This is a staple favourite of mine and Dark’s, and hopefully soon to be Neo’s as well. I got the recipe of a place-mat, of all things, almost 15 years ago when my Nan, who spent most of her life in Wales, brought it for me as a present.

Bara Brith literally translates to ‘speckled bread’, and is essentially a fruit loaf. It was transitionally made by miner’s wives out of things you’d have kicking around the store cupboard for their husbands to take to work, as it’s not very crumbly and would survive wrapped in a handkerchief in a pocket. It also keeps for a couple of weeks or so, in a sealed container, if you can keep from eating it all in the first day 😉

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pint (236ml) Strong Black Tea
  • 2 tablespoons Marmalade
  • 450g Mixed Dried Fruit (I use raisins and glacé cherries)
  • 450g Self-Raising Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Mixed Spice or Allspice
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 170g Brown Sugar

Method

  1. Make up the tea, and dissolve the marmalade in it, then leave the fruit to soak for about an hour.
  2. Sieve together flour and spice.
  3. Add sugar, egg and flour to the tea and mix together well.
  4. Pour into a greased and/or lined loaf tin, and bake for 1 and a 1/2 hours at 180°c
  5. Cool on rack and serve sliced and buttered with a cup of tea.

Bara Brith

 

As you can see, I managed to burn the crust a little. Fortunately it doesn’t taste burnt, just a bit tougher to chew on. So far, I’ve been the only one eating it as it makes for both a good breakfast and afternoon snack.

If you have a suggestion of what I should make next, send an email to dru@g3-radio.net, or leave a comment. Liked this post and want more? Check out all the Cooking With Dru posts, and be sure to keep an eye on our Youtube channel for the making-of videos.

I can see your faces now: your brows are furrowed in confusion, your eyes are narrowed, and you’re saying ‘whaaaaaat?’ I know, I know. I had the same reaction when Lord Eris poked me to give this a go. I can’t say I was overly enthusiastic, but he promised me it was nice, and I had a can of soup I wanted to use up, so I thought ‘what the hell’ and scoured the ‘net for a recipe. I finally found one here, after struggling to find one that was in grams rather than cups.

Ingredients

  • 60g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, well beaten
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon all spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 75g raisins (optional)

 Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°c. Line with a 8″ tin with parchment and grease.
  2. Cream butter and sugar in large bowl.
  3. Add egg and mix well.
  4. Combine baking soda with undiluted soup in can. Let foam for 1 minute. Pour soup mixture into butter/sugar/egg and blend well. Mixture will look slightly curdled. This is normal.
  5. In a small bowl combine flour and spices. Add to tomato soup mixture and mix well.
  6. Add raisins, if using and mix again.
  7. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.

I had a few issues with my attempt:
1, I had cream of tomato soup instead of condensed which made it a bit runnier than it should have been, and so it took 40 mins to cook, rather than 30.
2, I added the bicarbonate of soda to the flour right away, instead of to the soup.

While mixing it looked quite unappetizing, but on removing it from the oven, all it really smelt of was sugar and spice. I let it cool down for a bit before trying it, and it’s not that bad. It tastes, again, mostly of sugar and spice, with a hint of the tomato coming through in the after taste. While I woukdn’t make it again, it’s not too bad, and an interesting experiment.

If you have a suggestion of what I should make next, send an email to dru@g3-radio.net, or leave a comment. Liked this post and want more? Check out all the Cooking With Dru posts, and be sure to keep an eye on our Youtube channel for the making-of videos.

Since I’ve gotten a little sick of apple for the moment, I decided to go for something different. I found this recipe  on UK TV’s website, and since it sounded so easy, I thought I’d give it a go.

Ingredients

  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 6 tbsp boiling water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 125ml milk
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g soft butter
  • 300g caster sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c. Grease two 8 inch sandwich tins and line the bases.
  2. Measure the cocoa into a bowl, add the boiling water and mix until smooth. Add the remaining cake ingredients and mix until combined. Divide the cake mixture between the prepared tins.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes until well risen and shrinking away from the sides of the tin. Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Mine ended up all in one 8in²x1in square in, and took about 35 minutes to fully cook through.

The bottom of a scrummy chocolate cake

Unfortunately I only have a bad picture of the bottom of the cake, because as I turned it out, the whole bottom stuck to the pan. Let this be a lesson in the correct application of baking parchment – as in, use it. But it was still very nice, not too sweet, and plenty chocolaty enough.

If you have a suggestion of what I should make next, send an email to dru@g3-radio.net, or leave a comment. Liked this post and want more? Check out all the Cooking With Dru posts, and be sure to keep an eye on our Youtube channel for the making-of videos.

Way back in September of 2013, Neo and I went down to my brother’s garden and picked a bucket-full of apples. After cleaning, pealing and coring them, they went straight in the freezer not to be touched again, until now. In a series of very apple-y cakes and pies, I’m aiming to use them up. The first of this series is the trusty Dorset Apple Cake. This is a very traditional cake, made for as long as there have been apple orchards in Dorset. I got this recipe from West Dorset Foodie, and as they note, there are as many variations of the cake as there are variations of apples.

Ingredients:

  • 225g cooking apples, peeled and chopped, but remember to leave some for the top
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 115g butter
  • 165g brown sugar, leaving 50g for the top
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F (gas mark 4).
  2. Grease and line a 7″, round cake tin.
  3. Toss the apple with the lemon juice and set aside. Sift the flour and baking powder together then rub in the butter, until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.
  4. Stir 115 g of the sugar, the apple and the egg, mix well, adding a little of the milk at a time to make a soft doughy mix.
  5. Transfer into your tin.
  6. In a bowl, mix the 50g of soft brown sugar, sliced apple and cinnamon, arrange on top of the cake mix.
  7. Bake for 45–50 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

 

Apple Cake - after Apple Cake

I didn’t exactly follow the recipe properly, as I didn’t realize the cinnamon was only for the top, so I put it in with the flour. But rather than ruining it, I think it gave it a nicer taste. Sadly it didn’t rise as much as I thought it should, but I have since discovered that my baking powder has lost it effectiveness. In future though I’d probably make this is self-raising flour for ease. Overall this was a very nice cake, I’ve always loved it the way my Mum makes it and it goes perfectly with a cup of tea in the afternoon when it’s grey and dreary outside.

If you have a suggestion of what I should make next, send an email to dru@g3-radio.net, or leave a comment. Liked this post and want more? Check out all the Cooking With Dru posts, and be sure to keep an eye on our Youtube channel for the making-of videos.

This is the second cake I found in ‘The Best of Mrs. Beeton’s: Cakes and Baking’ book, that was my final choice for the i49 bake-off between myself and Mr_Potz. I was particularly attracted to it because it’s very different from anything I’ve made before, and also I think it’s special enough to warrant being the subject of a bake-off.

Ingredients:

  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp ‘pinch’ of salt
  • 100g margarine
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125ml dry still cider

Method:

  • Sieve flour, salt, baking powder and spices into a bowl.
  • Soften the butter, then cream with sugar and add eggs.
  • Add in half the flour mix and beat, then add half the cider.
  • Repeat using remaining flour and cider
  • Spoon into a cake tin, and bake at 180°c for 50 mins, until firm to the touch, and cooked through.

Below, again, is pics of it before and after cooking, respectively.

Old English Cider Cake Pre-cooking Old English Cider Cake

 

Once again, I shortened the cooking time, and only baked the cake for 40 mins, since my fan-oven helps speed the time up. I’m a little bit disappointed about how this turned out, it’s much flatter than I would have expected it to be, and it rose unevenly. I’m really hoping that the taste more than makes up for any lack of appearance. Don’t forget to tune in at 1800/6pm BST on Friday 23rd August, where we’ll be coming live from i49, and you can find out which of our two cakes did best.

If you have a suggestion of what I should make next, send an email to dru@g3-radio.net, or leave a comment. Liked this post and want more? Check out all the Cooking With Dru posts, and be sure to keep an eye on our Youtube channel for the making-of videos.

I found this recipe while looking for something to make for Potz and my i49 Bake-Off in ‘The best of Mrs Beeton’s: Cakes and Baking’. Since I couldn’t decide which I wanted to make – the cherry cake or the cider cake – I decided to make them both, one after the other.

Ingredients:

  • 200g plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 100g glacé cherries, washed, dried and quartered
  • 150g margarine
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon milk

Method:

  • Sift flour, salt and Baking powder into a bowl. Add the cherries and mix well, then set aside.
  • Beat margarine until very soft, then add the sugar and cream together until light and fluffy.
  • Slowly add the eggs, beating thoroughly after each addition.
  • Fold in the dry ingredients, adding some milk if the mix is too stiff.
  • Grease a cake tin and spoon the mixture in, and add a small hollow in the middle
  • Bake for 30 mins at 180°c, then reduce temperature to 160°c and bake for a further 50 mins

Below is a picture of the uncooked cake mix, and the final product.

Uncooked Cherry Cake  Cherry Cake

As you can see, I used baking parchment instead of just greasing the tin, as my pan is getting old and it’s non-stick-ness is coming into question. Also, finding the cake was done after the 30 mins I took it out. It was very dense, however, when I finally cut into it, and probably the extra 50 mins at the lower temp would have helped it rise some more, but it was nice enough as it was. Also 100 grams of cherries didn’t seem like nearly enough to me, and I think next time I’d put in the full 200 gram pot.

If you have a suggestion of what I should make next, send an email to dru@g3-radio.net, or leave a comment. Liked this post and want more? Check out all the Cooking With Dru posts, and be sure to keep an eye on our Youtube channel for the making-of videos.

A little while back this recipe was making the rounds. I’d made a silly deal with Lexi from Multiplay that if I made her cake, we’d get an extra press pass. So I decided to combine the two and make her the brownie cake. Sadly she wasn’t able to get one authorized, but never mind. I had fun, she had cake and you get an article about it.

The theory behind this cake is that Nutella already has fat, milk, chocolate and sugar in it, some of the things you’d made a brownie out of anyway. So why not just use something that’s already there and just add a few bits to it? Now I did cheat a little and used supermarket own-brand chocolate spread, and because I wanted a cake instead of brownies I put it all in one tray.

Ingredients:

  • 280g Nutella
  • 62g flour
  • 2 eggs

Method:

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl. Put ingredients in a pan. Cook at 180°c for 30 minutes. Boom, done.

Because this was for Lexi, and I had some pre-made butter icing I wanted to use up, I went ahead and iced it with a heart and her name. Lexi and the other’s in the MPUK offices said it was lovely 🙂 Keep an eye out, we should soon be putting up a Youtube vid of me making this so you can cook along, or just have a laugh.

Lexi's Cake

 

Got a suggestion for what I can make next? Email dru@g3-radio.net, or leave a comment.