The fabulous Vanessa Kimbell came up with the idea of Random Bakes of Kindness. To take part all you had to do was decide who to give your random bake to, blog about the bake, the person who you gave the bake to, and write up why you choose them. Simple!
So I decided to bake for the office staff and teachers at my daughters Primary School on the first day of the new term. Despite being enthusiastic and all psyched up for the new year, the first day is always rather nerve-wracking and trying for everyone on the staff. I thought some freshly baked cakes would go down well.
I made three cakes whilst having a total of 7 children in my house, and got them all to help. Clearly I am slightly insane. It all worked out well though and I dutifully hauled all the baking to the school staffroom this morning. I sneaked in just after drop off time so the goodies would be a welcome surprise for the staff at morning tea time. It's OK, I'm Chair of Governors at my daughters school so I'm allowed in the staffroom. LOL
Here are the three recipes:
Lemon Yoghurt Cake
This cake is SO easy to mix! A great one for kids as even littlies can stir the mixture easily. Tastes fab too.
Zest of 2 unwaxed and thoroughly washed lemons
1 cup of oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup plain yoghurt
3 Tblsp lemon juice
2 cups self raising flour
Put the lemon zest, oil, eggs and sugar into a bowl Mix toghether thoroughly until it's thick and well blended. You can do this with a hand powered roatry beater or electric beaters. Add the yoghurt, and lemon juice and briefly beat it again until well combined. Fold in the flour.
Pour the cake mixture into an 8 cup capacity cake tin lined with non stick baking paper. Bake at 180C for 30 mins then check a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes before you turn it out onto a wire rack.
You can serve the cake dusted with icing sugar but I decided to glaze whilst it was still warm in the tin. I used the leftover juice from the zested lemons and enough icing sugar to make a thin icing that didn't taste too zingy. The glaze soaked into the cake and it was lovely, moist and lemony.
Easy Tea Cake/Bread
This is a fab recipe if you feel like cake but have run out of eggs. It keeps well in a tin and is great warm straight from the oven with custard. Not that I'm admitting to anything.
1 cup sultanas or raisins
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup hot strong tea (without milk)
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 or 2 1/4 cups self raising flour
Measure the sultanas, mixed spice, cinnamon and butter in to a medium sized bowl. Pour hot recently made tea over them and leave them to stand until the mixture is cold. It may look as attractive as a mud pie the kids make in the garden, but rest assured it smells much better than that, and will taste fab when it's cooked.
When the mixture is cold, add the brown sugar and self raising flour. If you use 2 cups of flour the tea bread will be more cake-like, whereas if you use 2 1/4 cups of flour the tea bread will be more bread like. Mix gently until just combined, don't overmix or the tea bread will be tough.
Line a 20cm cake tin, or a 23cm x 12cm loaf tin with baking paper and pour the mixture evenly in to it. Bake at 180C for 35-45 minutes in the cake tin, or 1 hour in the loaf tin, until a skewer pushed in to the middle comes out clean.
When cold store in an airtight container. It's best left for 24 hours, wrapped in clingfilm, before cutting and eating it but that hardly ever happens in our house.
Rich Chocolate Cake
Sift into a large bowl:
1 3/4 cups self rising flour
small pinch of salt (1/4 tsp)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
To the dry ingredients, listed above, add:
115g melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk
Beat everything altogether with a mixer on a low speed for about 3 minutes. The mixture may be quite runny, do not be alarmed. Bake at 180C for 25 minutes. Turn the oven off but leave the cake in the oven for a further 25 minutes.
Once the cake has cooled completely, smother it with rich chocolate icing.