Coconut Mushroom Cake

April 1, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Posted in Baking, cake, cooking, food, Recipe | Leave a comment
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I saw the light in Marks & Spencer. A beauteous bag of coconut mushrooms spoke to me, and what they said was good. And what they said was, ‘Lady, you will make a coconut cake, and anoint the top of this coconut cake with us, the sweets of heaven’.

So yeah, I bought the bag of coconut mushrooms, ate half of them and saved the rest to put on top of my cake. I used this recipe, but I didn’t bother with the lime syrup and I substituted an 8 inch round cake tin for the ring tin. Once the cake was cool, I slit it in half using a bread knife and spread raspberry jam on the base. I made a simple water icing by mixing icing sugar and water ( I didn’t bother measuring out the icing sugar, but I should have used more to make a thicker icing). As my icing was much thinner than I wanted, after securing the coconut mushrooms to the top with a bit of jam, I sifted icing sugar over the top.


Bicep Bulging Banana Cake

May 5, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Posted in Baking, cake, cooking, food | Leave a comment
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There is something you may not know about me: I only like bananas when they are just ripe. Combined with my optimism when shopping, this means that I am often greeted with a bowlful of browning bananas just begging me to use them in a cake. And so this evening, I did just that.

I adapted the recipe from The River Cottage Family Cookbook. The ingredients are as follows:

100g butter (salted or unsalted, I’m not fussy);
125g light brown soft sugar (Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall specifies caster, but I prefer a richer taste);
200g self-raising flour (I used a combination of that and plain flour as that’s what I had: unless you’re making something which depends on a certain flour for texture, like Victoria sponge, it doesn’t matter);
3 browning bananas;
100g raisins soaked in tea (HFW suggests 50g sultanas and 50g chopped dried apricots, but I had neither. The tea softens the raisins, but won’t add any flavour unless you leave them to soak overnight.);
1 lemon;
2 eggs

Leave the raisins to soak in a mug of black tea.


Cream the butter and the sugar together in a large mixing bowl, ideally using a wooden spoon. I had only a tablespoon and had to work much harder than I would have done, hence the recipe’s title.

Add the eggs one at a time and mix.

Zest the lemon and add the zest to the mix with the raisins. I don’t have a grater at the moment, so I used a knife (ordinary table knife) and it was fine.


Add the flour, sifted or unsifted (it really won’t make a huge difference) and mix.

Line a loaf tin and add the mixture, tapping the tin on the surface a couple of times to level it out. Bake for 1 hour at Gas Mark 3, or 160 degrees in electric, I believe.

This was the result. My stomach, as well as my eyes, was pleased.


I came, I saw, I decorated

May 3, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Posted in cake, family, motherhood, party, women | Leave a comment
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Last Wednesday, I started my niece’s 16th birthday cake.  I spent all of Thursday doing it, baked one of the cakes Friday morning and finished the icing Saturday morning before work.  This was the result:

I am not the world’s best icer; you are not going to walk in on me creating homemade tulips out of sugarpaste I’ve coloured myself anytime soon.  So what I would say to any of you women out there, mothers or not, who don’t exactly have time on your hands, is this: listen to the god of ready-to-roll.  Because making a cake doesn’t have to be a competitive sport.  It just has to look presentable when it comes to eating it.

Round, round, round, round, I get around

April 29, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Posted in cake | Leave a comment
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I want to do this to my face right now

Today, I have:

1) Washed up;

2) Been to Birchington to pick up ‘1’ and ‘6’ shaped cake tins;

3) Decided against said ‘1’ and ‘6’ shaped cake tins, remembering how they love to stick to the tin and end up resembling a toddler’s rendition of  what they are supposed to be;

4) Watched my bacon sandwich get cold in a cafe full of old people;

5) Experienced an urgent desire to tear down Conservative placards, and been thwarted only by the fact that I was driving past at 50 (it’s fine, I’ll go back tomorrow);

6) Phoned Asher and moaned at him for not leaving a note when he went out (I am embarassed about this: I used to be such a carefree person.  But I had to make these goddamn cakes, goddamnit!);

7) And made enough cake to render the legs of a flamingo obese.

And now I am very, very tired.  So tired I no longer care about food, or Christian and Syed’s future, or what I’m going to wear tomorrow. (Christ, I really must be feeling it.)

It’s time for . Goodnight, dahlings.

I am insane…………..

April 28, 2010 at 7:35 am | Posted in books, cake, motherhood | 1 Comment
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So mad I wear coats on my head. But only on Swedish islands.

…………..because I am trying, this week, to look after my son, finish an article, read three books, work full-time and bake my niece her 16th birthday cake.  Not just any cake, my friends, but a towering creation designed to feed the five thousand.  Or 40 ravenous, and possibly slightly intoxicated, teenagers, anyway.

Please tell me how I am supposed to eat, wash and smoke once I’ve done all that?

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