This cake, decorated with the Radio 4 logo and title of the series, was created by Emma Yeld of the Have Your Cake production team.
Week 6: Unusual Christening Cake
The idea is to personalise your fruit cake. Use the original recipe as a guideline for overall volumes, and mix and match the contents as you like. Crystallised ginger, pineapple, cherries, dates in big and bright chunks…. Ray makes this for Maggie, using dried fruit from all the destinations on their round the world trip. This is a big cake, but can easily be scaled down.
12oz brown sugar
20oz glace fruit
4oz pecan nuts chopped into cake
4oz pecan nuts halves to go on top
4oz candied peel
2 and a half hours at 300f. Then two hours at 250f or until cooked
Decorate with pieces of glace fruit and pecan halves when nearly cooked and glaze with apricot jam when cold.
Week 1: Bitter Chocolate Cake
Here's the recipe for Bitter Chocolate Cake if you fancy having a go at it. I called it bitter because it's made in bitterness in the series, but you'll see (if you make it) that it actually tastes delicious.
200g good quality dark chocolate
110ml strong hot coffee
200g jar of mayonnaise (not salad cream!)
80g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 level tbs cocoa powder
125g ground almonds
200g caster sugar
line 18cm cake tin with greaseproof paper
heat oven to gas 4 / 180/ 350
break chocolate into pieces and melt in bowl. Pour hot coffee over.
Mix all dry ingredients (including the cocoa powder) together in another bowl. Add mayonnaise and mix until well beaten into dry ingredients (it might look like breadcrumbs)
Add chocolate/ coffee mixture to this and stir thoroughly, but without beating, until well blended. Pour into tin and put in middle of oven.
Cook for sort of about an hour or until skewer comes out clean.
Cool in tin while you make topping
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons hot coffee
225 grams icing sugar
Week 2: Private Parkin
There are many, many different recipes for parkin…..
Although they share similar ingredients, no two recipes seem to combine them in the same way. Some have twice the flour to oatmeal, some the other way round. Some use eggs. A lot of versions add a cup of milk to the melting stage. Some people swear by lard, some people swear at it.
Nicky swears by lard and always makes his Parkin with….
Quarter pound of flour
Half pound medium oatmeal
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsps ginger
Half pound of lard (or other cooking fat)
Half pound of black treacle, or golden syrup
Half pound of Demerara sugar
Heat sugar, fat, treacle (or syrup) in pan (now would be the time to put in a cup of milk if you wish). Mix dry ingredients, but put baking soda (bicarb) directly into pan. Pour onto dry ingredients and stir.
Cook one and a half hours in a slow oven, in a square tin….
Week 3: Fairy Cakes
Fairy Cakes are quick and easy to make with children. If you have no children available, butter, sugar and flour work just as well.
4 oz butter whisked up with
4 oz sugar, and then fold in
4 oz flour, alternately (or not) with
2 beaten eggs….
Put dollops into little paper cases on a baking tray.
Cook at Gas mark 5, for 15 minutes and they’re done.
If you’re particularly attracted by the idea of cake decorating, there is a host of tips out there on the internet. Did you know you can test the effects of a chocolate marbleize mix by dipping a balloon into it?!….
You can make something called Chocolate plastic (mmm!) or make Chocolate drizzle by painting with melted chocolate, or have fun icing and covering with as many sweets as will fit….
Week 4: Scripture Cake
This handwritten recipe falls out of the back of one of Janice’s old books.
The ‘ingredients’ are in the form of biblical references, indicated by chapter and verse.
(Of course, ‘bicarbonate of soda’, for example, isn’t actually in the bible, so you’ll have to be a bit creative in your interpretations.)
4.5 cups I Kings Chapter 4 verse 22
1.5 cups Judges Ch 5, 25
2 cups Jeremiah 6, 20
2 cups I Samuel 30, 12
2 cups Nahum 3, 12
1 cup Numbers 17, 8
2x 15ml I Samuel 14, 25
Season to taste with II Chronicle 9, 9
6x 15ml Jeremiah 17, 11
A pinch of Leviticus 2, 13
Half cup Judges 4, 19
2x 15ml Amos 4, 5
Add citron and follow Solomon’s advice for making a good boy – Proverbs, Chapter 23, Verse 14, and you have a good cake.
Week 5: Lady's Cake
This is an unusual variation of the basic rainy-Sunday-afternoon-can’t-be-bothered-to-go-to-the-shops sponge cake. If you hate waste, you can use the three egg yolks in place of two whole eggs for batter
Cream butter and sugar. Add cream and vanilla essence. Sift the flour and beat egg whites until stiff. Fold flour and creamed mixture alternately into egg whites and whisk lightly.
Pour into prepared 7 inch tin and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Split and fill with orange or coffee buttercream. Ice with orange or coffee glace icing.