Friday, October 28, 2011

Autumn Apple Traybake

If I knew you were coming I'd have baked a cake!  Well, that was what should have happened, but the idea to bake a half-term cake for my parents who visited this week only occurred to me hours before they were due to set off!

Undeterred, I decided to make a quick traybake - but decided to give it an Autumnal twist.

My parents had brought some apples, among various other produce, so I decided to use some of them in this bake.  The apples were smallish eating apples, with beautiful red skin.

I greased a roasting tin (and in hindsight should have lined it too but was in a lazy mood this afternoon!)

I sliced the apples and laid them on the bottom of the pan.  I then sprinkled brown sugar over them, hoping to create a bit of a toffee apple taste once baked.

I made up my usual traybake recipe and added about a teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of nutmeg to the mix, before pouring it over the sliced apples.

 I baked it in the oven for approximately 35 minutes at 160*C until golden brown on top and smelling delicious!!

Wanting the apple juice to soak into the cooling sponge (and also concerned they might weld themselves to the tin once cool) I turned the tin upside-down and let the cake fall out.

My thoughts about the greaseproof paper lining were accurate as had I lined it first the apples would have stayed put.  As it happened some did stick but it was fairly easy to replace them.  A quick sprinkling of more brown sugar and it was done!  We had to eat it warm, but no one complained!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Lazy Sunday Pudding Experiment

This pudding was most certainly an experiment, but I was so pleased with the outcome (taste-wise at least!) that I had to share it.  I had some sponge cake trimmings left over from making some mini victoria sponges, and never wanting to throw anything away (especially cake!) I'd kept it in a bowl covered in cling film.

We also had a couple of raspberry doughnuts left in the cupboard which had gone stale (rock solid to be precise!) so again my "waste not want not" ethics came into play.  Rather than waffle on I'll write this as a recipe:
You will need:

Sponge cake trimmings (or the ends of a loaf of bread
2 stale jam doughnuts (or you could used pain au chocolat - improvise!)
Handful of fruit (raspberrys, apple, banana, chocolate - that's a fruit right?)
3/4 pint cheap instant custard
1 egg


  • Break the cake trimmings into pieces and cover the base of an oven-proof dish. 
  • Slice the doughnuts and lay across the top of the cake.  
  • Tuck the raspberries into any gaps between the cake and doughnut pieces.
  • Make up the custard according the the packet's instructions, but err on the side of 'runny' in terms of consistency.  Allow to cool slightly.
  • Beat the egg in a separate cup, before beating a little of the cooled custard in to the egg.
  • Pour the beaten egg into the the rest of the custard - adding a little custard to the egg beforehand helps to stop the egg cooking before stirred in.
  • Pour the custard mixture over the cake pieces ensuring all of the cake is covered.  Push the cake pieces down into the custard if necessary.
  • Bake at 160*C for an hour.
  • Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving. 

This was such a lucky experiment.  Loosely based on Nigella Lawson's Pain Au Chocolate recipe from How to be a Domestic Goddess, but I opted for an incredibly lazy alternative, but loved how it turned out.  We had ours with icecream, but cream or more custard would have been just as good.  Might try it again with apples and syrup... or chocolate chunks and croissants..... or bananas and toffee... or.....