Week Thirty Eight – Mary Berry’s Pound Cake

Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible still has an awful lot of recipes that I have yet the pleasure of covering and this week I chose her Pound Cake. I love fruit cakes– my Nan’s speciality and my dad always had a slice or two so what better tribute for Father’s Day than a cake to celebrate his memory.

Mary Berry's Pound Cake

The recipe was one of Mary’s throw it all in a bowl and mix together so no fussing or faffing to do. I lined the cake tin and poured the mixture in. The recipe states to bake the cake for 2 1/4 hours but to cover the top of the cake with baking parchment after an hour. I needed to go food shopping so hubby was instructed after an hour to place the circle of parchment on top of the cake and set the timer for another 1 1/4 hours.

When I came back from food shopping, he had happily completed his task and soon enough the timer was pinging. I checked the middle of the cake with a skewer and it came out clean so the cake was done. I left it to cool in the cake tin for half an hour as Mary suggests before tipping it onto the cooling rack and removing the parchment from it. It smelt lovely and brought back a host of memories of Nan’s kitchen when I was a little girl.

After it had cooled, I sliced into it- have to quality control the taste testing and it was lovely , light and moist. Dad, you would have loved it, Nan you would be proud.

Kim's Pound Cake

My other dad got half the cake today for Father’s Day and within minutes, he was on the phone saying how lovely it was. Happy Father’s Day to both of you.

My Dad

Week Thirty Five – Mary Berry’s Wimbledon Cake

Week thirty five and I had a good reason to make a cake this week. It was my niece‘s birthday recently and we were going down to stay with family for a few days. I sent a text to my niece to ask if she wanted a sponge and strawberry kind of cake or a chocolate kind of cake. To my surprise, she chose the sponge and strawberry kind of cake and Mary Berry‘s Wimbledon Cake fitted the bill.

Mary Berry's Wimbeldon Cake

This recipe is quite different in that the sponge mix does not use butter or the usual flour but separated eggs , both used in various stages and semolina. The sponge mix doesn’t rise much so the sponges look quite flat when they come out of the tin and as I used my mum’s fan assisted oven, they were a little browner than I would have liked them.

Kim's Wimbledon Sponges

Any way, I got the sponges baked and cooled and then whipped some cream. I then filled the centre with cream and chopped strawberries, I didn’t add the passion fruit as none of my family are keen on that. I decorate the top with half strawberry pieces and dusted it with icing sugar.

Kim's Wimbledon Cake

It was rather tasty and my niece liked it so much she had 2 pieces! The only thing I would say is that I would probably use a Victoria sponge recipe to make the sponge next time.  I would like to dedicate this blog to my niece Emily in celebration of her 16th birthday, with love x.

Week Twenty Nine – Mary Berry’s Divine Chocolate Birthday Cake

Greetings! Week twenty nine , just a little late in happening because hubby, the hairy hoolies and I managed to get away last week in our caravan for a long awaited chill out time and we stayed on a lovely site called Fairlight Woods. A beautiful small site with woods all around and doggy heaven! We were only 2 miles from the beach so I was happy too- I find the beach and the waves crashing onto the shore soooo relaxing and the dogs loved it too.

the hairy hoolies on Winchelsea Beach April 2013

Anyhow, back to the bake….as it was my other mum’s birthday, I chose the divine chocolate birthday cake recipe. I got all the ingredients and set off, thinking it would be just another twist on the usual sponge mix. How wrong I was. Mary asks for 5 eggs, 4 of them separated into yolk and white. You put the 4 yolks, a whole egg and the caster sugar in a bowl and whisk until thick and fluffy…..with me so far? Then melt the huge amounts of dark chocolate , add a spoon of hot water with a spoon of coffee granules, allow to cool slightly and add to the egg yolk mix with some ground almonds…..getting interesting isn’t it…….not a jot of flour in sight…..then whisk the egg whites until firm but not dry- an interesting phrase Mary! Then fold this into the mix and pour into the lined cake tin. Bake for 50 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean , allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out on to the rack to cool. I can honestly say this is the most peculiar recipe I have followed to date and wondered quite what would come out at the other end- I still had time to do a supermarket run to get a birthday cake if it was a disaster!

I must say, it didn’t look too bad when it came out and when I got it out of the tin, it retained it’s shape and had a lovely chocolatey aroma.

Kim's chocolate cake fresh out the oven

The icing was a breeze in comparison, oodles more dark chocolate ( not my favourite- so I resisted a nibble!) melted, with butter added, allow  to cool to get the consistancy and then cover the cake in it and allow to set. Decorate if you like. I had some pretty icing roses I added to it.

Kim's divine chocolate birthday cake

I took the cake to the birthday takeaway with some sparkler candles- I put five on the cake, and they were so difficult to light,then burned so quickly, we laughed so much just trying to get them done and “Happy Birthday” sung!

sparkler candlesHappy birthday!