Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Fruit cake therapy

Tonight's bakes were a fruit loaf and chocolate brownies. I like the pun I made in the headline there - fruit cake as therapy, and also therapy for a fruit cake, aka me... Ha! Made a joke...

The cakes are for my uncle's funeral, on Friday. He sadly died just over a week ago. My aunt is hosting the wake at her house so I thought a couple of bakes would help her out. I chose a traditional fruit loaf, which my uncle would have loved, and my favourite chocolate brownies for more contemporary tastes.

Simple fruit loaf

The fruit loaf was a Great British Bake Off recipe, from the second book. A very simple recipe, although I'm very worried about the results as this was the first time of cake baking for the oven in my new house! I still haven't got to grips with it yet and am unsure about how it will do with cakes. The proof is in the pudding....and the cake.

175g butter
150g caster sugar (I only had golden caster sugar in the house, so I wonder what difference it will make)
400g plain flour
Pinch salt
4 tsps baking powder
300g luxury dried fruit
125ml milk
2 eggs

Loaf tin is meant to be 900g (about 26 x 12.5 x 7.5cm) but mine isn't that big (I really must buy a new one) - so I ended up with some small fruit cakes too.

Melt the sugar and butter. Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder together and stir in the fruit. Beat the eggs into the milk and mix into the flour. Add the melted butter and stir until all combined. In the right loaf tin, bake this at 180C for about an hour - but as I had a smaller tin, it only took about 45 minutes.

The chocolate brownies are a favourite recipe that I make frequently. Again this was the first time of baking in the new oven. They don't look quite right - they don't have the lovely crack across the top like normal, but I hope they're OK. It takes a bit of trial and error with a new oven, I know. Especially when the oven has no light, and no digits on the buttons so I don't know what anything does....

It was good to do some baking. I put my generic mp3 player on random and enjoyed some music while the baking took my mind off everything else. Baking really is therapy.

I can't wait for the Stamford Clandestine Cake Club meet in a couple of weeks. Numbers are slowly increasing - luckily it is looking sure that I won't be sitting in the corner by myself with a cake....

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