later in the evening as supper.  This trend has started due to requests for specific 'fancies' during an evening family meal or because bruised fruit has been brought home uneaten in a lunch box - and I do so hate waste.

We've had upside down pineapple sponge - delicious while warm with either ice cream or custard.


This is simply made: sliced ripe pineapple laid out in a single layer covering the bottom of a shallow sponge tin and then covered in plain sponge batter.  This took literally 15 minutes to bake from start to finish - 10 minutes of which was cooking time.

Another 'after main meal make' was this ripe banana chocolate sponge - made with two rather battered bananas and an all in one chocolate sponge mix.


On Father's Day I made some rather lovely balsamic vinegar and sweet tomato bread rolls...









...and some delicious lemon drizzle cake! These were presented on Father's Day over lunch when we had 'high tea' - with tea pot and posh plates!!

I do love it how the children are picking up on the experience of having afternoon tea.  It's not a hurried rush at the table but a slower paced munch and chat... and with family, tea and cake - in my view these are the best times!











Little Lady can weigh / measure, mix and bake a cake independently now.  This week over tea the request for chocolate cake was made and I had to say 'no' and explained it was to do with my pain levels but I would make one the next day.  Little Lady promptly volunteered her services and rather than quash her enthusiasm I showed her the cupboard and sat watching her from the kitchen table.  Awesome.

Once cooled we melted some chocolate and sprinkled some edible silver stars on top.  A very tasty, freshly made pudding.

I bought some marvelous silicone guards for the racks in the oven (because I was constantly burning my fore arms as I put cakes in and out of the oven on the metal racks and the addition of these guards has markedly improved my pleasure (and safety) in baking as I don't have blistered burns any more!  If you are a little rushed or a clumsy cook I would highly recommend them.

I'm trying hard to reduce my weight and have been attending Slimming World for 6 months or so.  I struggle with maintaining a lower weight with limited exercise but I have to admit that fresh cake doesn't help!  I can mainly resist but I did participate fully in Little Lady's chocolate cake and in our Father's Day celebration.  Ooops.  I'm in it for the long haul this time though - I've accepted that I do comfort eat and attending a group where I have to weigh is the way I can control these tendencies.  

Although these 'ad hoc' cakes often don't look too pretty - and they are NEVER complicated recipes (I prefer the 'shove it all in a bowl and mix' effort) I always like to present them on nice china.  I get real pleasure from using my charity shop finds in our everyday life rather than saving for best.  It definitely adds to the experience for me - and as the children are now reaching for certain plates when laying up it seems to add to it for them too.

Please don't think that cake is all we eat ;0)  Overall we have a healthy diet with an occasional homemade treat at tea time.  The added bonus being homemade of course is that the cakes have no preservatives in!

I've taken the odd shot of home cooked evening meals but food is really hard to photograph with a point and shoot camera.  I really have a desire for a new camera...  hey ho.  I'll make do with a cup of tea and very small slice of cake for now!!

Until next time,
J9 x

12 comments:

  1. All of your bakes look delicious, especially the one that your daughter made, well done her!!! You have obviously taught her well. Those silicone edge things are great aren't they. We have them as well! All of your china is lovely, and I agree that it is nice to have pretty things and to use them for serving as well! xx

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    1. Ah thanks Amy! You are right - she did do well. She may not make her bed but she can make a mean chocolate cake!!! J9 x

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  2. I am with you all the way on afternoon tea and homemade cake, either together or separate. I make most of my cakes with the all in one method, including Victoria Sandwich, and I have not had a disaster. My granny used to say that if a cake sank in the middle it was so that you could fill the dip with cream and fruit.

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    1. Haha - love that idea of a ready made well for yummy cream! I love the all in one method - never had a fail either. I love baking but don't want to spend hours in the production waiting to eat!!! J9 x

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  3. They all look really nice. I haven't done much baking lately because it's been so hot but I had the bug yesterday and made brownies from a mix. Not very ambitious, but they were tasty. :)

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    1. Goodness - I don't know how you cope in the heat you experience! I wouldn't be baking either. We think it's hot at the moment and it's about 20 degrees!!! I'm not ambitious with recipes - enjoyment and taste is important like you say! J9 x

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  4. Delicious. Pineapple upside-down cake is a favourite here too. I love your cake slice and long plate, and that's a great idea for using up old bananas - we often have a couple of them knocking about the place. CJ xx

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    1. Hey CJ - those treasures are both charity shop finds! I've done well in the past :0) I know what you mean about bananas - I usually make either smoothies or this cake with the battered bananas that come home in a bruised state in lunch boxes! An easy winner, J9 x

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  5. Please can I come and stay a while?!!! YUM!
    love Jooles x x x

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    1. Ah Jooles... you'd be very welcome!! J9 x

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  6. Hi Janine! I'm Heather and I just wanted to know if you could answer my question about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)

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    1. Hi Heather, I've emailed you as I'm not sure what your question is? Hoping to help, J9 x

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