MacMan likes Nigella…..Lawson, that is. Thankfully he didn’t marry me expecting Nigella-esque culinary skills.
I’m all about the simple. I can cook to a recipe but I usually find it so painstaking, I prefer to wing it, at least with savoury meals.
One kitchen activity I’m willing to dabble in though (to a point) is baking. Maybe it’s the memory of all those times I spent watching my mum bake when I was young. Cakes, cookies, licking the spoon, ahhhh……..bliss.
When I was about 10, I was given a cookbook which was part of a Puffin series of books called “Practical Puffin”. I loved that book and trying out various recipes. The hamburgers were great. I mean the illustration showed a hamburger stack with potato chips in it. What more could a kid want?! I was tempted to try the edible flower section and always marvelled at how they made the cheese. I’m pretty sure the book, as with the rest of the fascinating series of Practical Puffin books, are out-of-print now.
Of all the recipes, though, my all time favourite was the standard cake. I still make it today, and all it’s variations, and thought I’d share it with you.
I love this recipe because it’s so simple. You can make the plain cake, or add some of their suggested flavourings such as a grated apple, or two tablespoons of cocoa. Make up your own even! It does require adult assistance with the melted butter at the start and the use of the oven, but a child could otherwise do the rest (I’ll leave it up to you to decide how much help your children might need). The further bonus is you can do the entire recipe in one pot, no mixer required. Makes the process and the cleanup so very easy.
Two tablespoons of butter
Almost full cup of sugar (I personally use a lot less or none, like this day when I added mashed banana instead)
A heaped cup of self-raising flour
Half a cup of milk
Suggested Flavourings (optional)
A mashed banana
A few drops of vanilla
Two tablespoons of cocoa
A handful of sultanas
A grated apple
Orange juice and grated peel (leave out half the milk)
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat.
2. Stir in the cocoa now, if applicable.
3. Take the pan off the heat and add the sugar (I skipped this step since I used a mashed banana which I added with the flour)
4. Add the eggs and stir well.
5. Add the flour and flavourings.
6. Slowly add the milk or juice stirring all the time until smooth and shiny. I added nutmeg at the last minute here too, but you could add it at the previous step.
7. Pour the mixture into a greased cake tin or muffin pan or use paper cases. I chose to add choc drops and a couple of M&Ms as embellishments.
8. Bake in oven at 175 degrees celsius for approximately 35 minutes for a single large cake or about 15-20 minutes for muffins. Skewer the centre of cake and it will come out clean when cake is cooked.
9. Cool cake or muffins.
10. Eat as is, or ice and decorate.
The proof is in the tasting and we had two very happy taste testers.
And look at all I have to wash, muffin tins aside!
Do you have a childhood recipe you still use?
I’m linking with Jess from Diary of a SAHM for IBOT.